...or, Nirvana in a 20 oz. bottle...
I am so very happy. It doesn't take much these days, you know. A beautiful Sunday afternoon, cool and breezy... a drive out of Bethesda and away from Mouseland. I decided to trek to IKEA to see if they had any bedroom dressers in their "As-Is" room. (No. Not on a busy Sunday. The "As-Is" Room looked like a cow in piranha-infested waters.) But I just kept driving past IKEA, down Baltimore Avenue, enjoying the music and the sun and the wind.
And suddenly I was in Laurel. Jeez. Halfway to Baltimore. I gotta pay more attention. Gas ain't cheap, Merujo, ya moron!
I was a little hungry, so I stopped at Einstein Bros. Bagels to grab a quick bite before they closed. It's Mother's Day, so the place was empty (and I think the two kids running it were pissed that I came in 15 minutes 'til closing.) I went to grab a Diet Coke from their cooler, and that's when it happened. I think I may have seen the face of God. I definitely heard angels sing.
Okay, that's a little over the top, but still...
Coca-Cola has come out with a new version of Diet Coke. This one is sweetened with Splenda, as opposed to aspertame, which is the standard stuff in most sugar-free soft drinks. Einstein Bros. had both the traditional Diet Coke and this new stuff (with a spiffy blue bottlecap and blue & yellow highlights on the label.) So, I buy one. What the hell. An investment of $1.19 to satisfy my curiosity.
Two Christmases back, in Tulum, Mexico, I bought a bottle of Mexican Diet Coke. It was amazing. Tasted and smelled just like regular sugared Coke. Everywhere I went, I got a Diet Coke with my meal. I was so highly caffeinated by the end of the week, I'm pretty sure I had visible jitters radiating throughout the water to the poor sea creatures around me when I snorkeled. (They probably thought I was Aquaman's white trash wife, trying lamely to summon the fish.) But, still, for someone who can't do the sugar thang, life was good.
So, what a disappointment to come back to crap-crap-crappity Amur'can Diet Coke once I hit Texas. Bleech. After the Mexican stuff, it tasted like shite. So, I switched to Diet Pepsi - and water. Lots of water. Which is better for me, anyway. But you know, sometimes you just miss the taste of Coca-Cola. I know it sounds stupid, but there it is.
So, imagine my amazement when I discovered that this new Diet Coke with Splenda is the same as the Mexican stuff! Whoo-flippin-hoo! When I opened the bottle, the first thing that hit me was the smell. Coke. Real Coke. And the flavor? Just about as close to The Real Thing as you're likely to get without sugar.
Thank you, Jesus!
Diet Coke with Splenda.
I'm such a big dork, I actually called three of my sisters to rave. "Happy Mother's Day! Omigod there's a new Diet Coke and it tastes like REAL Coke!" And yes, because they are big dorks just like me, they were just as excited. Christmas for the Middle-Aged. I know I looked like a total freak, sitting the parking lot of a closed Einstein Bros., on my cellphone, snorting the scent of Diet Coke out the top of the bottle. But, man, it was good.
Like I said, doesn't take much to make me happy. And, though it feels a little strange, let me thank a huge corporation. Coke People: god bless you. It's a little bit of heaven. And, if you stop making this now, my head may explode.
And no one wants that, right?
I've just read this over. Man, I am such a huge dork.
But I'm okay with that. :-)