Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Small cups: I was ordering a sandwich and soup at Subway today and decided to get a combo meal that entitles me to a drink. The worker asked me what size I wanted, so I said I'll take a small. He said there were no small cups--only regular, large and extra large. I began to fantasize that I was in the scene as Larry David:

Worker: There are no small cups--only regular, large, and extra large.

LD: No smalls? How can you have large cups, but no small cups?

Worker: Excuse me?

LD: How can you have large cups, but no small cups? A large cup is only large because it's bigger than the small cup.

Worker: Sir, I didn't decide the sizes. I just work here.

LD: Let's be honest. What you call a regular cup is really a small cup. And the large cup is really a regular-size cup. And the extra large cup is actually just a large cup.

Worker: Sir, please, you're holding up the line.

LD: No, no. I can see on your face that you agree with me a little bit. I think maybe you'd agree that, just like Subway doesn't pay you enough for the hard work that you're doing here, Subway is trying to get me to pay the regular price for what is actually a small cup. Am I right, am I right?

Worker: Sir, please.

LD (turning to the line): I'm right people, right? They're making us pay the regular price for a small cup of soda.

The crowd: Shut up. Who cares? Can you believe this guy?

LD (to worker): Okay, okay. I'll move along, but first, first I want you to admit that you're selling small cups at regular cup prices. That's all I'm asking for.

Worker: Sir, am I going to have to call security?

LD: I'm waiting.

Of course, I'm not Larry David and just paid my money and ate, but it did make me think that Americans are so concerned about not being below average that they don't even call their cups small. Just like the No Child Left Behind goal of making all children above average, our cups are at least regular size and most are large, extra large, jumbo, Big Gulps, or Double Gulps. It's so embarassing to be seen with a puny little cup, they don't even offer them.


  1. I don't have nearly as big a beef with this as I do with Detroit so thoroughly altering the definition of "compact". It used to mean "not wasting space". It wasn't a measure of total volume. Now it means "small", which is annoying because, while we have no terms that mean "not wasting space", we already have several that mean "small".

    Grumble grumble.

  2. I think the "regular" is actually a "regular." They just don't sell the small (which would have been 8-12 oz) any more because it's not as profitable.

  3. Pickle4:29 PM

    The elastic sleeve fittings for urinary relief tubes in Apollo program spacesuits used to come in three sizes: large, extra-large, and enormous.

  4. THAT Guy12:49 AM

    This would make a great YouTube skit.

  5. Commodore11:02 AM

    Believe it or not, a similar scenario was actually played out in the Seinfeld episode "The Movie":

    (Elaine reaches the concessions stand and has to deal with the perky clerk.)

    Elaine: Uh, could I have a medium Diet Coke?

    Clerk: Do you want the Medium size or the middle size?

    Elaine: What's the difference?

    Clerk: Well, we have three sizes. Medium, Large, and Jumbo.

    Elaine: [momentarily perplexed] What happened to the small?

    Clerk: There is no small. Small is Medium.

    Elaine: What's... medium?

    Clerk: Medium is Large, and large is Jumbo.

    Elaine: Oh-kay. Gimme the large.

    Clerk: That's medium.

    Elaine: Right. Yeah. [fearing the answer] Could I have a small popcorn?

    Clerk: There is no small. [flash of perky inspiration] Child-size is small.

    Elaine: What's `medium'?

    Clerk: Adult.

    Elaine: Do adults ever order the child-size?

    Clerk: [chuckling] Not usually.

    Elaine: [laughs appreciably] Okay, gimme the `adult'.


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