My Addiction to Soft Drinks

There are two things I can honestly say that I have an addiction to:

Flashlights and Soft Drinks.

Because of these two addictions, I have become well versed on subjects pertaining to flashlights and soft drinks.

I have written numerous times about flashlights, but this will be the first time I ever write anything of length about soft drinks.

I have been addicted to soft drinks since about 2006 at the age of nineteen.

It started when I worked for my local Winn Dixie and would haul buggies and groceries for the customers.

Many times I would get tips, which I would use to buy a can of Chek soft drink from the vending machine outside.

These drinks were only 25 Cents a can and I must say that Chek Soft drinks are better than some of the national brands, especially their Creme Soda.

Chek is also much better than Best Choice/Always Save, Shur Fine, Sam’s Choice, Clover Valley, and Faygo soft drinks. I cannot think of a store brand or budget brand of soft drink that is better than Chek. I really cannot understand why Winn Dixie does so poorly, maybe they should just specialize in their Chek soft drinks and become a full-time soda company. I really miss Winn Dixie and eschew the fact that there aren’t anymore immediately around here.

So at the age of nineteen is when my addiction to soft drinks began.

It’s strange that it didn’t start sooner because there were almost always soft drinks in the house growing up, mostly Coke, Cherry 7Up and a few Shur Fine sodas.

My soon to be ex-in-laws and my soon to be ex-wife all drink Coke like it is going out of style because they claim Pepsi is “too sweet.”

There is a basis behind that claim and it is that Pepsi, both American and Mexican is made with cane sugar, whereas American Coke is made with high fructose corn syrup. Mexican Coke is indeed made with cane sugar, but I find Mexican Pepsi has the superior taste over Mexican Coke. However, Pepsi’s sweetness is one of the attributes that give it the superior taste.

The Cola Wars have had some impact on me and I can now say with total confidence that I find Pepsi to be the superior cola, although there were times when I did drink Coke more frequently (I’ll elaborate on that in a bit.)

In my very early childhood, we were only allowed to drink soft drinks on the weekends.

My first favorite soft drink, from early childhood to age nine was Sprite.

My dad also frequently drank either Sprite or 7UP.

Then I had briefly preferred Dr. Pepper.

In August of 1996, at the age of nine and almost three quarters, I had discovered that Pepsi was the best tasting Cola because, at the time, it was indeed made with “Raw Louisiana Sugar.” Some of the raw sugar used in sweetening Pepsi was produced at the sugar factory in my own hometown of Raceland, Louisiana. American Coke since 1985 or so has been sweetened with HFCS. That’s two years before I was born. If American Coke would have continued using Cane Sugar, my Paw Paw could have very well not lost his foreman job at the sugar factory in Mathews, Louisiana, because Coke was planning to buy that factory, but the deal went south and the factory shut down. I’m not saying he’d still be employed at the age of ninety-three going on ninety-four, but he probably would have worked into his late eighties. He did indeed raise cattle and produce until the age of eighty-nine.

The Cola Wars were and are still responsible for some great moments in stupidity.

And in the Cola Wars, Royal Crown Cola is totally left out.

I find R.C. tastes definitely better than Coke and almost as good as Pepsi.

It’s also usually the cheapest of all name brand Colas, yet it isn’t widely available like Coke or Pepsi.

An example of great stupidity in the Cola Wars is at certain schools only Pepsi or Coke products can be sold on the campus. In schools with no uniforms, I’ve heard of a student getting suspended for wearing a shirt bearing the Pepsi logo at a school where only Coke products were allowed.

This could almost also be an example of capitalism turning into communism in my book.

Both the high school and community college I graduated from were only allowed to carry Coke products.

I was and am not happy about this.

I visited my high school in March of 2017 and purposely brought two twenty ounce bottles of Diet Pepsi on campus. Aside from a few laughs, I didn’t really spark any controversy.

This is why:
In my humble honest opinion, Pepsi Cola tastes better than Coca-Cola the same thing goes for both their Cherry and Vanilla variants, Tropicana Orange Juice tastes better than Minute Maid Orange Juice, Gatorade tastes much better than Powerade, Mug Root Beer tastes slightly better than Barqs Root Beer, although A&W Root Beer beats both of them.

The only time I prefer a Coke product over a Pepsi product is I prefer Diet Coke over Diet Pepsi, but diet soft drinks are even more detrimental to one’s health than regular soft drinks. However, Diet Coke is extremely addictive and it is my go to soft drink when I am trying to cut out the sugar. I had one high school teacher refer to it as “liquid crack.”

Coke is, unfortunately, more prevalent in my area, because of it’s better marketing campaign strategy, as I have stated before I find Pepsi products of a higher quality than Coke.

Believe it or not, in the Fall of 2006, I became a Coke drinker. This is because a 20 ounce Coke was available for only $1 in the vending machines at the community college I was attending.

Then in January of 2007, I met my soon to be ex-wife and her family, all Coke drinkers as I stated before.

