Last week, Mark came downstairs, with a big, shit-eating grin on his face. When Mary asked him what's up, he said he had "an announcement." I thought, "good lord," not another hitchhiking adventure, to who knows where, or possibly, he might be off to join a monastary. Not to worry--he was only suggesting that we regularly turn our evening meal into a writer's group, better known as, "The Baumer Family Writing Project," or forever to be known as, TBFWP.
Last Thursday's post, "Ice Cream Truck Days, No More!" was TBFWP installment #1. Next up, Mary Baumer, with her first contribution, about the evils of corporate carbonated beverages, or how Mountain Dew didn't kill me, it only made me stronger.
So Long Diet Mountain Dew
by, Mary Baumer
I remember when I was maybe 9 years old and my oldest sister, Sue, who was 18 at the time, used to drink Tab. I couldn’t believe she could drink that stuff. It was horrible. When I was growing up the Tarazewich drink of choice would usually be Ginger Ale. We didn’t get it often but when we did it was a treat. The Ginger Ale would be kept in our spare refrigerator alongside of Dad’s Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
Growing up we usually would have Kool-Aid and Zarex--I preferred Kool-Aid. We often made freeze it pops out of Kool-Aid. My favorite was lemonade/Kool-Aid freeze pops. You could suck out the juice and be left with unflavored half frozen ice pops.
Since I was the last child at home I got more privilege than my 3 siblings. I got soda right through high school. Ginger Ale was still there along side of Diet Pepsi and Tab. I was pretty skinny growing up so I didn’t worry about calories. I didn’t need to drink the diet soda for the noncalories or the caffeine.
I really don’t think I started drinking diet soda on a regular basis until maybe 15 years ago. I would buy Diet Pepsi in the 48 pack. It would last a month with my husband and I drinking it.
I don’t know when I started drinking Mountain Dew. I do remember driving from Maine to Virgina with my sister, Dianne, and her daughter, Aja. We had to take Aja to her college orientation at Lynchburg College. I remember bringing my stash of regular Mountain Dew, not diet with me. It was a long trip drinking my sister’s 1989 Ford Tiempo. It was a basic car without cruise control. I got my sister hooked on Mountain Dew. It gave her the energy boost she needed to get through the trip. The problem was YOU NEEDED A DEW to have the ENERGY to stay AWAKE but then you had the problem of needing to find a bathroom to relieve yourself. That began our quest to rank the bathrooms we visited. One of our first bathrooms somewhere in MA was one of the filthiest on our trip. We had a major dilemna on our way home from VA--that of having drunk a 28 oz bottle of Dew and being stuck in a traffic jam. It was July 4th weekend so the traffic was barely moving. We were inching along near some woods. Dianne was ready to jump from behind the wheel and into the woods to relieve herself. Instead, she suffered through her pain.
After that I went to Diet Mountain Dew. I even got my mother drinking it. She would buy the 2 liter bottles for when company would come. The problem with my mother is someone might have opened the bottle a week ago so the Dew would be flat. My mother is also known for her lovely freezer burn desserts.
Up to this point I never drank coffee. Around the time of 2001 I started working as a sales executive and became a coffee drinker. My favorite coffee was and still is today, hazelnut with Half and Half. None of that crappy Cremora. I soon didn’t even need sugar in my coffee. I only can drink coffee until about 10am in the morning then I would change to my drink of choice Diet Mountain Dew for the afternoon. I would maybe drink one in the afternoon. I’m not sure when I started not drinking any water during the day and everytime I would be thirsty, I'd just crack open a can of Diet Mountain Dew. I couldn’t wait to take that first gulp. It was like heaven, tasting that lukewarm (piss?-editor's addition) Diet Mountain Dew. I have grown not to really care for cold Mountain Dew. It has a different taste. I even like flat Mountain Dew. It’s nice to get in the car in the morning and finish a few swigs of yesterday’s mountain dew.
I started stopping at the super market and buying a 2-24 packs of Diet Mountain Dew. I would buy a 48 pack but they don’t come in 48 packs. So I would buy one pack for my car and one for home. I couldn’t keep a pack in my car overnight during the winter pack or you run into a problem of frozen protruding diet mountain cans. I did have a few can explode on me at times. The lone can that was forgotten in my car trunk that looked like it was struck by nuclear cold weather.
In the last 6 months, my car supply of Mountain Dew would not last me the week. I would usually have to stock up during the week. If you got in my car, you could always hear the clanking of the emptys hitting each other. When I would finish a dew in who be thrown into the back side floor to kept the other empties company.
When one day, I went home early from work and watched Oprah. That is the day my life changed! Oprah had this stay-at-home Mom who drank massive amounts of Diet Pepsi, didn’t eat right or exercise. Then with Oprah’s help, she changed her life. She started drinking water in place of the diet soda, as well as eating healthy and exercising. Watching the show I realized I needed help! I felt horrible--tired all the time. So because I was tired, I drank Diet Mountain Dew to give me the energy boost. But it just didn’t make me feel so good. I decided to drink water in place of the Mountain Dew. Now I carry a cooler in my car filled with water. I drink massive amounts of water. I have been flushing out of my system all the bad stuff. Now my problem is finding a bathroom. But I feel a hell of a lot better. The other day I did backslide and drink one Diet Mountain Dew as I felt I needed the caffiene. I bought 2-24 Diet Mountain Dew packs about 3 weeks ago and they are still are waiting to be drunk.
So…………..so long Diet Mountain Dew it’s been a great trip but I need to move on without you! I will miss you especially on those 90 degree days when I would crack open a can and heated Mountain Dew would go sliding down my throat.