Thursday, March 11, 2010


1 a (2) : a substance held capable of prolonging life indefinitely b (1) : cure-all (2) : a medicinal concoction

I'm not a snake oil salesman, but I do have a magical elixir that I drink for nearly anything that ails me. Headache? Backache? Stomach ache? Yes, yes and yes. Here's a conversation I had yesterday with my cashier at Walgreen's:

Cashier: Wow. I've had a headache for three days now.
Me: Have a Coke.
Cashier: Hmm. You know, that just might be my problem.
Me: (nodding knowingly) Yeah, I've had a headache for three days, but I had a Coke with lunch. It's amazing how quickly it knocks it out.
Cashier: I might just have to have one.
Me: I know. I can understand why they sold the stuff as medicine years ago. It cures all my ills.
Cashier: (chuckles) You know, that's true!
Me: (satisfied that I have shared my vast knowledge of the medicinal properties of Coke) Have a good weekend - and I hope you get rid of that headache!

Coke is good stuff. I'm not taking about Diet Coke, Coke Zero or Pepsi. Coca Cola original is my magical elixir. And I can't accept any substitutes. For one thing, I can't really drink any of those other sodas I just named. All of them taste funny to me - because they don't taste like Coke.

I've come a long way since growing up a tiny town in southern Alabama. There, everything bubbly was Coke. When you asked your friends if they wanted a Coke, you then asked them what kind (Sprite? Dr. Pepper? Coke?). So Coke is just a part of me. It's not just my favorite soda. It's comfort in liquid form.

I don't drink Coke every day. I love it way too much for that. But if I have a headache, it helps far more than ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Don't bother telling me that it's the caffeine in it that gets rid of the headache. That may be true on a rational level, but I don't choose coffee to get rid of my aches and pains. I choose Coke. There's probably a psychological component to Coke's healing powers for me. And while I've yet to let my daughters try this precious beverage (no caffeine allowed), I have no doubt that they, too, will grow to know and love the magical elixir that the world calls Coca Cola.


Natalie said...

I, too, grew up where any carbonated beverage is a Coke. My sister and brother-in-law drink Coke to cure their headaches. There really must be something to it!

Anonymous said...

this is like a Coke commercial and much less expensive. They owe you!

Variations On A Theme said...

Ha! I moved to Tennessee from Iowa when I was eight. I remember someone first asking me, "What kind of Coke do you want?" I was so confused. "I don't want Coke," I said. Their response: "But what KIND of Coke do you want?"