“NEW LOOK, SAME GREAT TASTE” – PHILIP’S INTRODUCTION

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

Philip had been repeating the words over and over under his breath for several hours. He was standing beside the shelf that held the cans of Heinz Baked Beans, which were next to the cans of Maritime Condensed Milk. Both of those products had three words in their name. Three by three. Philip thought the word Condensed always looked like it said Condom; which was a rubber circle that Philip’s younger brother Elias carried in his pocket in case he was; as Elias put it “Going to get it in.”

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

It was Wednesday and that meant that Philip was organizing the backroom. Philip enjoyed organizing the backroom. Today was different. Everything else was back to the way it should be now that he had organized it. He had cleaned up the broken Ketchup bottle that had fallen under the rolling racks and even had time to sort the With Pulp and No Pulp Orange Juice bottles which had been shipped to the store incorrectly a few days before. Philip was at his Uncle’s funeral out of town when the shipment from Tropicana showed up, and he wasn’t there to fix the problem. He told his mom that he had to be at the store for the Tropicana shipment, but she said that his Uncle Terry had suffered a Pulmonary Embolism, died, and that the Tropicana shipment would have to wait till they got back from Charleston where they were going to put Uncle Terry in the ground.

It was all sorted now. No Pulp on one side of the cooler and With Pulp on the other. No Pulp was on sale this week and who knows what could have happened if they had accidentally sold With Pulpfor $3.99 a bottle instead of the regular $5.99. Philip tried to push the thought from his head, but was having a hard time. When he got back from the funeral and Jacob told him what happened he had grabbed Jacob by the shirt and pushed him into the rolling rack where the bottle of Ketchup fell behind the rack and broke open. He wanted to hit Jacob. He was older than Jacob by six hundred and seventy two days – he had checked, but Jacob was in charge and didn’t seem worried about the Orange Juice mix up as much as Philip was; which only made Philip more angry. Jacob was Mr. Samson’s son, and was allowed to not care whether the No Pulp and With Pulp Orange Juice was mixed up.

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

Philip repeated the words over and over and was trying not to make his hands into fists to hit himself. “People didn’t like when you hit yourself” he thought, “Because they don’t do it.” He held his hands resolutely at his side.

Heinz Baked Beans had always been packaged in a red can.

Heinz was written in white, and the picture of the beans always looked like a face when Philip really stared at it. The Heinz Baked Beans always showed up to the store in a pack of eight cans wrapped in plastic. Two by Four. The store usually received one pack of Heinz Baked Beans every two weeks except for one time in April; but Philip didn’t like to think about that time in April. This week when the beans showed up; they were in a pack of nine. Three by three. He didn’t like to think about that either. When the cans were packed two by four, Philip could easily slide them between the Maritime Condensed Milk and the Riverstone Whole Button Mushrooms. If the Heinz Baked Beans were now showing up three by three, The Maritime Condensed Milk would have to slide over; which left no room for the Fat-Free Maritime Condensed Milk which nobody bought. Those cans had dust on them. Philip stretched his arms down his side and held them tight. He tried to breathe slowly.

Besides being shipped three by three; the Heinz Baked Beans were now packaged in a green can. The words Heinz Baked Beans was still written in white, but the face in the beans wasn’t there anymore.

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

“New Look, Same Great Taste”

That’s what it said under the picture of the faceless beans. Written in white. Philip repeated it again. This time a little louder. He said it three times. Three by three. The way the cans were packed in the box wrapped in plastic. The green cans.  

The cooling fan in the cooler switched on and started letting out a faint hum. Philip forgot about the beans for a moment.

After he had grabbed Jacob by the shirt two days before, Mr. Samson had brought Philip into his office. He thanked Philip for working so hard but told him that he wasn’t allowed to organize the backroom if he ever grabbed Jacob by the shirt again. “Jacob doesn’t think like you do Phil, and that’s okay too” Mr. Samson had said. Philip had agreed to not grab Jacob’s shirt again, and Mr Samson agreed that it would be for the best to avoid Jacob as much as possible for a while. Before Philip left Mr Samson’s office he had placed $4.81 on Mr. Samson’s desk and told Mr. Samson that was how much he owed him for the bottle of Ketchup that was broken under the rolling rack, taxes included. Mr. Samson had smiled and placed the money back in Philips hand. He told Philip to keep it as a bonus for not grabbing Jacob by the shirt ever again. “Mr Samson is paying me $4.81 to not grab Jacob by the shirt” Philip thought to himself.