Coke: (n) A popular short term for the popular soft drink Coca Cola.

I had an explanation. I really did.

I did not wish to share it because it made me look wimpy. I don’t like to look wimpy. I don’t think I’m alone in this. All of us want to appear noble, brave and strong.

Yet a bit of wimpy lives inside each of us, and jumps out at the wrong moments, exposing us for the sniveling cowards we are.

For years I refused to drink Coca-Cola–or as my friends called it, Coke. Every once in a while I got challenged.

“Hey, man, what’s with you and the Coke thing?”

I would put on my face–a combination of perturbed and surprised. “What do you mean–Coke thing?”

This aggravated the questioner. He or she followed up by saying, “You know–the fact that you never drink Coke.”

It was an easy accusation to side-step. “I do. You just don’t see me.”

But the truth is, they were right. I did not drink Coke. I wanted to, but I desired a drink which could be guzzled–and only certain carbonated beverages could be consumed that way without burning your throat and making you cough. I was not about to share that Coke was too strong for me.

So one day, in a fit of determination to achieve normalcy, and having completed some exercise which left me hot, sweaty and thirsty, I grabbed a bottle of Coke, tilted it back and began to swill.

About three seconds into the process the Cola burned my throat. I choked and spit it out in all directions. This created alarm and humor from all bystanders. I was completely emasculated.

After the laughter calmed down, a friend took me to the side and said, “Listen. Between you and me–Coke is too hot. So here’s what I do. When they offer me a bottle of Coke, I hold it behind my back and shake it up, life my thumb from its place on the top and let off some of the steam and carbonation. I do that about three times, so when I put the Coke to my mouth and down it, I look like one of the guys.”

I was so relieved. I followed the idea completely. He was right. It worked. I was able to slurp my Coke with a big gulp. It was a little flat, having lost its carbonation.

Wait a second…

Maybe that’s how they came up with RC Cola.


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