The Secret Formula


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I’m not here to preach, but I am convinced one of the best things I ever did for my health was give up soft drinks. Of course, we’re talking a real habit in my case, several cans a day or, worse, endless pours from two-liter bottles. All this was in addition to the drinks that came with all my numerous fast-food meals. I tapered off after a heart attack, and a few years ago I gave up sugary drinks altogether—and their sugar-free substitutes. This was in addition to many other dietary changes I was making, but it all seemed to work for me. On another topic, I grew up in the American south. A “Coke” was any cola-flavored drink: Coca-Cola, Royal Crown, Double Cola and, of course, when you could find one, Pepsi. The first time I traveled outside the south I was amazed at the proliferation of Pepsi machines and the dearth of Coca Cola machines. This may sound like a small thing to you, but it was a cultural ground tremor for me. I suppose it was thoughts such as this that led to the 1995 Sunday Arlo & Janis above.

85 thoughts on “The Secret Formula”

  1. Then there is that other great Southern drink, sweet tea. You know you’ve crossed into the South when: sweet tea, grits, country ham, red eye gravy, and biscuits are all on the same menu.

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  2. for me, it’s usually just a few sips from the A&W jug throughout the day, – when I do find myself at a fast food get your own soda place I never fill the cup up (or bother with ice) just enough to go with the food. – Negativland has a great CD called Dispepsi, satirical songs with real snippets of ads, interviews, corporate training material about the cola wars

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000038YT/ref=dm_ws_ps_cdp?ie=UTF8&qid=1418232624&s=music&sr=1-9

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  3. We Southerners do like us some iced tea in our sugar.

    I don’t remember where, other than it was in the South, but several years ago, as I recall, a hospital changed vendor contracts and replaced Coca-Cola with Pepsi Cola, causing such a patient rebellion that physicians actually had to start writing Rx’s for Coke for their patients who demanded it to “settle their stomachs”. (Which is another great bit of Southern folklore.)

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  4. When I was a kid in rural Va. some older folks referred to soda as “soda dope” or just dopes–a reference to the days when some brands actually contained coca. I never it called “pop” till I moved to coastal N.C.

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  5. Trucker Ron, I’m surprised emb didn’t jump right on your “often vs orphan” reference.

    Jerry, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Ghost and Charlotte, hugs.

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  6. Busy morning; I had to carry my Mom for an appointment with her primary care physician. Never a dull moment. More on her later.

    My immediate thought upon reading today’s cartoon was, “Whoa! Where did that come from? I don’t remember ever hearing Arlo call Janis ‘baby’ before.” Apparently, neither had Janis.

    Actually, I tend to call all my special ladies “baby”, especially at tender moments. Some cynics might think I do that so as to not use the wrong name at any inopportune moments. Some cynics might be correct. (Just kidding.)

    At least I am not as bad as one of student pilots who once told me he only dated women with the same first name as his wife, so as to not say the wrong name at the wrong time. (I swear I didn’t make that up. And I knew it to be true in at least one case.)

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  7. “Trucker Ron, I’m surprised emb didn’t jump right on your “often vs. orphan” reference.”

    emb does not consider that a high point in “Pirates.” I thought of it as soon as the t in often came up, but didn’t consider posting about it.

    GSVLOC is doing ‘The Mikado’, probably G&S’s most popular opera [but not their best], at the Conn Aud. in Mpls. in spring ’15. I hope to go.

    Peace, emb.

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  8. Anyone who can’t tell the difference – the vast, vast, vast difference – between Coke and Pepsi has dead taste buds.

    My unwavering response to the question (after I’ve asked for a Coke) “Is Pepsi OK?” is a heartfelt “Oh, *hell* no!”

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  9. Many decades ago my maternal grandfather was offered the opportunity to invest in a Pepsi-Cola bottling plant in Arkansas. He tasted the then-new product, announced it was just a watered-down version of Coke, and turn down the opportunity. It was not until 40 years later, after his death, that I ever saw any Pepsi products in my grandparents home. Turns out my grandma preferred Pepsi!

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  10. Is blogging dead or dying?

    As a blogger I follow (Roberta X) puts it, “Blogging is essentially dead, outstripped by platforms that are more succinct (Twitter), more visual (Instagram) or aggressively social (Facebook)…and generally, by 2014 standards, sluggish. Readership has dropped off; I was running a good, steady 500 per day at one point and it has faded and faded; if the trend continues, it’ll be back to me and the ‘bots like it was when I started.”

