She looks Corporate, or rather, she looks like she's trying very hard not to look Corporate. Perfect black suit, perfect black hair, perfect black shoes. Shoulderbag (black, of course) with a conspicuous matte rectangle, exactly the right size for a logo.
It has no logo, of course, and she's smiling brightly while she offers free Coke to the entire bus stop.
"That don't look like Coke to me," a suspicious drifter notes.
"But it is! Same Coke, just a different can!" It sounds rehearsed.
I take another look at the can. It is indeed different. The first thing that comes to mind is "smaller."
I wonder about this plan. Are they trying to sell this new smaller Coke at the same price as the original? Is this some diabolical plot to appease the God of Profit?
I have stopped paying attention to her, and she uses this lapse to offer me a Coke. I reject it out of reflex - a well-trained urban busrider - before remembering that I don't actually like Coke. She moves on, targeting a new group of innocent strollers, my reply already forgotten.
"Free Coke? Anyone want a free Coke? Free Coke?"
In her mouth Coke isn't just a word. You can almost hear the unspoken suffix. "Free Coke, a registered trademark of the Coca-Cola Corporation?"
Several consecutive people observe the different cans, and I hear an edge of irritation creep into her voice. "Same Coke, just a different can, just like I told the person next to you!" There's a lot that's going unsaid.
My bus arrives, and I get on, leaving the Corporate Coke girl behind. I pick a window seat so I can watch her. She's got about two dozen miniature cans left, and she's gotten rid of six. I wonder if she has a stash of them somewhere.
"Free Coke? Anyone want a free Coke?"
Another person takes a Coke, and the bus drives off.