Soda, so good


Emileigh: I’ve heard, through anonymous groans on our comment board lately, that some readers think my column doesn’t talk about serious enough topics.

Of course, this is tricky, since, as the editor, I can’t technically take a strong stance on anything we might cover on our pages — read, almost everything — because it might compromise the paper’s integrity.

However, because I know it’s just so important, i.e., may mean the downfall of the entire newspaper, I’ve decided to eschew those rules, to address something that nearly everyone can relate to: cokes.

(I write cokes for the same reason I write mama: I’m from Mississippi. Hold your judgments, Midwesterners, and let me at least, in my defense, bring up the issue of Kleenex and Band-Aids. Also let me say how much I love middle America.)

Here’s the thing, because there are so many things I could say, and so many arguments to be had about cokes, I’ve decided to team up with fellow columnist Kurt Cunningham to help me really flesh this out.

Kurt: I find it strangely odd the way in which two words have the same meaning, pop and soda, and even the twister, coke. I think about things like this every day, because when placed into a plastic cup two sizes too big for a car cup holder, all three bubble down your throat the same way and all three fill your mouth with cavities.

The mere thought of a 64-ounce coke just makes my teeth scream, “Hello! we have feelings too and no, I will pass on that large amount of sugar today.”

Emileigh: Actually, I think my teeth yearn for that sugar/fake sugar-coated feeling, ever since that first Iowa 64-ounce soda. I got it at Iowa Book before classes started. Delicious, Diet Coke. Let me also tell you, I hardly remember the soda because I was too busy taking a picture of the sign in the window that said “pop.” They really call it that here? How wonderful!

Kurt: The real aim for this column, though, is finding out where the best 64-ounce soda comes from and if that soda tastes best in 64-ounces, not why pop, coke, and soda have similar meanings. Thus, I must ask you, Emileigh, where can the best 64-ounce coke on campus be bought from?

Emileigh: The best 64-ounce soda, in my opinion, is from Kum & Go.

Kurt: Valid answer, although let me share a story with you.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see someone actually consume, digest, and ask for more soda upon finshing a 64-ounce coke from Kum * Go. But in my second-ever class freshman year of college, my Social Scientific Foundations of Communications teaching assistant Lee Farquhar proved me wrong. He introduced himself, as most civilized individuals do, and proceeded to explain to the class how 64-ounces was just not enough. He typically has two.

I was officially scared.

Not only did 128 ounces of pure soda intimidate me, a scene from Super Size Me ran through my head. I didn’t want to lose my vision like the gentleman getting gastric-bypass surgery.

I will say though as time progressed, I have developed quite liking for the Den’s mid-size soda. And in my opinion, that’s the best.

Emileigh: How do you feel about suicides? Other than the relatively un-PC nickname, I mean.

Kurt: Suicides? Maybe when I was 5.

I seem to think that suicides are how Forrest Grump saw boxes of chocolate. “You never know whatcha going to get.”

I take each sip, not knowing whether this is Mountain Dew, fruit punch, or root beer. It is so nauseating, especially, if you mix in Dr. Pepper; that triples the flavor in just one sip.

Emileigh: And what about diet suicides? I think they’re just as good, but next year’s editor, Kelsey, vehemently disagrees. She thinks a suicide can only be the marriage of diet and non-diet sodas. I think, who cares! Let the diets mingle together. It’s not like we’re going to devolve into a society in which sodas can combine with cups without ice. This of course brings me to the most important issue of all: ice.

I am a maniac ice chomper. I could eat (to the horror of my Aunt Roberta, a dentist) two or three trays of ice, if I wanted. Teeth be damned. This is why soft ice is the best — won’t cause scorn from the whole health-related West Campus, and just as delicious to nom on. The most badass soft ice?

Sonic. Oh yeah.

Kurt: Touché, boss — ice does make or break the drink.

My final vote though for best soda is a Coke — plain and simple — from Portillos. Nowhere around here.

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