    She is not the first blogger I’ve read bemoaning this. I’d like to think that the blog you are reading right now is still much healthier than that and suffering, at worst, a mild case of sniffles.

    Or is this just another InterWebNet hiccough?

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  11. Regarding today’s strip in the papers, I turn to “The Producers,” the Mel Brooks film about the making of that amazing musical, “Springtime For Hitler.” Here is the quote from the author of that noted work:

    Franz Liebkind: Baby! Baby?!?… Why does he say this “baby”?? The Führer has never said “baby”. I did not write, “baby”. What is it with this, “baby”?!?

    …along with Major Props for a Sunday Strip for the Retro Fans out here. *cheering*

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  12. Regarding today’s retro strip, here in Texas the dialogue runs something like this:

    “Do you want a Coke?”

    “Sure!”

    “What kind?”

    “A Pepsi.”

    Everything in Texas is a “Coke,” including Pepsi products. What?

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  13. If you look around, EMB, you can find a one hour version of The Mikado from The Bell Telephone Hour, with Groucho Marx as the Lord High Executioner. I don’t remember if he used a cigar as a prop, but he did wear his glasses and aside from that, he played the part surprisingly straight.

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  14. In our part of NC, a soft drink was just a “drink.” “Do you want a drink?” Although, I do remember a few calling it “soda.” The next question was, “What kind of drink do you want?” As a child I was partial to Sundrop for a good while. JJ, like you, I stopped drinking soft drinks a couple or more years ago – and I feel much better – and I believe my kidneys appreciate it too!

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  15. Debbe, I do remember that early morning drive when I saw the V-formation of geese cross the gap in the pine trees on either side of the Interstate highway, silhouetted against the azure blue of the just-pre-sunrise dawn sky, while S&G sang “Homeward Bound” to me. And I do remember you telling me it was a sign from my sister that, in time, all will be well. I appreciated your words then, and I appreciate them now. And I believe that thought is true, even if not in the way I hoped at the time.

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  16. Left for Tulsa at daylight today and back now but enroute to pharmacy for Mike’s morphine patches and they will close soon.
    OK has enacted a law that you must have original scripts for most pain meds now, deliver it in person and pick it up in person, with two ID’s both times. You can imagine why we have that law.

    At least his blood and electrolytes were normal today and if we are lucky we don’t have to go back for a week. Let us hope and pray for that. Mom is now having angina with almost no exertion at all and scares her to death. She has never been ill nor had pain at age 93, so this is terrifying to her. Cardiologist has her tests from last week but he was in surgery today and tomorrow, so they will call Friday or I can take her in to hospital. They had me give her nitro and I was laughing, she said she thought she had some in her purse and she’d look. She had never so much as seen a doctor for her heart since 1986 or 87 and had no medications even filled! She sees mine now but he says there may be nothing they can do.

    I bought a wheel chair and if I need a second I will buy that as well but may have to hire a “pusher” or buy a pony cart?

    I am OK as soon as I finish this Diet Coke I am working on. I will tell you my favorite Texas Diet Coke drinker story when I get back.

    Love, Jackie

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  17. Sand, where I’m from there is “sweetea”. It is the primary beverage of choice in ginteel or Baptist circles. I also grew up with any carbonated beverage being a “coke.” Dr. Pepper is a favorite flavor, but grape flavored NuGrape, and orange Crush or strawberry Crush were also popular.

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  18. I think I’m getting mixed up about what day I’m posting at! But anyhow, we aren’t seeing anything from Jackie — I hope she is okay, and the rest of the family tool

    Dear eMb, the reference to Pirates of Penzance baffles me … can you help me out, please?

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  19. Jackie and I were posting at about the same time; so good to hear that she is okay, but oh dear, what a lot of hardship she has to go through! Here’s hoping for better days.

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  20. Charlotte:

    It’s near the end of Act I, after General Stanley’s patter song, ‘I am the very model of a modern Major General’ and before his song claiming that he is an orphan boy. It takes more than a page of tiresome dialog. Most G&S records/CDs leave out all or most of the dialog.

    My ref. for such things is Modern Library’s ‘The complete plays of Gilbert and Sullivan’, no copyright date, but I suspect I’ve owned it more than 60 yr. The only error I’ve found in is the ‘and’ on the cover and title page. The partners were professionally known as ‘Gilbert & Sullivan.’ The words and music are now P.D.

