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Sweet Wi-Fi And Me — A Chocolaty Mess

October 4th, 2011 · Tags:Cities · Coffee Shops · Wi-Fi

There are two things I want to see the most while in Pennsylvania … well three if you count the National Civil War Museum.  The other two are a tale of two meltdowns. One is Three Mile Island, and the other is the Hershey’s chocolate plant.  Four things I would like to see, actually, but I don’t think a Beatles reunion is in the works in Amish country or anywhere for that matter … I digress …

I have yet to see the nuclear reactors that kept us all on standby long before Chernobyl and Fukushima.  Maybe I will save 3-Mile for yet another rainy day.

As I write this, it is of course raining … as it has for most of my visit to Pennsylvania.  But, rain works for me since I am at the center of the chocolate universe!

This morning, I made a 20-minute drive from Jonestown to Hershey Pennsylvania — world headquarters for deep dark goodness.  More specifically, I am hanging out at Cafe Zooka inside The Hershey Story museum on Chocolate Avenue.


So … let’s break off a piece … That’s chocolate lingo for get it started … I may be a bit overwhelmed in this city that has a Chocolate Avenue, with street lights shaped like Hershey’s Kisses …

For starters, I had hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie with Reece’s cups melted inside … yes …. chocolate on overload!  Next … I slipped into a chocolate-induced coma …

I know … how about some coffee.  Well … just let me say the chocolate was incredible, but I just had perhaps the worst cup of coffee ever… served luke warm from a canister on a side table — inexcusable for a place this nice.  Hershey’s how can this happen?  Anywho …

This Cafe Zooka … Great decor … great chocolate treats … good lunch entrees … Excellent Wi-Fi… and as part of the Hersheys experience,  there is a Chocolate Lab across the way, in which you can watch tourists doing actual chocolate experimentation on their own cholesterol levels  … sort of … Where else do tourists pay money to wear a hairnet?

Looking around the place … still buzzing on bad caffeine and good chocolate … I spy goodess on every wall …. Interesting vintage Hershey’s ads — my favorite, the Le Roi de Chocolate tablets.

Among the various souvenirs, there is an interesting ice-breaker type game — a transparent box filled with colorful cards, printed with random questions, laced with Hershey’s company corporate messaging points.  Hershey’s TableTopics they call them.  The idea is to stimulate conversation …

Well, since blogging is pretty much a one-sided conversation, why not use some of Hershey’s questions for this as I ramble (I thought)?  Here we go.

What are your favorite things to do on the Internet?

Let’s see.  I dunno.  Maybe …. BLOG! I know …. probably boring compared to what most people do, so the statistics say, in their own little secret cyber world.

Who’s the greatest coach ever?

I would say John Wooden, “The Wizard of Westwood” who won all those back-to-back basketball championships with the UCLA Bruins … But then if you think about it … Coach Wooden won with the best talent in the country.  So, maybe he was the best recruiter.  I mean … I think I could have coached the Bruins to victory when they had Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).  Then another coach comes to mind.  Mike Leach … the opposite of Coach Wooden — beyond the football/basketball difference — Mike Leach rose to prominence at Texas Tech — out in the middle of nowhere as opposed to an oasis of ocean beauty and wealth.  So, recruiting was a dead end for Leach, in regards to blue chip talent.  So, how in the world did Texas Tech knock off the number one team in the country — Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns — with second- or third-tier talent?  The answer is painfully obvious, unless you work for a biased sports network that refuses to accept the man’s brilliance.  I mean … I would have like to have seen the mighty Bruins succeed with guys like Wes Welker, Danny Amendola for sake of example, etc., etc.,

What’s your favorite family story?

That’s an easy one.  It was the day my mom got a home-made perm — well sort of.  Here’s the story. When I was a kid on the farm we raised chickens.  And when we got a new batch, we had to teach them to come to the chicken house at night, so the coyotes wouldn’t feast on them.  Each night, we would catch the chickens and carry them to the chicken house until they learned.  One night my mom was carrying a couple of chicken — one in each hand, by their legs the way we did back then.  Between my mom and the chicken house was an electric fence used to keep cattle and horses out of the barn.  Well … my mom assumed she could just hold the electric wire down with one of her chickens.  But you know what, like you and me, chickens are largely comprised of water.  And water is a great conductor of electricity.  As soon as my mom leaned over the wire, I heard her scream and saw chickens fly in the air, as did my mom’s hairdo.  No chickens or moms were injured in the making of this tale.

What’s your favorite joke?

Let me just first say that I am blond several months out of the year … That said, here we go:

Q:  “Why did God give blondes one more brain cell than horses?”

A: “So they don’t poop in the parade.

French fries or funnel cakes?

Sorry … what kind of a question is that? … Obviously this is a comparison of apples and oranges … or a staple and an indulgence.  I call foul and refuse to play.

If you could have participated in the 1906 contest to name the town of Hershey what name would you have chosen?

Let me answer this question with a question.  Was this multiple choice, or did the residents have to write in a suggestion.? Let’s see … hmmm …. Fudgetown doesn’t sound very good.  How about S’Moreville?

Who’s the most famous person you’ve met?

This is tough.  George W. Bush should be, but the way he has been so badly misrepresented and vilified  by liberal media, most would probably call him infamous.  About half the population might say my meeting with Spike Lee was the pinnacle.  Hmmm … You know my personal favorite is Joe Strummer of The Clash, but some people still don’t know who he was. Stevie Ray Vaughan was pretty big when I met him, but it seemed his popularity grew exponentially after his untimely death.  Nolan Ryan is by far the most down to earth celebrity I have met, but lots of people don’t follow baseball.  Mark Cuban impressed me, but he is still not a megastar.  Hmmm … thinking aloud … Frankie Avalon? … nah … Dick Clark — super influential in my love of music, but still not the one.  Dan Rather? No.  Dr. Ruth? Nope.  Bluesman Willie Dixon?  Sadly, not even close.  Scott Pelley? Up and coming, but no.  Major Garrett? Negative.  You know what? … based on the number of fans, I would say that Ravi Shankar is probably the most famous person I have ever met.  “Ravi who?,” you may be saying.  You know, Ravi Shankar, the guy who turned The Beatles on to the sitar and hung out with them during their trippy days in India, getting all enlightened with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Well … you may not know of Ravi Shankar, but there are millions and millions of people in India who worship him like a god, so he has the numbers to capture the popular vote … and besides, he is Nora Jones’ father.

One more item — a famous person and another family/chicken story.  My dad was on a cattle buying trip to New Mexico when I was a kid.  Along the way he saw a little old man in a white suit, standing near his Cadillac, with a flat tire on the side of the road.  My dad stopped and helped him.  He was Harland Sanders, or “The Colonel” to me and you.

If you could live in the house from any movie which would you choose?

Ha … it would be kind of cool to live in The Ark like Steve Carell in “Evan Almighty” … or maybe the houseboat in “Houseboat” with Sophia Loren … or that funky boat on the cliff above the “infinite abyss” in “Garden State” … but despite all these lake homes, I think the ultimate would be the tree house from “Swiss Family Robinson.”

Cool game. Thank’s Hersheys!

One more question.  How many pings?

Cafe Zooka — chocolate decadence, games that provide food for thought, nostalgic decor and great free Wi-Fi — 5 pings.

Hey, if you are reading this … send me your answers.

Know what I saying?