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May 28, 2013

BEAM: Oh, the sweet life

There’s nothing more satisfying than a swig of Coke.

Wait. That’s a lie. Drinking a whole 32 ounces of the magical elixir definitely trumps a measly swig any day of the week.

And that perfect cup of caramel-colored goodness must be from McDonald’s. I’m not sure why their Coke always tastes better than anywhere else. Maybe they have a special formula that contains ground-up clown smiles.

But every day I thank the good Lord that I don’t live in New York City and would have to endure their attempted ban on my happiness.

Yes, you might say I am a cola connoisseur. Others might say addict. Either way, I love Coke. And I mean the real Coke — not that sweet Pepsi or Royal Crown stuff. Of course, down in these parts, we call everything Coke. Big Red and Sprite are coke. Dr. Pepper is coke. Orange pop still gets called, you guessed it, Coke.

A guy named Matthew Campbell from the Department of Cartography and Geography at East Central University actually designed a map of what survey respondents generically called their carbonated beverages. Clark and Floyd counties lie on the northern line of a fully red south that named these sugary drinks Coke. Not only do our accents show we belong to the south, I reckon now the words we use do, too.

Recently, soda has been subject to some controversy. Warnings abound about its negative affect on health. My generation, on the other hand, was raised in a different age. Back then, most parents would let their kids drink anything: carbonated beverages, creek water, milk past the expiration date.

Little children in Europe who have been suckling fine wine before they could teeter or totter looked jealously on as we drank our sugary lunches, their eyes full of decaffeinated awe. Later the babes would try our tasty treats but in a different form — hot and iceless. Warm water is more satisfying than a room-temperature soda. And so they continued drinking Perrier rather than Pepsi.

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