It was one of those days. I woke up feeling a bit under the weather and the only image that repeatedly flashed in my brain was that of a medium hot chocolate, frothing at the top with foam, accented by chocolate power all around. “Sweet… I’ll have Starbucks today,” I thought. Then I remembered I was in Hamilton, NY. As I trudged up the hill, I wondered if the Coop’s hot chocolate could hold up to the almighty Starbucks grande hot cocoa, with whole milk and real cocoa, that I lived for. I knew the image of the drink would follow me all day, and so rather than being haunted by a cup of hot cocoa, I gave the Coop’s version a try. “Hi, your hot chocolate (I dare not call it cocoa) is made with water, right? ” The worker with the Parisian beret answered, “Oh, no, we have a new steamer so we use whole milk.” I gasped as the little guy in my head jumped wildly , his mouth drooling with excitement. “Koooooogrgrgrgkoooo” the sound of the steamer brought me back to that Starbucks on 43rd street and I started to shake, anxious to satisfy not only the little man in my head, but also my aroused my taste buds. The Coop employee, looked at me strangely and then asked, “That’s $3.75, Gate Cash or Meal Plan?” I looked at her, unaware that I was not in the Bohemian Starbucks shop that I know and love, and said, “$3.75, Why you must be mistaken, a “Grande hot cocoa” is $2.60!” She looked confused, and it was at this point that I realized two things: 1) I was not at the Starbucks on 43rd and 8th in New York City and 2) Because I was not at the Starbucks on 43rd and 8th in New York City, I should certainly not be paying a higher price for the “same” thing in Hamilton, NY. Meanwhile, the little guy in my head, only interested in his selfish desire for chocolate was screaming “Pay it, Pay it!” and my tastebuds were literally yearning for the hot choccolate that stood in front of me. Frazzled, I threw my Gate Card down on the counter and screamed “Gate Cash!” As the Parisian smiled, I once again felt conquered by the evil Coop and its “henchmen” workers. I sat down on the plush seats, probably purchased by charging an extra dollar per hot chocolate, and tried to enjoy the measly brown liquid that was before me. It was OK, not even worth the standard price of $2.60 and certainly a ripoff at $3.75. Feeling a bit down, I got the munchies. Looking over the menu, I decided that $6.75 for a tomato, pesto and mozzarella loafer with 3 noodles of pasta was a little much. So, being the stereotypically poor college student, I went for the cereal, always a good choice… at least that’s what I thought. I walked over to the steel udder of milk, poured about 2 tablespoons of milk into my Cap’n Crunch cup and brought it to the Parisian Coop employee/enemy. With the same stoic expression she said, “That’s $2.30, Gate Cash or Meal Plan?” Why didn’t I see this coming? If a medium hot chocolate is $3.75, then obviously a handful of cereal with two tablespoons of milk, barely enough to feed a bird, would be $2.30! I laughed and decided I would enjoy my cereal, because I had a plan. The evil Coop and its henchmen had abused my people for far too long. I walked into the C-Store and asked how much a bottle of milk was, and then asked how much a packet of hot chocolate would run me. It came to about $2.10, and I was in business. I took the milk, poured it into my cup with the hot chocolate packet and walked over to the Coop microwave. One minute, on high, was all it took. As I sipped my homemade hot Cocoa, which was better than the Coop’s wannabe version, I think I tasted heaven. With the strut of the most confident man, I went to get another Cap’n Crunch cup and poured the rest of my milk from the C-Store into the cup– in front of the henchman’s face! She unwillingly charged me .50 less without milk and I gave her a little smirk. She knew it, I knew it, I had won the battle. I am sharing this experience because i will no longer allow my people to be cheated out of their hard earned money by the up-the-hill monopoly that is the COOP. Therefore, I will be sitting outside the COOP everyday, 5-year-old-lemonade-style, selling cheaper milk, hot chocolate and cereal! Stop by, lets talk strategy, lets talk rebellion, let’s show the COOP who’s boss!