    Unfortunately, that has allowed some to do violence to the plays, ‘Pirates’ in particular. Much of the time now, if you go to a production of ‘Pirates’ today, it will be the Broadway remake that became popular in the ’80s, both here and in the UK. Among other problems, it includes a patter song in Act II lifted from another G&S opera, ‘Ruddigore’, which makes no sense at that point in ‘Pirates.’

    Peace, emb

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  21. All:

    Aside from the minor typos in my last post, I neglected to specify that’s it’s all a play on the similarity [esp. in the UK] of the sounds of ‘often’ and ‘orphan.’ Brits don’t sound that ‘r’. Peace, emb

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  22. Charlotte et al: Thanks for your expressions of concern for my Mom. As I mentioned, I took her to her PCP today, who is a not only a wonderfully patient and caring doctor but a friend as well. Jackie, you will probably understand this, based on your experiences…in the past few months, my Mom has undergone radiation therapy; has been hospitalized for atrial fibrillation, CHF and an extremely rapid and erratic heartbeat; and has suffered from pretty serious chronic fatigue. So guess what her major complaint was today? Sinusitis. You gotta laugh.

    But I *can* laugh now, because her doc has decreased her hypertension meds, which should help with the fatigue; the sinusitis med he started her on today is already clearing her up; and she is already doing remarkably well dealing with everything else.

    Even when life is not entirely good, it could always be worse.

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  23. GR6, some have been pronouncing blogging dead for several years. IMHO blogging has a bright future. I have seen blogs die, reborn, or just fade away. Blogging is a long-tail activity; a few have a large following, most exist on a small group of active followers. Viewed this way, blogging is a form of social media.

    Unlike Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn; blogging tends to be unidirectional. It depends on a leader (often unrewarded) to build, maintain, and oversee it. As Jimmy may attest, it can be expensive and time consuming activity.

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  24. You could all do me a favor and drink Tropicana ( made by Pepsi) – I have Pepsi stock and like their dividends … but I never touch the stuff (or anything fizzy for that matter)
    and as for cold tea (sweet no less!!!) – we Brits don’t drink cold tea, and the Americans don’t drink warm beer – all’s fair?

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  25. I live in San Antonio and I know the big sellers are either Dr Pepper and Big Red. I have the diabetes and still manage to be able to have 2 regular DPs a day. Worked into what I’m allowed. I’d rather be dead young than live a long time miserable. If I can’t have my DP why bother at all?

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  26. I rarely drink soft drinks, but, when I do, it’s Coke followed by Dr. Pepper in a distant second.

    Coke just doesn’t taste the same anymore, though, because of corn syrup sugar. I long for the cane-sugar Coke of my youth.

    I once heard that the Coke bottled and sold in Mexico is cane sugar and that smugglers bring in the good stuff to sell up here. That’s not a joke.

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  27. My grandfather, (born 1906) called them all co-coler. Culture shock: my ex(from the Buffalo area) went to Atlanta for job training. She tried to order a diet Pepsi in a restaurant there and the waitress said, “Honey, you’re in the South!”.

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  28. Texans will admit to addiction to cold sweet beverages at all meals. Deep South like Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, they almost automatically bring you sweet tea unless you specify.

    I have had Texas friends stock their businesses with multiple soda machines full of THEIR favorites, a doctor who kept an ice chest full of Dr. Pepper in his Porsche’s trunk in case of crisis and many others who did similar “emergency” preparations. I used to pack an entire suitcase with canned Diet Coke or Tab (whichever I was drinking) and ship it on cruises, vacations to Mexico and anywhere I thought they might not have it. I took it with me when I was a floral show designer and stuck it under the design table and sucked it down for the caffeine.

    When I had a REALLY tough or fast project, my helpers would pop open TWO diet sodas (see above) and tell me it was a two Coke/Tab job. I lived on them, at least a 12 pack a day or more but diet.

    Never knew North Carolina was Pepsi Country until I had to go out regularly for meetings with Lowe’s. After a dozen stops at convenience stores and NO Diet Cokes, my boss told me to stuff it until Lowes and they would get me a Coke. Which they cheerfully did, a Diet Pepsi! Boss kicked me under table, I thanked them and gagged it down.

    So, I took my own Diet Coke along to NC from then on, just like to Mexico.

