I am not addicted to Coke

I’m not addicted to Coke. I simply enjoy a hit or two every few hours.

So what if I take two litre bottles to dinner parties in case my friends don’t have any in their fridge? They should have the decency to stock up in anticipation of my arrival—I can’t understand which household can go without it.

Forget the white stuff that got Sheryl Cwele convicted, Coca-Cola keeps me going.

I have no idea when my love affair with the 125-year-old holy drink started.
All I know is that my love, need and desire for it has grown tremendously—so much so that often it’s the only thing you’ll find in my house. The drink has been barred from my parents’ house, so when I visit they have to deal with a daughter that constantly disappears to get her fix at the local spaza shop and keeps an emergency 500ml bottle under the car seat.

And yes, there’s a rational thought process to why I keep Coke close to me.

You’ll often find a little bit of it in a mug—yes, a mug, because it tastes best that way—next to my bed for the morning. Forget coffee—Coke does me fine AND it quenches my thirst in super quick time. While preparing lunch I grab a can from my pantry to take to work so I can save money. Buying a can from a garage is much more expensive. Win-win situations for me.

My colleagues are convinced I’m addicted to Coke. When I snap at someone for being stupid (which is often the reason of my irritability, NOT cold turkey), the first thing they ask is whether I have had any and if they should get me some. I’m not sure whether they’re being kind or are just scared, but I’m still happy to accept it.

My colleagues tipped me off this might actually be much more than an innocent choice of drink. Perhaps the epiphany dawned after I asked them to bring me my bottled heaven when they went out for lunch and instead they bought me 750ml of Grapetizer. Why would they do that? Grapetizer reminds me of the Holy Communion. I associate the drink with the blood of Christ.

However once I realised the lengths they would go through to wean me off my “habit”, I decided that, yes, this could have serious health implications. A visit to a dentist once revealed that I needed 14 fillings! The feeling of horror faded as my pocket recovered and the fear of another visit to the dentist subsided.

I then weighed up the pros and cons. One, don’t tell me how good drinking water would be and how good it would be for my skin. I have amazing skin. The sugar has not caused acne, so don’t even try and use that, and two, I also discovered tonnes of wonderful ways to use Coke. No, I didn’t Google “good uses for Coke”, it was a Google ad. I promise.

Besides those unavoidable facts, let me state that liquid is liquid. I feel perfectly hydrated, thank you.

Do you know someone whose coughing is setting your teeth on edge? Suggest the Coca-Cola remedy. When I shared the information with a colleague who had been struggling with a cough for weeks, I was told how disgusting it was and that she was “worried” about me. If one needs further proof, a colleague’s dear grandmother gave her this nugget of advice too. We all know home remedies are better, so I’ll keep my Coke for medicinal uses too.

One thing that I can admit is that I will probably pay the price at some point, but for now this makes me happy. So happy that I can’t stop. But I could have had worse habits, right?

Rhodé Marshall

Rhodé Marshall

Rhodé Marshall is the Mail & Guardian's arts, culture and entertainment content producer. She started as a radio reporter and producer in Cape Town, before jumping into online news. When there is chaos, she is the responsible, cool and calm one. With one hand glued to her phone and the other to a can of Coca-Cola, she is a pop culture junkie. And don't you dare write her name without the accent on the e, she will make sure that you know how to do it on every device. Visit her blog: rhodemarshall.co.za Read more from Rhodé Marshall

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