Downtime

Ben Affleck’s In-Office Soda Dispenser Suggests He and J. Lo Face an Insurmountable Hurdle

Has any couple bridged the Diet Coke–Diet Pepsi divide?

A smiling Ben Affleck in his office. Behind him is a soda machine with both Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.
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Here’s what we know. On Sunday, Jennifer Lopez posted an Instagram video featuring numerous shots of her and Ben Affleck driving together, canoodling, lounging on various boats, etc. We hear J. Lo explaining that “nothing is more fulfilling to me than being able to build a family with someone who I love deeply.” The video’s accompanying text reads:

Happy Father’s Day to the most caring, loving, affectionate, consistent and selfless Daddy ever. #HappyFathersDay my love. For my full Father’s Day post go to OnTheJLo.com 🤍💚

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In the middle of the video, a curious image appears. Ben Affleck sits in a home office, editing video on a Mac. He turns to face the camera, surprised, then grins a big, doofy grin. The room is furnished with a light for Zoom calls, some kind of old-fashioned landline that looks like the Red Phone in pictures of the Oval Office (maybe the Damon Phone, so the two buddies can reach each other at any time), and—best of all—a soda fountain of the sort that you might see in a small restaurant. “Chill out … drink up!” the soda machine urges.

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Well, that’s great. Ben Affleck has a sweet home office, in which he can pour himself fresh, cold soda at any time. And while often he is hard at work, frowning at a screen, he is also happy to be surprised by his beloved J. Lo, smiling at her when she shows up.

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But wait a minute. All is not right in this video clip. Computer … ENHANCE.

A close-up of the dispensers in Ben Affleck's office, showing one that is clearly Diet Coke and one that is clearly Diet Pepsi.
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A four-dispenser soda machine, nice. That might be Sunkist on the left, and some member of the Dew family in position No. 2. But then: Diet Coke? And Diet Pepsi?! OCCUPYING THE SAME SODA FOUNTAIN??!

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This is absolutely shocking. First of all, as everyone knows, Coke and Pepsi products are not compatible in a soda dispenser. Each of America’s two soda megabrands utilizes its own proprietary BIB (“bag-in-box”) connector, which conveys syrup into the machine, where it is mixed with carbonated water to create soda. A soda fountain that delivers both phyla of carbonated beverages at once is a custom machine, utilizing the finest in BIB adaptor technology. Someone went the extra mile with this fountain.

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But why? Why would you create this unholy monstrosity, this horrific hybrid, this affront to nature? Look, I am not naïve. I know that some tragically misguided individuals prefer Diet Pepsi, the devil’s beverage, to Diet Coke, the elixir of life. But who drinks both? No one. It’s not like you prefer one soda on weekdays and one on weekends. You are either a Diet Coke person or a Diet Pepsi person. So why, God, why, does Ben Affleck have a soda machine that dispenses both?

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The answer, I’m afraid, is grim. I think that America’s First Couple, newly engaged, are living in a mixed relationship. I think one of them is a Diet Coke person, and the other is a Diet Pepsi person, and I despair for their future together.

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Who is who? Affleck drinks Diet Coke, at least according to this Page Six story which describes him, on a visit to the set of a recent J. Lo project, as “alternating between sipping his Diet Coke and smoking a cigarette—per usual.” As further evidence, Affleck is seen in photos holding a can of Diet Coke and also, at a different point, a fountain Diet Coke with a straw.

But of course, Jennifer Lopez is a Pepsi spokesperson, having appeared in a Pepsi ad with Beyoncé in 2005—not to mention the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show, sponsored by Pepsi. And for those who ask, Just because Jennifer Lopez was a paid spokesperson for Pepsi in her public life, does that mean she only drinks Pepsi products in her private life?—what a joke. Jennifer Lopez is a professional. Jennifer Lopez would not touch Diet Coke if she was stuck in the desert. At this point, she doesn’t even breathe air unless it comes from PepsiCo.

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But what does this say about their upcoming marriage? I’m apprehensive. Scientists tell us that, unfortunately, there are no documented cases of successful cross-cola marriages in human history. Happy, buoyant, cosmically satisfied Diet Coke people cannot coexist with miserable, unhealthy Diet Pepsi people. They are simply incompatible. No BIB adaptor exists that can keep such couples together.

And yet—do we dare doubt the power of these two prime specimens of American celebrity? Perhaps these two crazy kids will find a way. Perhaps this paradox of a soda fountain represents the incredible, wealth-fueled lengths these two are willing to go to make their relationship work. I wish them the best—but I know whose side I’m on.

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