Monday, January 17, 2011

Human Nature and Pepsi


I suppose it is just human nature that someone with a bottle of Pepsi sitting around an animal is going to get the idea of giving the cola to the animal to see what the animal thinks. This picture found in my grandparent's slides which I am gradually scanning into digital format for my parents depicts my grandfather moments after having that very same thought. I'm not a 'Horse Whisperer' by any means but if I were to sleep at a Holiday Inn Express tomorrow, I would say that the horse enjoyed the drink.

I am not immune to such thoughts and distinctly remember intently looking at my daughter's facial expression as she took her first sip of Pepsi. Although I don't remember the actual expression, I'm sure I was amused followed closely by thoughts of how I am going to prevent her from wanting a sip of my Pepsi from here on out. I've been pretty unsuccessful at preventing her sipping my Pepsi whenever I have one but I'm still trying to keep her from wanting more than a sip until she is much older and I've been successful in that endeavor.

Back before a wife, kids and everything else that goes with responsibility, I was just a boy with a dog who was thirsty and an ice cold pop in my hands. We were working on a construction project and after rummaging around, I found a lid off of something and poured a little Pepsi onto it for my dog Ted to lap up which he obediently did. He would get three or four licks in before his tongue would start tingling causing him to pause a second or two which he spent wisely licking his chops and whiskers for any beads of that amber nectar of the gods that he was now hopelessly addicted too. Thus began his long downward spirals into the depths of Pepsi addiction.

Soon it became common practice during our breaks on the construction crew to 'ante up' by pouring a little bit of our Pepsi into Ted's bowl which somehow made its way up to the construction site. By the time everyone had given him some of their Pepsi, Ted would have as much or more than any one of us did. I fully suspect that is why we gradually transitioned from the 10-ounce bottles up to the 16-ounce ones. I also suspect that my brother became an aficionado of Mt. Dew which we soon discovered that Ted didn't like. Ted didn't get the luxury of a long life but I also suspect that had he lived a normal life expectancy for a dog, he would probably have had a two or three bottle a day habit by the end.

For a few years after Ted died, you could still get 16-ounce bottles of Pepsi though they were quickly going the way of the 8-track and soon to follow cassette tape. I don't think I ever drank a bottle of Pepsi during those few years without thinking of Ted slurping up his share. Perhaps it was the transition of Pepsi from bottles to tin cans that tainted it to the point it never tasted the same, my transition from the full strength stuff to the diet version, or just the natural transition of life as the years pass us by but the memories of Ted drinking Pepsi left me until I saw the picture above. I am/was positive that I once blogged about Ted's Pepsi addiction once before but I certainly can't find the evidence so I am righting a wrong by doing so now. Perhaps one day before I cash in my chips, I will take one of my antique 8-ounce hourglass bottles full of that amber cola off the dusty shelf of the farmhouse, pop the top, and pour the whole bottle of it over Ted's grave and give him his first whole bottle, perhaps two of them so that he could at least get up to the standards we had before they faded away altogether.

10 comments:

sage said...

From this post, I learn that in the great American divide (not republicans vs democrats, coservatives vs liberals, but the one that truly matters, Pepsi vs Coke), the Ed Abbey family is strongly in the Pepsi camp.

That's a great photo and I don't drink nearly as much soft drinks today as I did when they were in glass... At the bar near where I was in Costa Rica, they had bottle pop and I drank several bottles (when I could have had a bottle of beer), savoring the experience.

R. Sherman said...

I was thinking the same thing as Sage, i.e. Coke v. Pepsi. (We're Coke drinkers normally.) I do miss the glass bottles though. Cans and plastic just don't do Coke justice.

Cheers.

Ed said...

Sage - Back when my brother was in Costa Rica, he said most cola was served in a plastic bag with a straw.

I keep hoping that the green movement will force manufacturers to go back to glass bottles that are easily washed and reused. What I would pay for an ice cold glass bottle of Pepsi.

Ed said...

R. Sherman - They certainly don't.

TC said...

This post reminds me of when I was little, and my Aunt and Uncle used to come visit frequently during the summer. My uncle had a can of beer outside, and he left it sit on the back porch to do something with my brother I think, and my dog found it and drank it. (Yes, he was really coordinated: he turned it up and drank it.)

While it's certainly not GOOD for a dog I'm sure, it sure was funny to see him a little tipsy :)

Bone said...

Longtime Coke drinker here, first-time commenter. (OK, not really.)

I agree that the larger bottles and cans were never as good as the little glass bottles.

Now I'm craving a little Coca-Cola and a bag of barbecue pork skins.

Vince said...

Pepsi in my younger days was a good drink but nowadays it's gone very sweet in that cloying way. Nonetheless it's part of the flavour of childhood trips to the beach along with Banana sandwiches with coral sand as the condiment.

Ed said...

TC - I've had lots of fun watching drunk people stumble around so I can only imagine.

Bone - Isn't Coke the official drink of the south?

Vince - I can't stand the sweetness either so I switched to the diet version a long time ago.

Bone said...

I think so.

Although Mountain Dew makes a pretty strong showing, too.

Murf said...

I love Ted stories.

Glass bottled pop can still be found at Mexican grocery stores. I don't know about Pepsi but I know they have Coke. Thank you NAFTA!