Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ode to Diet Coke


Back in 1998 when I attended my first Exponent Retreat, I hid from the woman organizing the talent show. I am not saying I am a talent less loser, but my talents are not so easily showcased. I am one of the only Mormon women on the planet who does not sing and/or play a musical instrument. Other people CLAIM they don't play piano, but what they really mean is "I took piano for 3 years but I'm not comfortable playing in public." When I say it I mean it. No Heart and Soul. No Chopsticks. I can't even read music.

But the Exponent talent show was not what I imagined. One woman read funny poems. Another belly danced. Sure there was traditional singing, but there was also Lou with her guitar playing a Reba McEntire version of "Let us Oft Speak Kind Words to Each Other" that had me in stitches. So at the end when Cheryl asked if anyone else wanted to share a talent, I got up and sang my Mormon version of the Brady Bunch theme:

It's a story, of a special Lady,
Who was bringing up 3 very special girls.
All of them read the Book of Mormon like their mother,
The D&C, and The Pearl.

It's a story, of a Bishop named Hansen
who was bringing up 3 righteous Eagle Scouts
All of them were up by 5 to go to seminary
and do their paper routes.

Til at the Storehouse when this sister met this bishop,
and the Holy Ghost gave them a little hunch,
That in Zion they'd become an eternal family.
That's the way they all became the Hansen Bunch...

It started an annual tradition for me of making up wacky lyrics and then cajoling my buddies into making fools of themselves with me.

This last August while at Girls Camp, I came up with an ode to Diet Coke. I've always loved my brown beverages. My Uncle George gave me my first taste of Dr. Pepper when I was 4 and I spent a better part of the 80's chugging Big Gulps of Dr. P or Coke to get thru high school and college. But I never fully appreciate the magical healing properties of my fizzy drinks until I had kids. After kid #2 I started calling Diet Coke "Nap in a Can." There are days when I'm running on 4 hours of rest and as Frost said, "have miles to go before I sleep." I pop open a can and just that sound alone starts my synapses firing. Dave is a much bigger Diet Coke junkie than I am. While I wonder from Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper (aka "triple threat") and Coke Zero, he is absolute in his devotion to plain old Diet Coke. Do not buy him a citrus "this-tastes-like-lemon-Pledge" variety. Do not put a shot of regular Coke in his cup at Costco. And do not run out. No no. Bad. Very bad.

And if you are one of those people who swear that Diet Coke from the fountain tastes different from the bottled stuff, you are not crazy. When it's on tap they add our old friend saccharine to the mix. It helps stabilize it. In our town, White Hen Pantry is the one place to get fountain cokes. And I swear the Mormon Mommies are the most frequent customers. I pop in there once a week (while we have no year supply of wheat or powdered milk, we do have a mountain of 12 packs in our garage. People randomly stop by for a drink. Sometimes they stay and chat, sometimes not. It's all good.). Every time I go in I see a Honda Odyssey in the lot and know one of my sistas is getting her Diet Coke fix. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Our performance was awesome. 2 of us wore Diet Coke t-shirts that we had randomly packed. And we had cut the bottoms off 20 oz bottles and placed battery operated candles inside. We dimmed the lights and walked out with our sodas aglow. So on behalf of all us lovers of brown elixer, sing the following to the tune of "O Tannenbaum." And do it with reverence.

O Diet Coke O Diet Coke
How Fizzy are thy bubbles.
O Diet Coke O Diet Coke
You take away my troubles.
Straight from the can or over ice
When I am tired you make me nice.
O Diet Coke O Diet Coke
How Fizzy are they bubbles.

O Diet Coke O Diet Coke
I cannot live without you.
O Diet Coke O Diet Coke
I love everything about you.
You are the juice this mommy craves
I love to ride your caffeine waves.
O Diet Coke O Diet Coke
I cannot live without you.

9 comments:

Rachel said...

I heart Diet Coke addicts!

Donna said...

Right on, Heather! I am especially fond of fountain Diet Coke and will seriously drive 30 minutes to go to my favorite fountain distributor -- the styrofoam cups (though environmentally obscene) make the fizz even better!
-donna franklin from Exponent II

EmilyCC said...

Just sipping my nap in a can right now. Also, I got the song recorded. I'll send you the MP3 soon.

Yay for Heather and her poetic abilities!

Dava said...

Disagree on the diet stuff...sugar is better....

Agree on the poetry..
Clever Heaver! xoxoxo

Emily said...

oh heather, i have a tear in my eye. p.s. diet coke, unlike the church, is NOT the same wherever you go. i can verify that in the south of brazil, each little can tastes like it has a teaspoon of dirt mixed in it. not the nicest nap, but better than no nap at all.

belmomma said...

After the crappy day I had today, I actually thought to myself..."maybe if I drank a diet coke my day wouldn't seem so bad" Instead I had some dark chocolate m&m's.

Kirsten said...

Heather,
LOVE the song! I actually thought you guys were going to sing a sappy rendition of "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing..." when you came out with your glowing bottles of Diet Coke. My hubby liked the song and felt that it was a fitting tribute to "the elixir of life"!!
It was great to meet you at the retreat. I've already begun work on the project I mentioned to you. (I may contact you for more ideas...)

mskaz said...

YES! I have tried to give up Diet Coke many, many times. In fact, just as recently as two weeks ago. I gave up, it's a lost cause. I love it and I guess one day when the aspartame kills me, I'll regret it.

Fountain Diet Coke is the best! I have to say though, I like the fountain DC in Canada better than in the US. Either way though, it's Diet Coke all the way, I don't switch it up.

Anne said...

so heather, anyway i could get you to record the diet coke ditty so i can listen to it on my ipod? i used to have a plaque that my m-i-l got me that said "back away from the diet coke and no one will get hurt"