    Love, Jackie

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  29. NO!!!!! Tell me it isn’t so, Ghost and Sand, you both smoke?

    You are intelligent, sweet, charming, funny and I will assume both good looking and you smoke?

    I am dashed, crushed and disappointed.

    Love, Jackie

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  30. There is a difference in Coca Cola bottled in the small old fashioned glass bottles, plastic bottles, cans, etc. I have had it scientifically explained to me but it has to do with pressurization of the carbonated beverage and the type of container, lids/seal, how much it “leaks” the gas (which is what makes it go “flat” and taste bad after awhile) Even the size of container makes a difference, so that is why the big giant plastic bottles go flat so fast, that and the “thin” plastic bottles and the plastic caps which can’t take much pressure.

    Now that I cannot get glass bottles I prefer aluminum cans and refuse to drink fountain drinks or plastic bottles, especially the big ones. Energy drinks are taking over cooler space, so soon we will not have canned sodas, although Coke has introduced a big tall can with more soda and more profit, I suppose. Taste is good too.

    I drank Coke as soon as I was weaned, even when I was anorexic I still drank Coke even though there were no diet ones back then.

    Coke is the official beverage in more places than Atlanta!

    Love, Jackie

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  31. Chinese Diet Coke uses a very distinct sweetner that most Americans don’t like. Loon drinks it withouy blinking. This from the women who won’t touch the inflight box lunches served on domestic Chinese flights.

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  32. Mark, I am not sure either of my grandfathers drank anything bottled that hadn’t also been distilled first. For the record, one was born in 1875, the other in 1890.The older smoked a pipe, the younger smoked cigars. Both reached 90, they did something right.

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  33. I agree that Coke doesn’t quite taste the same as it did when I was growing up – when there was always a case of bottles in our house. Part of it is probably glass vs cans or plastic but I’ve also heard about the difference in sugar vs corn syrup. Somewhere I read that in areas with large Jewish populations you can find the cane sugar version during Passover (identified by a different color cap). Apparently there is a chance of fermentation during the corn process that makes that version not kosher for Passover.

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  34. GR6 and Sand:

    IMO, Jackie is right on. I watched a son smoke [no, I wasn’t there all the time] for 30+ yr. He found quitting that much harder than EOH [been sober over a decade now]. Late 50s now, no signs yet, but it could still happen. If tobacco were newly discovered, rather than a socially and ECONOMICALLY embedded thing, it would simply be another illegal drug. [Not that that works well, either.] How do the tobacco barons sleep nights? Some of them may even be among the hypocrites claiming ‘America is a Christian nation.’

    Peace, emb

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  35. Jackie/emb: sandcastler™ is just pulling your leg, I suppose about me being “the Marlboro Man” type.

    I did in fact start smoking in high school (everybody was doing it) and continued through college (everybody was doing it) and my Air Force years (everybody was doing it). When I lost the Base Exchange subsidized pricing I decided, “This is not only stupid, it’s getting expensive.” I enjoyed every cigarette I ever lit, but like Jackie, I quit cold turkey, using the “put-it-out-and-never-light-another-one” system.

    I’ve heard that kicking nicotine addiction is harder than kicking heroin, but if so, what I had must have been just a simple habit (finish a meal, light up; sip a cocktail, light up; etc.) and not an addiction, as I have never missed smoking nor have I craved another cigarette. They say you immediate notice a difference in the way you feel physically when you quit, and although I never particularly did, it did make me feel better about myself.

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  36. Twenty years ago when I moved to Oklahoma from Houston the local paper here in town headlined “Bumper Pot Crop Predicted” and I said “Oh my Gosh, Oklahoma has legalized marijuana!”

    It turns out they were discussing the aerial surveillance projections for illegal growing of the crop, not legal growers.

    I was interested in buying a mountain for sale here until I found out the entire crest was planted in marijuana fields being watered from the small lake up on top of mountain. And the growers were definitely NOT wanting anyone to buy their mountain and put a log cabin up on the lake shore!

    Back in early 60’s when I was in ag school, we had a Mexican/American who kept telling us his family had sent him to United States agriculture school to study field crops to increase their drug production. Us dummy farmer types had never seen a marijuana plant and had to look up what one looked like.

    Turns out the kid was telling the truth.

