Dec 4, 2007

Smiling Polar Bear Cubs...

Coke vs. Pepsi: As a kid I didn't really care but if I had to choose I'd pick Coke. In college and the early years of our marital bliss, the Cat Daddy and I preferred Pepsi. In recent years, however, I've slipped back toward Coke. Everyone says Pepsi is 'sweeter,' which I sort of agree with, except I don't think 'sweeter' is the precise term. The flavor is just different, which most know is attributed to Pepsi's citrus flavor-base versus Coke's vanilla one. And I swear Coke helps with nausea. Pepsi--not so much.

As for the Cat Daddy, he's completely crossed over to the dark side of diet sodas. That's one place I'll never go. Never, I say! Artificial sweeteners and I don't get along very well. Even dice with me. The lone exception is sugarless gum; everything else I'll just do without before consuming the sugarless version.

A few years ago, when the Cat Daddy deployed to the desert, I was taking him to the airport. It was a cold, November night at some ungodly hour, like 2am. I had gone to bed early to get some rest, and then as we began the ride to the airport I brought along a Hot Pocket and a Coke as a pick-me-up. I figured, since I was saying goodbye to him for 4 months and all, that I'd earned them. I remember very little of what we talked about that night, but I distinctly remember saying "This is the best Coke I've ever had." And the Cat Daddy said something like "It's because it's nighttime. Everything tastes better after midnight." I think I remember him saying there was some sort of scientific basis, but it was 2am, so I might've dreamed it; who knows.

WELL, this weekend I was grocery shopping and had a wicked headache. The kind of headache that needs ibuprofen to feel better, but that caffeine tends to help as well. And even though it was about 4pm, way after my normal lunchtime cutoff for caffeine consumption, I marched over to the cooler and grabbed a bottle of Coke for the ride home. Hit the self checkout, then walked out into the crisp night air (because night comes around 4pm here these days), twisting off the cap and taking my first swig.

Now normally when I get a 20 oz bottle, I try to drink half and save the rest for later, but this time I downed the whole thing within the 15-minute drive home. I didn't even bother trying to stop myself. The taste rivaled that of the Coke of November 2003, on the way to the airport when the Cat Daddy deployed. It was that good.

And then I realized the common denominator. Grandma likes a cold beer on a hot day...and I like an icy-cold Coke on an icy-cold night. I like to think it's something about the air pressure, or the smell of snow or something, but who knows. I do remember that in neither instance was I drinking directly out of a can. The 2003 Coke came from a can, but I drank it from a cup (and on the rocks). Cans are fine, but for a fuller Coke experience you can't go wrong with glasses and/or bottles. Or--even better--glass bottles.

I always thought the Coke ads with the polar bears were a little unrealistic, but now I know otherwise--Coke and winter nights go together just fine!

So see what you think...cold Coke on a cold night (below freezing if possible, but definitely sub-40 degrees. Make sure you're bundled up and enjoy!

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