Maybe it's time to change the original formula for West Virginia justice

By The West Virginia Record | Jun 2, 2012

"It's the real thing
Coke is
That's the way it should be
What the world wants to see
It's the real thing"

Okay, fine, whatever. This Baby-Boomer balderdash made as much sense as hippies buying the world a Coke -- with someone else's money -- and keeping it company.

It's an advertising jingle, for Pete's sake, so the logical standards are low. Its sole purpose is to sound nice and make you want to buy something. It taps into the zeitgeist of the times and is just as solemn or silly.

What exactly is this "real thing" that "Coke is"? Coca-Cola is a beverage that is, in fact, completely unreal, insofar as it's not a naturally occurring substance like water, milk, or fruit juice. It's an artificial concoction of carbonated, caffeinated, colored, and flavored water, otherwise known as a soda pop, a soft drink, a tonic, etc., depending on what part of the country you call home.

Of course, if you really like Coke, then for you it is the real thing – inasmuch as you would rather not accept a Pepsi as a substitute, much less an A&W root beer or a Nehi grape or orange soda.

Though the drink has changed more than once since its invention in 1886 by a Georgia pharmacist named John Pemberton, bottles and cans of Coke today tout an "original formula," presumably to distinguish it from the widely unpopular "New Coke" introduced in 1985.

Owen Silvious is apparently a purist, however. He claims to find the use of the term "original formula" deceptive and actionable. Silvious is a Virginia citizen incarcerated in a North Carolina prison, where he has lots of free time to file frivolous lawsuits. His latest is a suit against Coca-Cola for selling Coke that doesn't contain the "original formula" from 1886.

Silvious filed the suit in West Virginia. Where else would you file a ridiculous suit like that and have anybody take it seriously?

While Silvious is not from West Virginia and Coke isn't headquartered here, it took eight months for the suit to be dismissed by a judge.

Naturally, Silvious is appealing. Since he is in prison, we taxpayers are paying for that suit and subsequent appeal.

How real is that?

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