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Soda Pop

I'll call this one "Soda Pop," because my friends here in Carolina say "soda," while my friends up in Michigan say "pop." We'll call it "soda pop" and everybody'll be happy. Or maybe nobody will be happy, or everybody will be half-happy.

When I was a kid, I loved me some pop, and my moms, well, she wouldn't let us drink much. There were these reusable 16 oz. Pepsi bottles, thick glass, and my brother and I would split one. We were very careful to pour our glasses evenly, to get every last drop, because, you know, if you pour the other guy chooses; and if you choose, the other guy pours. I couldn't wait to grow up, because then I could drink as much pop as I wanted.

One day I was home alone, and I had a brilliant idea. I would ride my bike up to D&B Discount and buy a six pack of Coke, then drink the whole damn thing while I watched the Detroit Tigers on TV. I got home, turned on the ball game, filled a glass with ice, and soon that first soda was gone. I poured another one, and that one didn't last long either. But that third Coke. Damn, it wasn't as good as the first two. I couldn't even finish it. What a disappointment. I wanted every Coke to taste as good as that first one.

I don't know when they first started substituting high-fructose corn syrup for sugar, but I'll guess those sodas that I drank as a kid where sweetened with sugar.

Sometimes my brother and I would ride our bikes to the gas station, put our quarters in the machine and get a can of Nu Grape or Orange Crush. Years later I asked Steve what his favorite colors were. Orange and purple he says. Like Orange Crush and Nu Grape.

At grandma Couture's house on Sunday afternoons, the adults would do some light drinking of "hooch," and that would entitle us kids to a pop. We would go down to the "root cellar" and get a Squirt.

Now that I'm a full grown (and horizontally expanding) man, I can't drink much soda anymore. If I'm going to take in empty calories, I would much rather they be from beer and wine.

A few comments on specific brands.

Vernors. Vernors is to soda what rhubarb pie is to pies: the undisputed king. Granted, I might feel like a piece of blueberry pie one day, just as I might drink a Dr. Peppers, but that doesn't mean that any soda can pull Vernors off its throne.

Pepsi. I never drink it.

Faygo Rock 'n' Rye. What flavor is this exactly? I'm guessing like blackberry mixed with cherry.

Cheer Wine. I used to sometimes drink it after playing basketball when I lived in Durham.

Squirt. Grapefruit soda. Some Mexican sodas have a very similar taste. Speaking of Mexico, pineapple-flavored soda is pretty good. And also speaking of Mexico, I remember reading that Mexico has the highest per capita soda consumption in the world.

Mt. Dew or Mello Yellow? Mt. Dew, I guess. Sweet sticky caffeine-laden citrussy goodness.

Coke. Fifteen years ago I would stay up half the night every night, smoking cigars and drinking rum and cokes.

Dr. Nut. In A Confederacy of Dunces, Ignatius Riley eats jelly rolls and drinks lots of Dr. Nuts. Thanks to the diabolic magic of the internet, it took me less than a minute to learn that there really was such a thing in New Orleans back in the day.

In the building where I work they replaced the Coke machines with Pepsi machines. You used to be able to buy a 12 oz. can for 55¢. Now you have to buy a 20 oz. bottle, for like a buck (I could walk down the hall and see how much they really cost, but I'm too lazy, so I'll just say a buck). It's like Alice in Wonderland over here: Drink me! Drink me!

I'm often shocked at how much soda pop people drink. No wonder they're so fat. People are often shocked at how much wine I drink. No wonder I'm so fat.




FYI whether it's Pepsi, Coke or Mello Yellow a can of regular soda has about 9 tsp of sugar; lots of calories and down the road a lot of added weight! I'd rather get my calories from real food!


A&W Root Beer

served in frosted mugs, by girls. You parked the car, rolled the window down a little, and they came with their little clip-on trays and their frosty mugs of A&W root beer ... and hamburgers, wrapped in some sort of tinfoil.

(How could I have forgotten?)

January 2019



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