    Love, Jackie

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  37. There’s another reason for using real sugar during Passover, Jackie. Ashkenazim aren’t allowed to eat seeds, which lets out both corn and rice. Sephardi, however, don’t follow that ruling, so to some extent, it depends on what background the person comes from.

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  38. Okay, Ghost, you are back in my good graces for quitting! It is true, I went from smoking nonstop to quitting cold turkey and have never lit another cigarette, nor can I tolerate being around any smoke or people with smoke on their clothing, hair, skin. As my dog sitter and other employees smoke, it is hard for me to get close to them without coughing. They do not smoke in house but outside in yard or decks. But I can smell their clothing and it is hard to not gag.

    I do not mean they repulse me but I am hypersensitive to the smell and fumes.

    Sand, if you are serious I will still forgive you but hope you will quit. See above note about people I like who smoke and I lecture endlessly!

    Love, Jackie

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  39. One of the wonders of Louisiana and where I come from is that it is there that Coca Cola was first bottled and became a portable potable, not just a fountain drink at a soda fountain. I have some of those antique bottles if they have not been hauled away from the farm house.

    First bottled across the Mississippi River in Vicksburg, MS in 1894, the Coca Cola bottling operation moved to Monroe, LA and operated independently until recent times as one of 10 largest US bottlers. To say they owned that market until recently is an understatement. They did, however, sell out many of their inventions and patents, etc. to Atlanta many years ago, probably a mistake financially.

    My grandfather, born in 1879 loved Coke and we kept it in the farm store they operated. There was nothing in the world better than those 5 cent Cokes in the little glass bottles, kept in ice cold water or hanging in the metal Coke coolers.

    Some of the reasons the bottling was switched from the glass and glass shape bottles has to do with patents, not just a switch in the ease of bottling or the materials being more biodegradable.

    Love, Jackie

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  40. Jackie, I think another reason for the switch from glass bottles was to get away from breakage and having to sanitize the bottles before reusing them. I went to the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta a few years ago and had a great time. One of the neat things is the chance to sample foreign products that aren’t sold here.

    sandcastler tm, I wonder if they are using Stevia in those. I ran across some Stevia sweetened drinks here and tried a couple. Those things taste terrible. Don’t know if the new Coke Life tastes that bad or not but it’s the same sweetener. I’d rather have cyclamates!

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  41. Mark, you are of course right on that reason. Those sterilization and bottling machines for the old glass bottles seemed to have been what the Louisiana bunch kept patents on, so change cost them $$$. Who would have anticipated aluminum cans or plastic bottles way back then? I am sure that everyone thought that the glass bottle would be the way it would always be done.

    I remember exactly seeing the first can soda come out of a machine. It could have been a Martian for the wonder it caused!

    Love, Jackie

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  42. Heavenly days! There is a tremendous discussion all over the internet on the subject of glass Coke bottles vs. plastic vs. cans vs. fountain dispensers!!

    And the nostalgia for the 50 cent cokes. Nostalgia for 50 cents! I was being nostalgic for 5 cents and 10 cents and even 25 cents.

    When I moved here to Oklahoma we could still buy canned sodas from machines outside groceries in area for only 25 cents. Granted they were trying to conduct a customer war within town for business but there is still one small family chain that offers 35 cent sodas at a few nearby locations.

    I grew up calling anything bottled a “Coke” (like Kleenex was a tissue) and evolved to sodas when I became more cosmopolitan but here in Okie land they call most everything “pop”.

    Hope no one is expecting any weighty discussions of current news except my husband who is a news junkie. I am avoiding like it was the plague…… news plague!

    Love, Jackie

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  43. Ghostly Observation #3 – When I was young and first heard the term “idiot box” applied to a television set, I thought it referred to the entertainment programming shown on it. I would never have imagined it would one day also apply to most of its news programming as well.

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  44. I remember well when the Coca Cola company started monkeying around with the formula, foisting New Coke (blechhh) on us, then telling us they realized that was a mistake and giving us Coke Classic, which was not the original recipe, as they said, but a joke with corn syrup. I pretty much gave up Coke right then. When I lived in South Dakota I learned to drink Pepsi, and it wasn’t as bad as I had thought, but not good enough to drink it all the time. I will admit to a slight Dr Pepper addiction in college, but only when I could snag a bag of Fritps corn chips. The only time now I will willingly drink Coke is when I go to the Varsity*. A Coke is still the best thing to drink with a chili-cheese-slaw dog and onion rings.

