The screenplay for One, Two, Three II just writes itself


If you're looking for refreshment in Afghanistan, you're in luck. For only 36.5 percent of the average annual salary, you can enjoy a small bottle of Coca-Cola every day, from the country's brand-new Coke bottling plant. Improbable wishes, the key ingredient in any successful business plan, are as abundant as corn syrup in this new venture:

Although Afghanistan is one of the world's five poorest countries, Coca-Cola's Southern Eurasia head, Selcuk Erden, said the country of about 25 million was "the missing link" in the company's global business strategy.

But the country has no economy and apart from thousands of well-paid United Nations personnel, foreign troops and aid workers, few people have money to spend.

The average income is about $200 a year. A small bottle of Coke costs about 20 cents in the shops.

"Nothing much has been done to develop the economy. There is no investment," academic, writer and former cabinet minister Hamidullah Tarzi told Reuters recently.

"We are living in a sort of artificial economy. This is completely false because there is no production and there is nothing you can call investment."

Any business looking at Afghanistan must invest heavily in security. By some estimates, 10 times as much money is spent on security as development.

Thanks to Sean Higgins.

Explanation of the title of this post can be found by watching Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three, in which the semi-retired James Cagney plays the harried head of Coca-Cola in West Berlin.

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  1. Better “The Coke Side of Life” than the “Opium Side of Life”?

  2. How ’bout a sequel to the 1985 Eric Roberts vehicle, “The Coca Cola Kid?”

  3. Err, though I agree with the overall message of the post, just what sort of weird math is being used to come up with 20 cents being 35.5 percent of 200 dollars?

  4. Oh, doh. Good at math, not good at reading comprehension, didn’t see the ‘every day’ at first. 😉

  5. Actually, bzial, you did catch me in a typo: It’s 36.5 percent, not 35.5 percent.

  6. So does the Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice that is being rebuilt have a stance on Western carbonated beverages?

  7. Re-read the post: a Coke A DAY = 36.5% of the average annual income. $0.20 x 365 = $73 = 36.5% of $200

  8. Dolemite, I corrected myself almost immediately after that posting. Heck, I posted at 6:12 PM and then corrected myself at 6:14 PM.

  9. Best scene in the movie: Horst Buckholz breaking after being forced to listen to Little Isty Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini played off-center over and over and over…

  10. Is this original formula Coke or the crappy cocaine-free stuff?

  11. When I read your header, I immediately sussed out that you were talking about that movie!!!

    The scene cited by Steve is right up there, but I prefer the one with the two balloons in the closet. “One of them’s green and the other one’s blue!!!”

    Apologies to non-Billy Wilder fans. We may now go back to our normal political discussion.

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