Sunday, September 12, 2004

Confessions of a Diet Coke drinker

Matthew "The Comments Are Turned Off For Your Own Protection" Yglesias has a problem, only it's not what he thinks it is:

Walking home through Shaw from a friend's house I happened upon a small store on 10th and S advertising soda and beer. I thought I'd stop in and pick up a Diet Coke. A pointless, but amusing, anecdote ensued:

Hanging outside was a black guy who queried, "whatchoo doing?" as I headed in. "Buying some soda." Then I walked to the soda fridge and saw nothing but regular Coke. So I walked out. "How you gonna walk into a store, then walk out, and not buy nothing?" "Well," I said, "they didn't have what I wanted."

"What's that, fancy boy?"

"Just some Diet Coke."

"You think you're too good for me?"


"Fuck off, man."

So I did. Ah, gentrification....

Matt's anecdote, amusing a vignette it may be about the ever-rising tide of young professionals in the big city and the changes such a demographic is ringing on the old neighborhood, is perhaps better read instead as an addict's cry for help. You see, Mr. Yglesias has an eight-hundred pound gorilla on his back - an urge to consume Diet Coke so overwhelming that it sends him trudging through the inner city from bodega to bodega to "score" his "fix" of the artificially-sweetened beverage.

We can only be thankful that Matt wasn't "jonesing" so badly for his carbonated elixir of choice that he didn't fly into a berserker rage and open up a 8-ounce can of whoopass on the poor African-American gentleman who was clearly attempting to give him a gentle reality check about his addiction and what it was driving him to.

Matt, you're in a safe place, among friends here who care about you. Admit it - you have a problem. Diet Coke is well-known to be the drug of choice for information professionals - blogger's heroin, they call it. Brave and self-aware individuals online such as J.C. Clarke have already owned up to their out-of-control Diet Coke consumption and sworn to break the habit - surely you can do the same. Haven't we already lost enough of our finest minds to aspertame and caffeine?

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