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Maybe I’m cocky from having quit smoking cigarettes (and cigars and my pipe) recently. Maybe it’s the anti-sweet-drinks propaganda from Mr. Bloomberg, our mayor here in New York. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting old (45! Holy crap!) and cautious, now that I’m no longer invincible and immortal like all you goddam young people. But yeah, I’ve decided to quit drinking soda.


Soda by whalesalad from Flickr.

Now, I drink a lot of soda. I drink more soda than you do, very likely. Even if you think you drink a lot of soda, I drink more. I’ve been known to polish off a 2-liter easily, while watching television, swigging directly from the bottle, and then going to get another.

I’m from the South. My first Coca-Cola was given to me in a baby bottle. Soda is the stuff of life. I mean: constant soda. That sharp taste in the back of the throat, that zany edge to the teeth, that fizz that hits the front of your nostrils first? That’s almost every experience I’ve ever had of drinking, like, anything at all. For me, “something to drink” has always been sweet and/or fizzy (preferably both). You didn’t bother drinking anything that wasn’t sweet and/or fizzy unless a). you were very, very thirsty, as in, about to die from thirst; as in, just-ran-a-marathon thirsty; just walked through the Sahara thirsty; just ate the sun thirsty, and b). you couldn’t find anything sweet and fizzy with which to quench that powerful thirst. These are the only conditions under which one might drink, for example, water.

You know how they say human bodies are mostly water? 99% of the water in my body at any given moment has been processed out of soda. I literally am made of soda, or, at least, I have been, for most of my life.

This is going to be hard.

But it’s got to be done. Check this well-researched and linked article about how bad soda can be, especially when you drink it at the volume I have been drinking it all my life. It makes you fat (which I am). It gives you diabetes (which I don’t have yet, or at least didn’t have the last time a doctor checked). It rots your teeth (have I mentioned the 13 root canals I’ve had so far?) It even destroys your bones! Yeeks! At this rate, between the cigarettes and the sodas, I’m surprised I’m still alive at all.

Reading medical literature, especially in summary, can do that to a non-doctor, though. It’s not that bad. Especially since I have the power to stop this. I quit cigarettes, after all. Right? And I’ve always heard that’s one of the hardest things you can do in life. In part, I was able to do that because I mentioned it online, and my online friends kept pestering me about it, reminding me, and cheering me on. Just knowing that there were other people out there who would be disappointed in me (even if, in the grand scheme of things, their disappointment would have been, you know, a kind of minor thing for them) helped keep me going. They were awesome. Some of them were some of you.

I expect that most of my friends will be less persistent about this one, because, honestly, a soda habit, no matter how outrageous and out of control, is not quite as big a deal to most people as a cigarette habit.

But it is to me!

I won’t bug you guys here on the blog about it, beyond this one post, but I will be talking about it on my Twitter feed a lot, until I’ve kicked the demon soda out of my life completely. If you are of a mind to cheer me on over there, or nag me, for that matter, or just ask how it’s going, or anything at all that will help remind me and keep me strong, I’d appreciate it.