Friday, November 16, 2007

A Southern Girl and Coca-Cola

"I'm asked all the time, are you like any character's in your book?
I politely respond, "not a lick!"

Knowing this isn't completely true. The only thing I readily admit is that one slight addiction of my character Savannah Phillips from my "Savannah from Savannah" series.

Savannah is a professed Coca-Cola addict. As I am. I've learned however, to add the "cola" part, because professing to be a "coke" addict has gotten me slightly in trouble on more than one occasion.
And I've run the gamut on my coca-cola addiction. It all started when my sweet tea addiction was slowly taken over by my afternoon McDonald's coke. That afternoon coke became a morning coke. And pretty soon it was all over. I found myself needing a coke, and not just any coke, but a McDonald's coke a couple times a day. Why McDonald's you ask? Well, that I even know this will tell you how sick I am, all McDonald's coke have the same calibration system. That's why when you go to any McDonald's their cokes all taste the same. Unless of course the calibration system is off, which any McDonald's coke connoisseur would know and then dump it, because it tastes plain horrible, and then they'll simply drive to another McDonald's until they find one that has successfully met McDonald's Coca-Cola "codes."

Sad......I know. Now, on top of my McDonald's coke addiction, which isn't always feasible, I had to find a way at home to enjoy the perfect coke. For a while I bought the cans, matched it with the perfect square ice I could only get up the street at the Shell station, and put it in my perfect plastic cup. Not even sure when I gave that up or why, but then found myself drinking from the small eight ounce plastic bottles. Didn't even need ice in those when you got them the perfect temperature, plus they tasted better straight out of the bottle than the metal taste from the can. And easier to travel with, because when I'd round that rather tight curve, my coke didn't end up an inch thick in the cup holder, because now I had a lid.

But then, I went and wrote "Flies on the Butter" and screwed myself all up! I remembered how my grandmother would buy the glass bottles and put them in the freezer. When she'd pop that lid that icy coke would start oozing out of the top and you'd have to catch it in your mouth. It was an "Icee" before they made machines for those kinds of things! So, one afternoon I was at a book signing and sitting in a big metal tub surrounded by ice were these perfect little glass coke bottles. "Where did you get these?" I asked as the glass bottle stuck to my fingers."Sam's." She replied with a huge smile, happy with herself for having consumed the details of my novel. I hit Sam's right after that and have been drinking from the glass bottle ever since. Yet still keep McDonald's in business whenever I'm on the road.

I'm not sure what it is about Coca-Cola. Maybe it's that first morning drink of the cold yet hot liquid as it burns its way down the back of my throat. But whatever it is I do know this, it is the perfect companion to Cheeseburgers, Pizza, Mexican food and a movie.
And a perfect companion to some of my best memories. So, next time you want to reminisce about home, grab you a coke and keep the salted peanuts out of it! That's just gross! Get you some boiled peanuts and sit in your car and enjoy both of them. Don't rush them. Just enjoy them.

And thank God for giving us good southern girls one addiction we can enjoy and admit too!"

Denise Hildreth is an author from Franklin, TN. Her stories of the south combine humor and heart. And so does her life."

1 comment:

Sun Singer said...

You DO know your Coca-Cola. If I'd known about the connection between Southern girls and Coca-Cola when I was in high school, I could have used this knowledge to attract more dates.

Tip: If you ever find yourself in need of a Coke in the Pittsburgh airport, you'll have to take a cab to the nearest McDonalds. Last time there, we asked for Coke and they looked at us like we have three eyes (which we don't) and said, "you DO mean Pepsi, don't you"? Shocking!

Malcolm Campbell