When I am thirsty, one of my favorite treats is a Diet Coke from McDonald’s. I swear they lace that brown liquid heaven with heroin. And now, those pushers at Mickey D’s only charge one dollar for any size drink. For me, driving around southern California is like Lindsay Lohan on a pub crawl. A few sips of nirvana before we stumble around town in a broken heel and fall in a ditch with our dresses hiked up and flash our g-strings.
My wife knows this about me. She’s not an innocent party. But we do enable one another. Sometimes we’ll share to keep the guilt down.
The other day she tried to get all straight on me. She linked me to this article with the following lede:
With high levels of sugar, acids, preservatives and other harmful ingredients, soda causes more damage to the body than just expanding the waistline. From stroke to kidney stones to dementia, here’s a look at what can happen to the body long-term for those who regularly drink soda.
Well thank you, Mrs. Killjoy. Like my occasional tingling cheeks and foggy thoughts aren’t freaking me out enough.
The author of the article breaks down soda’s alleged damage to the brain (can’t remember/learn anything), teeth (you might as well drink battery acid), heart (increased risk of cardiovascular disease), lungs (asthma), bones (bone density loss), kidneys (stones), digestive system (bloating) and weight (obesity).
If one can of soda is 12 fluid ounces, I guess my intake is roughly 36 – 48 ounces a day. Rarely do I go without at least one can of Diet Coke or Pepsi. If I don’t order a beer at a restaurant, then I’ll chug down three or four glasses of the bubbling brown beverage. If we eat in, I’ll offer to split a soda with my wife. If she’s feeling extra strong that day and refuses, I’ll down it myself.
I’ve gone a day or two without the pop before, but like Michael Corleone in The Godfather: Part III, just when I thought I was out they pull me back in. That first hit after a few days is like fireworks in my brain. And not just Disneyland fireworks. I’m talking 20 simultaneous shows over the Hudson River on an unnaturally warm New Year’s Eve night viewed from my Manhattan apartment where windows replace walls and Ivanka Trump wraps her arms around my abdomen wearing nothing but The Apprentice t-shirt. It’s that fantastic.
The writer includes preparation to quit the legalized crack. She went cold turkey. I think she must be Superwoman.
I need to stop. I get it. But even after reading that nearly half of soda fountains contain fecal matter, I just chalk up the results to the assumption that folks in Virginia, where the study occurred, ran out of toilet paper. It’s not like that where I live. Plus, doesn’t all that carbonation kill the poo poo anyway?