In a tweet spotted by sports site SB Nation, an unnamed man can be seen calmly filling his KFC bucket—usually reserved for chicken—with what is presumed to be Sierra Mist. And while this very rich image, uploaded by Vancouver radio host Andy Cole, begs many questions, namely, “Did he pay for that?” “Who needs that much soda?” and “What is the true meaning of 'free refill'?” the response on Twitter was nonjudgemental.
With comments like, “Dude’s playing chess while we’re all playing checkers” and “4D Battleship,” there was clearly a lot of respect for Soda Bucket Man, regardless of whether or not his methods of stockpiling were legitimate.
Soda Bucket Man’s resourcefulness was celebrated with nearly 50,000 retweets and 80,000 likes for the initial tweet, but this not the first time someone has put soda in a receptacle big enough to swim in. One YouTube user uploaded a video in 2012 showing a KFC bucket filled with “Pepsi, 7up, and Orangina,” demonstrating that the fast food soda fountain is really a palette for carbonated creativity.
And it’s not just fried chicken buckets that can be fashioned into soda silos. One commenter on the soda bucket Twitter thread showed off a similar stunt pulled off at a movie theater with a recycled popcorn bucket and a “straw stabilizer.”
While the institution of the free refill is a timeless pillar of fast food consumption, it, too, is evolving before our eyes, becoming bigger, bolder, and deeper in 2018. When asked about the photo, KFC Canada confirmed that the man in the photo was not abiding by standard policy, and that the soda bucket was most definitely improvised.
"Colonel Sanders once said, 'There are few problems a bucket of chicken can’t solve.' We just hope he took the chicken out first." KFC Canada told MUNCHIES in an e-mail. "However, while clever, we do ask customers to use the provided cup for soda."