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Today is my seventh day with no soda. This is the longest I've gone without in at least a decade. The million times I tried to quit before, I've never made it past three or four days without migraines, depression, exhaustion and a startlingly rapid collapse of willpower.

I knew all the reason for giving up: the caffeine and phosphorus leaching calcium from my bones, the 20 teaspoons of sugar in a 20-oz bottle adding 250 worthless calories, the water-retention, the bladder irritation, the financial support of an evil multinational corporation that seeks to make every child on the planet fat and wired and addicted and forces its vending machines into public schools in exchange for funding programs that the government keeps hacking away at. But every new year's day I would quit, and every Jan. 5, I'd be back in my dealer's convenience store getting another hit of bubbly brown poison.

So what did it this time, you probably aren't asking? It wasn't the 3am Labor Day emergency room visit with a raging bladder infection, during which I was pissing blood and in complete agony and forced to watch portions of the MDA Telethon. It wasn't the realization that I was exhibiting the classic addict's symptom of hoarding when I brought several bottles of Coke along on a work retreat because the Foundation's vending machines only sell Pepsi. It wasn't reading Eric Schlosser's brilliant Fast Food Nation, (though that did make me rejoice once again in my vegetarianism). And, sadly, it wasn't the four teeth I had to have filled last year, three on the same day in an ordeal we shall not mention again.

It was because I learned this. The high-fructose corn syrup that makes Coke so tasty is made from genetically modified corn. This shouldn't have come as that much of a surprise, but I mean, bogue! That freaks me right the fuck out!

So, quitting was surprisingly easy this time. No migraines, no cravings. Hooray! Those bone-chewing bubbles and monster corn are no longer my friends.

But you -- you are my friends, no?

(Sorry this post was so preachy and weird, but seriously, I've been trying to quit drinking pop for years, and I think I might make it this time. Not as great an accomplishment as kicking heroin or switching to Independent so the Republicans lose their majority in the Senate perhaps, but still.)

Replies: 8 Confessions

I'm... I'm still your friend!

But I got pinkeye.

jima @ 01/09/2002 08:04 AM CST

Even as a carnivore, I loved Fast Food Nation - I just read the second edition, which has follow-up to his critics, including apologies for not getting into genetically-altered vegetables and expanding on the changes his book has wrought.

good stuff!

good luck with your fight against caffeine! it's worth it!

heather @ 01/09/2002 10:21 AM CST

Well, thank you, nice lady.

amyc @ 01/09/2002 11:00 AM CST

Good for you! Portland's very friendly toward "Your Kind". We like you, here, even more than when you were an addict.

(What about Juan Valdez? Is he a GMO?)

Charlie @ 01/09/2002 11:54 AM CST

Wow, I guess I wasn't kidding. I checked my local library for that book and *ALL* 2-dozen copies are either OUT or HELD.

Charlie @ 01/09/2002 12:05 PM CST

It's worth the $12 investment, Charlie -- just don't read it at the dinner table.

amyc @ 01/09/2002 12:41 PM CST

ooh - I was lucky to get it half off , 'cause I work for the company that published it.

but it was worth the $6. honest.

heather @ 01/09/2002 01:25 PM CST

A bargain at half the price!

jima @ 01/09/2002 02:16 PM CST

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