In early 2008, I had a strong fascination with military technology. Also, my local video store was going out of business and they were selling off movies at bargain prices. I had purchased “Behind Enemy Lines” on DVD and it became one of my favorite movies. Well, it was one of my favorites, I still like the movie, but now I don’t care for the attempt to generate Islamic sympathy, especially since it was released just a few weeks after 9/11, and I definitely don’t like Owen Wilson’s brazenly excessive taking of God’s Name in vain. However, I am very fascinated by military technology, especially that from the 1980s and 1990s and that movie showed it very accurately and in great detail. There was the part when the Muslim refugees gave Owen Wilson’s character a twenty-ounce bottle of Coke because he was dehydrated from being on the run, to which he sipped it and said, “It’s good…it’s good.” Every time I drank Coke out of a twenty-ounce bottle, I would reenact that scene

I would remain a Coke drinker until about April of 2010 when I ate at a Kentucky Fried Chicken for the first time in about fifteen years and thoroughly enjoyed their Colonel’s Original Recipe Chicken. I washed it down with a Pepsi from their soda fountain tap.

What makes me angry is that now in order to eat at a KFC, I have to drive or get a ride and travel about 55 miles away to eat at the closest one.

Almost everyone around me prefers Coke over Pepsi and they do not care for KFC. I cannot understand why.

I know I am a Louisiana native and resident plus Louisiana definitely has a place in my heart, but durn it, sometimes I feel so out of place and it is more than just my food and drink preference.

Pepsi is carried at KFC, Pizza Hut, Applebee’s and other restaurants that I cannot think of right now. I prefer these places not only because they carry Pepsi but the food is better. KFC makes the best-fried chicken hands down, Pizza Hut is by far and definitely Superior to Dominio’s, Applebees is mostly better than Chili’s, except for a few dishes.

I will admit that while Pepsi goes well with KFC chicken, at the same time, Coke goes well with Popeye’s Chicken.

There is a local fried chicken establishment in my area known as Sunrise Fried Chicken and Seafood. I absolutely enjoy their chicken even though people look at me like I am crazy when I say so. Their chicken pieces are so big, tender and juicy, the breading is perfectly crispy and even though they aren’t spiced heavily as other fried chicken establishments the chicken still has a pretty good flavor. It really hits the spot, at least for me. Sunrise had historically carried Pepsi products for years but now, unfortunately, they carry Coke products. This is a huge mistake in my opinion, but no one [important enough] will listen to me. Sunrise Chicken tastes great with a Pepsi, not so much with a Coke. Sunrise also used to make fairly decent white beans and they even sold Jalapeno peppers, but now they no longer sell the white beans. They still sell red beans, though. I think the company was in dire financial straits and whoever bought them out made those changes. I plan to write a piece exclusively about Sunrise Fried Chicken and Seafood but only those from my area would fully appreciate it, even though some would still look at me like I am crazy. What would really be nice is if there would be a fried chicken that was the size of Sunrise pieces and had the blend of herbs and spices Colonel Sanders used.

Eleven years prior to me writing this piece, which I am writing in July of 2018, I had drunk a Wild Cherry Pepsi for the first time. I had no idea it would become my favorite soft drink, years later. I was a Coke drinker at the time in July 2007, but for whatever reason, I had some change on me and was shopping on foot on MLK Boulevard in Bayou Cane (Houma), Louisiana. I was at Wal Mart and purchased a can of Wild Cherry Pepsi from the vending machine. I guess I was impressed by the taste because I remember getting angry at the Radio Shack employees for making me get rid of my drink while shopping in their store. I didn’t show my anger towards them, because I was a loyal Radio Shack customer, however, I definitely vented to my then girlfriend and later my family members.

I cannot remember when I started to drink it on the regular, but now in 2018 and since about 2016, I cannot go more than a few days without drinking Wild Cherry Pepsi and be in any comfort or ease. Not only that, I find that drinking it can cure my writer’s block and it has several times. I drank a good bit of it prior to writing this piece, actually.

If there is no Wild Cherry Pepsi immediately available, I will drink other soft drinks. Usually, it begins with me muttering to myself “I need a [soft] drink.” “Soft” is in brackets because I usually just say, “I need a drink.” However, people have assumed and still do assume that I want alcohol when they overhear me mutter that statement. I do have the potential to become addicted to alcohol, but right now I am just addicted to soft drinks and aside from hindering my total weight loss, the addiction is beneficial such as helping me write and slightly boosting my mood, without the motor function impairment and other problems that consumption of alcohol ultimately causes.

For now, my addiction to soft drinks is generally harmless, but I’ve been told by a competent physician that sugar is equally addictive as Cocaine. Should I become diabetic, I’ll have to quit drinking soft drinks altogether.

On a side note:
I’ve only smoked once in my life and I didn’t finish the one cigarette I smoked. However, I do have dreams that I am smoking and thoroughly enjoying it.

There was a guy I worked with who rolled his own smokes. He would carry his tobacco and papers on him and whenever he had a chance would roll one up and smoke it.

I began to want a cigarette while seeing him do that.

However, I learned to keep a bag of orange slices or cherry slices candies on me and every time I see him roll and light up, I would grab a piece of candy from my pocket and eat one.

Earlier today, I discovered another one of those cheap candies and that is Cherry Sours. I’m going to start carrying those on me as well.

Now this concludes my piece because I need a [soft] drink.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained…

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