Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Drinks, Alcoholic and Otherwise

You may be able to rid your first aid kit of Syrup of Ipecac if you keep Mountain Dew on hand.

I realized last night as I was writing about drinking Grape Crush from the stash that my mom bought in mass quantity that I'm giving others the opinion that I drink sugary drinks the way my dog drinks water.  I don't. No one in my family does. We tend to have large quantitites of the stuff oin hand, particularly in the summer, for entertainment purposes, but I don't drink it on a regular basis. I drink water when I'm thirsty. I drink real lemonade for a few extra calories and also because it's good for slowing kidney stone formation. I drink soda when I go out for a meal if I don't feel like having water. I drink seven up or ginger ale sometimes if my stomach is upset. I otherwise drink maybe one or two sodas a week at home.

When my brother and I were really little, we only got soda when we went out to dinner or when we had road trips, and it could not be caffeinated soda. Once in awhile my parents would mistakenly buy fruit-flavored soda that had caffeine in it, but such such screw-ups were rare. They didn't worry about what we ate or drank at birthday parties or in general at other people's  homes, but if they happened to find out that any friend's parent offered unlimited access to sugar, we rarely got to go to that friend's house.

Once we turned twelve, they ceased to worry about whether or not the soda that we ordered had caffeine in it. Once we got into high school, they  actually bought soda that was kept at our house, which we were allowed to have on Saturday nights as long as we had milk for dinner. By the time we were fifteen or so, we were allowed to offer soda to our friends and have some ourselves when we were entertaining.

Now, if a person looked inside our garage, that person would conclude that we probably brush our teeth with carbonated beverages, possibly bathe or shower with the stuff, pour it in the dog's water dish, use it as an all-purpose cleaner, and possibly even pour it in our swimming pool. Last night when my uncle was here, I counted 214 bottles of the various Crushes, root beer, Coke,  Pepsi, and Mountain Dew, about which I will say more momentarily. That didn't take into account the six-packs of regular-sized and mini-sized cans of Seven-up, Pepsi,  Coke, Dr, Pepper, and a few miscellaneous diet drinks. My uncle says we're good Mormons in one regard: we have at least a two-year supply of carbonated soft drinks for our family. (There's even more in the refigerators and the bar.)  Mormons are supposed to maintain a two-year-supply of food, water, other drinks, and any necessary supplies. We're compliant on the soft drink front even though we're not  Mormons. We have that covered.

We have a little more of everything than we did in northern California, both because our house is bigger and we have more storage space and because we are, as far as anyone knows, a little closer to the worst of earthquake country, so it's not a bad idea to have a couple months of life's basic necessities on hand. We don't have a  two year supply  of anything other than sodas and maybe toothpaste, which we seem to accumulate at a ridiculous rate.  Otherwise, we could probably eat for a few months on what we have in the house. We wouldn't necessarily be eating all that well, but we could sustain ourselves for two to three months.

Regarding Mountain Dew, I don't quite know where to begin.  My mom saw a large stack of bottles of Mountain Dew in the grocery store being sold for a rather inexpensive price. There's a reeason for that. If  a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.Neither Matthew nor I had ever tasted Mountain Dew, so we put a few bottles in the fridge and had some one Saturday night. (Old traditions die hard.) Matthew ran to the sink and spit his mouthful of Mountain Dew out. I'm not quite so crass; I swallowed mine, but it gave me a headache for the rest of the night because it was so vile.  My mother started to complain because no one was drinking the Mountain Dew. My dad reminded her that no one in the family had asked for it, but that didn't shut her up. I tried bringing a couple of bottles in at a time, opening them, and pouring them down the kitchen  drain, but once I did not exercise sufficient caution.  Just as I was rinsing the second bottle, I noticed my mom standing inside the pantry watching my every move. She went ballistic.

I eventually learned that while my friends didn't actually like the stuff, Meredith, Jared, and Alyssa could be bribed to drink it at a rate of $1 per bottle. That was probably the single saddest thing about my breakup with Jared. He's still around occasionally, but for awhile he was at our house every day, and he was good for two bottles of the stuff a day at a bare minimum. He's  6'6" and not necessarily finished growing, and has to find calories anywhere he can in order to avoid looking like a skeleton. Anyway, the vile fluid that my mom got at such a bargain rate has ended up costing me six bucks per six-pack in order  to make it disappear. Great deal you got there, Mom. I think we're down to about three six-packs. I cannot  for the life of  me figure out how the company stays in business by producing a beverage that tastes like . . . I will not even say what it tastes like. Ask my brother. He'll gladly tell you.

