I know Texas is a Dr. Pepper state, but I’ve been a Coca Cola girl since… well, since I was a girl. Back then, I would get a glass bottle from the cooler for 5 cents and then, instead of uncapping it, I’d take an ice pick and punch a hole in the cap. It was like having a grown-up drink in a baby bottle. The sweet, sticky, carbonated watery syrup leaked through that little hole, and I drank in tiny sips like a humming bird at a feeder.
By the time “Things go better with Coke” became the marketing mantra for my favorite brand, I’d learned to uncap the bottle and pour Planters peanuts through the neck and enjoy the salty-sweet dance of peanuts and Coke on my tongue. Singer Barbara Mandrel did the same, but she earned royalties from a song about doing it.
When I started going honky-tonking, the things I added to my Coke were Puerto Rico rum and Tennessee whiskey, which I drank from a paper cup. I’d start out with two fingers (about a jigger) of alcohol, but as the night deepened, I quit measuring. I was wild and crazy, but not very smart.
Now I’m older and wiser. I drink Diet Coke in a glass or Solo plastic cup. Today my sweetie drove through McDonalds and bought me a large Diet Coke for $1.08 (the 8 cents is the tax). I crushed the straw between my teeth so I could only get a trickle into my mouth, like I did when I was a girl. That’s one of the benefits and blessings of living this long: I can be a kid again.