b Papa Dog's Blog: My Last Glass of Coke

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Monday, February 06, 2006

My Last Glass of Coke

The other night on the way home from work, I stopped at Wally’s World to get some Coca-Cola. When I got to the cooler, I saw that the bottle in front had a black bottle cap, rather than the customary red one. All the other bottles in the row had the usual red caps. I’m prone to superstitious reactions to little oddities like that, and some nights I might have reached past the black-topped bottle for an orthodox red one. This particular night I was of stout heart and unconcerned by omens. With relatively little internal debate, I took the black-topped bottle. I forgot all about it until later that evening when I pulled the bottle out of the bag to put it away. The sight of the black bottle top startled me; I thought for a second that the bottle was uncapped and that I was about to spill Coke all over the kitchen floor. Almost immediately, I remembered the odd bottle cap. I was relieved on the subject of potential spillage; in a more generalised way I remained uneasy for a while after. I rather wished I’d picked one of the run-of-the-mill bottles. This one seemed bound to mock me.

Today I had my follow-up with Dr. Homer. When I went in for my gouty finger (which turned out to more likely have been pseudogout, but never mind), he noted that my blood pressure was elevated. That could be the result of the pain from the pseudogouty finger, so he had me check my blood pressure a few times between then and now. It was, alas, consistently high. I’m so externally laid back it’s hard to see me as a candidate for high blood pressure, but internally I’m a roiling cauldron of hideous tension. More importantly, both my parents have high blood pressure and it’s a hereditary condition, so there you go.

Anyway, I knew going in that I’d be receiving a “time to change your lifestyle” lecture. Dr. Homer gave it a pretty soft sell all in all, which relieved me. I still have the palate of an eight-year-old. Left to my own devices, I have the diet of an eight-year-old with no adult supervision. While Mama Dog’s here to supervise, I have the diet of an eight-year-old rebelling against adult supervision. I eat my three healthy meals but I supplement with judicious doses of salt and sugar. Dr. Homer was particularly concerned about caffeine. I told him I don’t drink coffee, but generally have three cups of tea in a working day, and a glass of Coke with lunch and supper. As I was telling him this, I made one of the abrupt and definitive turns of the page that I’d be known for if anyone but I knew of them. I decided that my thirty-plus-year addiction to Atlanta’s finest had just come to an end. No half-measures. No caffeine free diet not-quite Coke. What the hell. I like 7-Up, which never had it and never will. Nobody’s telling me to cut sugar out yet, just caffeine.

So I went home and heated up a frozen lunch. My gaze wandered about the room, landing on the Coke bottle standing on the kitchen cabinet. I could tell with my experienced eye that it contained exactly one glass of Coke. The bottle was topped by that ominous black bottle cap. So that’s what the omen meant. The black spot wasn’t for me – it was for Coca-Cola. I popped off that black bottle cap and raised my last glass of Coca-Cola in toast to its self. Arrivederci, old friend. It’s been swell this past as-long-as-I-can-remember, but I’m afraid I’ll be going the rest of the way on my own.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Big sister said...

What type of tea are you drinking these days? Green tea doesn't have caffeine but lots of the others do. Also, thanks for the birthday phone call.

5:10 AM  
Blogger paulAnonymous said...

Actually, green tea has plenty of caffeine. But most herbal teas don't.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Twizzle said...

Yes, Papa Dog should become an avid chamommile tea drinker. Can't you just see it? ;-)

Leave it to Papa Dog to create an interesting story around something totally mundane like the color of the cap of his Coke bottle!

4:03 PM  

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