No one in my house drinks diet sodas because we're mostly a little thinner than we'd like to be. If weight isn't an issue, the stuff put into diet sodas is probably worse for a person than the high fructose corn syrup, although that can exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, both of which I have, . Most of the Pepsi that I drink has real sugar as its sweetening ingredient. I tend to drink that when I'm not drinking Grape Crush.  If  I heard from a reliable source that Grape Criush was sweetened with heroin, I'd probably drink it anyway. Besides, my mom bought the last five known six-packs of it in the county. We consumed almost two six-packs yesterday. We sent an additional six-pack with my delightful Uncle Lee. I counted fourteen bottles of it tonight.

I took two of the fourteen bottles to hide in the refrigerator in my room. I'll probably try to save them and take them with me to medical school. If I ever have a truly rough day there, a bottle of Grape Crush might make things better. If I were more like most people my age, I'd squirrel away some alcohol for such days, but I don't honestly like the stuff.  I'm sure Matthew will take enough booze to make it look like both of us are bona fide alcoholics, but he's not necessarily a problem drinker, either. He likes to get a good buzz once in awhile, but he never gets behind the wheel of a car after consuming even one drink, because the legal limit is .0000 for anyone under twenty-one.

I will take Guinness, because I still consume two half-bottles a week for weight gain or at least maintenance purposes. . I was mildly concerned about the local authorities busting our house and arresting me for possession of Guinness and Matthew for possession of the entire liquor store's worth of alcoholic beverages that Matthew will probably have. My dad said that as long as our condo doesn't become the party headquarters of the region for underage drinkers, and as long as neighbors have no reason to complain to authorities, my Guinness should fly under the radar easily enough. Almost everyone in medical school will be over twenty-one, so there will be no incentive to hang out with a couple of nineteen-year-olds just to gain access to our booze when nearly everyone else can walk into a store and buy whatever they want to drink.

Furthermore, he said, he and my mom are the legal owners of the condo. They have a right to keep alcohol there. If Matthew starts to show up for classes and labs hung over every morning, someone might have reason to complain, but otherwise no one should  care. We're surrounded by mostly young families and married or cohabitating couples who don't care what we do as long as we don't bother them.

We're not exactly going to be the "in crowd"' in our medical school class. I can't speak for Matthew, but I'll be happy even to be ignored by the others as long as I'm not picked on or excluded for study groups. I have no intention of using alcohol to be popular. That wasn't even done when I attended university; that was a high school sort of thing to do, except I wasn't given that much freedom in high school.

Right now I'm going on and on about soda and booze for no good reason except that I'm procrastinating because I don't want to blog about the end of "Judge Alex" the TV show. Judge Alex the person still lives and thrives..


  1. I hate Mountain Dew, but some people love it. It's too sweet for me. I don't like HCFS, but I will admit that until a couple of years ago, I was addicted to Diet Pepsi. Now I drink water, beer , and wine... and the odd sugar sweetened soda. In Germany, there is no HFCS. ;)

  2. The evilHFCS! It is almost unknown here but unfortunately sneaking into more foods especially those that appeal to the young .

    A couple of years back my daughter-adult-and living on the other side of the country had to give up her dream job and come home to sort out a tangle of medical problems. I'm sure you can relate. Endometriosis-sorted, IBS- sorted. Still not completely better. Gastroenterologist and dietician- fructose intolerance.fructose avoidance diet- sorted.

    So we all went fora much deserved vacation. Skiing in Canada, touristy things inCanada the parts of the US. Things she ate and more important,y DRANK inCanada with no problem caused havoc in the States. Readthefine print. HFCS in them.

    1. it's a big deal in the states to find non HFCS drinks that haven't been imported from Mexico. The ones from Mexico might be fine, but because they put lead in some of their candy, I'm a little leery about what they do with soft drinks.

    2. German Coke is made with sugar! ;-)