It’s Deadline Week, and I’m in the process of red-penning a writing project.  Actually, I’m taking a red pen to just about everything in my house, including the cat.  (The cat needed her tail edited down – waaay too fluffy.) While I finish word-murdering everything in my house, I’m revisiting some earlier posts from the SUM archives.  Today, I’m looking back at the power of branding, written back in 2010.

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Do you guys have Splenda or Equal or anything?”

The waitress leaned in to hear Chris asking over the din of the restaurant.  “What?”

We were at a hibachi restaurant with NBF and her husband, celebrating.  The place was dark, the music was pulsing, and the waitress was from another planet, I think.

“Splenda?  Or Equal?  Or something?  Do you guys have any of that?”  He gestured towards his tea.

The waitress nodded her head.  “Yeah, we have Sweet n’ Low and Domino.”

All four of us stopped and turned slowly towards her (Like in that StrongBad email when he’s at the movies and slowly turns towards the popcorn-eating Cheat.  Click the link – it will make more sense.  And it’s SFW.)  Chris shook his head.

“Domino?  What is that?  Is that like a generic Splenda or something?”

“Domino?  It’s sugar.  White sugar?”  The waitress twirled her pen between her fingers as she waited for Chris to decide.

“Oh.  Okay, I’ll have two Sweet n’ Low, please.”

She walked away, and the four of us held a quick conference.

“Did she seriously just call sugar ‘Domino?’ What is Domino?”  I asked, confused.

“I think it’s that brand of sugar.  Domino?”  NBF said, furrowing her brow.

A smile tugged at the corner of Chris’s mouth.  “I would have known what she meant if she had just said ‘sugar.’  Either way, I’m safe.  I asked for Sweet n’ Low.”

I couldn’t stop giggling.  Domino?  I have never, ever heard someone call it that before.  Who calls table sugar by its brand name?  (“Oh this?  This here is Stop & Shop brand table sugar.  Want some?”)  And it wasn’t so much that she called it by its brand name, but more that she said it all tough, like Domino was the street name for some sinister version of sugar.

By the time the waitress came back, we were are laughing too hard to order.  So she just plunked down the two packets Chris had asked for on the table.

Of course, she didn’t bring the pink packets.

She brought the Domino, yo.

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