    My sister, however, drinks several diet cokes a day, and tells me the Mexican Coke is very close to the stuff we grew up with.

    *http://www.thevarsity.com

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  45. Dear eMb, thank you for the explanation. I was not aware of the British pronunciation, which is funny, for I am such an Anglophile; in my reading habits, not so much in politics.
    Recently I decided to find out why Spell Check keeps annoying me (not here, but in my Email) with words such as “realise” … found out online that I’ve learned my spelling from British and Scottish books, while the rule here in the U S A is “realize” and I never learned about this anywhere! Well, I’m going to stick with “surprise” etc.
    Dearest Ghost, I figured he was just kidding about you smoking cigarettes. Sounds like he may be serious about his own habit … hope not.

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  46. Trapper Jean, they are still bottling Coke and Diet Coke (if not more) in the 6 oz. bottles over in Louisiana and selling them in the paper carriers. They require a church key to pry open. For my mother in law’s funeral my daughters got bottled Cokes and iced them down in a big ice tub with a church key tied artistically to the tub handles. That and powdered sugar beignets were the refreshments because that is what they associated with their grandparents/grandmother.

    I have to say they tasted a whole lot better than anything we get over here in North Okieland. I still have one or two sitting in the Coke carton on my kitchen sideboard.

    There’s a huge stack of canned Cokes out in laundry room but I drank all the Diet Cokes already!

    Love, Jackie (The Varsity is a trip in itself)

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  47. I enjoy RC best, then Pepsi or Dr. Pepper, followed at a great distance by Coca-Cola. As I am somewhat diabetic, I drink the no-calorie types, and, in that category, diet Dr. P wins hands down. It is actually drinkable and has taste in spite of the lack of calories and caffeine (yep, I also avoid caffeine). Usually, if I can’t get the diet, no-caffeine, Dr.P., I drink another diet cola with an ounce or so of regular RC to make it palatable. In a 24-oz. cup, an ounce or so of “high-test” doesn’t make a lot of caloric difference, but it certainly make a load of taste difference.

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  48. Not only does Colombia use real sugar in their Coke (the soda!), the one and only McDonald’s uses real beef and all fresh ingredients. Do you realize how weird a Big Mac tastes with real beef and onions? As for me, no diet anything (cannot tolerate the funky after-taste), no real preference to “cola” (Coke, Pepsi, RC, Faygo, etc.) and I can drink tea either hot or cold.

    Jackie – US/UK word variations drive me bonkers as well. Like you, my visual vocabulary evolved from foreign printed books. I still prefer UK about 80% of the time, and prefer their use punctuation outside of quotations. However, I use the US spelling/punctuation rules – mainly as a response to all of the misused homophones and text-speech spelling on the internet. (And spell-check doesn’t recognize the word “homophones.” It keeps trying to change it to “Hoop Honestly.” Huh?)

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  49. Good morning Villagers…..

    Early day Indy Mindy?

    Diet Mt. Dew is my beverage of choice, nothing like that first gulp in the morning at work to “fire” me up.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day

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  50. Yes, peanuts in Coke, or Pepsi, or even Dr. Pepper, in my childhood. And, though I don’t quite remember 5 cent drinks, I do remember when a nickel and two pennies could buy me a “drink” at my neighborhood store (no tax, either).

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  51. Why peanuts in a Coke? Because a pack of salted peanuts in a 12-oz Coke is a Southern tradition…a/k/a “the breakfast of champions”.

    So, Lady Mindy, other than in Columbia, Mickey D’s uses “unreal beef”?

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  52. I am not too particular on cola (soda pop, soda or pop). If someone offered me one I usually took what was offered, but never cared for any of the diet stuff. I did start having heart palpitations 20 years ago, so I try to stay away from all caffeine. Since I never cared for coffee, there was no real issue.

    I really dislike soda water and when I go overseas, I always ask for “no bubbles”. When I moved to Michigan 35 years ago, everyone told me that I “had’ to drink Vernors Because of the carbonation and possibly the ginger, I nearly coughed up a lung. If Vernors is the only beverage at a party, I may shake it up to release the bubbles or leave it out to let it go a little flat. But if you meet someone from Detroit and want to impress them, tell them that you love Vernors. Personally, I like Faygo much better.

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  53. my wife does Pepsi and peanuts – gross! The above comments about marijuana, I don’t do anything myself, but I was interested in a recent American Spectator essay that alcohol is used in many social settings in many ways, but people want marijuana legal just to get high and that that was kind of kind of sad, although I wonder if we will see as much dope death on the road as drunken death on the road. (and years ago, I was put in the hospital by a drunk driver) …. — .. yeah, Mexican Coke and Pepsi is big in the regular grocery stores near me, in the ethnic or Mexican aisle or just on an endcap. .. – Jackie – “heavenly days” I think the only other place I’ve ever heard that expression is Fibber McGee and Molly. (it’s more pleasant than a lot of expressions I use)

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  54. Never cared for peanuts in coke, but am familiar with the practice. And… I DO remember 5 cent soft drinks (just barely!)… and then 7 cents… and horrors! They went up to 10 cents! And Fizzies were fun… along with wax bottles filled with sweet liquid… candy cigarettes… cap pistols… and hitting the strip of “caps” with a rock and making them bang…
    I’m tired of being an “adult” – I want to be a kid again!

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  55. Ah yes, those little cellophane packs of peanuts that was just enough to pour in a 6-ounce bottle of Coke. Love it!

    And the afternoon snack with my grandfather of an RC cola and a Moon Pie. Gal, I’m with you-I want to be a kid again!!

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  56. Good morning, all! This should give JJ a head full of nostalgic ideas for future strips from all we miss.

    As a kid my grandparents raised me and they mostly did until I married, out in country far removed from much of anything. I lived in books a lot, gaining a vocabulary unlike most Delta kids. In my forays outside the Delta I had teachers of English who tried to teach me “Universal English” speech to eradicate the Southern Delta, so I don’t speak like anyone else from around there.

    College continued that with speech and theater classes. My grandmother had been raised by parents who descended from the Carolinas and not long from the British Isles, but apparently my great grandfather taught including elocution.

    Not all of us sound like Hollywood’s version of Southern speech! I use a lot of very old fashioned colloquialisms when I am not cursing furiously!

    My black and white male feral cat just showed up. I had not seen him in ages. He used to be tamer but has reverted to the wild and I worry when he doesn’t show up for chow.

    Love, Jackie

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  57. Young girl from South Mississippi traveled to NYC in the summer of ’72. Visited with friends living there that attended USM. At laundry with friend and decided I wanted a coke. Went across street to a deli and when I didn’t see a sign advertising Coca~Cola, I politely asked if they had Coke. I got the strangest looks from several people in the place. I then clarified and asked for Coca~Cola. The person behind the counter promply gave me 2. Later, as I relayed this to my friend, she told me that they thought I was asking for Cocaine!

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  58. My post vanished! Just when I was ready to send it! I am going to go get dressed, collect my mother and go out to breakfast so she doesn’t keep Mike from sleeping. He has staggered up and gone back to bed.

    Love, Jackie

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  59. Jackie, accents do change, whether we try to change them or not. After five months of basic and technical training, I went home on leave en route to my first duty station. When my sister picked me up at the airport, the first thing she said to me was, “Oh no! You sound like a Yankee!”

    Speaking of cursing, that’s something else my time in the service made me proficient in. I once had a short conversation with one of my sergeants and realized he had used the f-word or a variation thereof as noun, verb and adjective…in the same sentence. If the sentence had been a bit longer, I’m sure he would have managed to use it as an adverb, also.

    In normal conversation, my speech is rather circumspect, which I’ve discovered lends quite an impact to the occasional profane word used for emphasis. And when alone, I find a hearty exclamation of “#*$@!” is an excellent way to blow off the steam caused by unintelligently buttocked drivers or those with insensitive gonads, as well as TV commentators who are so clueless that they probably have to not only have someone think for them but to dress them in the morning.

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  60. Before reading these posts, I had never heard of peanuts in Coca-Cola. Isn’t there some danger of choking on a nut while drinking? And what happens to them when the drink is finished, do you eat them, or leave them in the bottle, or what? Do tell!

    All these soft drink stories make me shake my head. Thank goodness, I’ve never gotten the soft drink habit. Drank those five cent glass bottles as a little girl, when I had the money — two or three times a week, in hot weather. Never bothered buying it when I grew up. You guys seem to enjoy it so much, and have such strong opinions on the many different kinds … makes for interesting reading, I’ll tell you! You know, it’s thought that drinking that stuff can bring on diabetes later in life; other health problems as well. Have you tried drinking milk instead?

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