A Coca Cola Summer

maria Maria's Blog

bathing-suitIt’s 105 degrees in Phoenix and tomorrow will be about the same. My air conditioning died last night. It wasn’t totally unexpected, as a matter of fact the new one should have been installed days ago, but you know how that goes…unforeseen circumstances…

When you sit and simmer, you try to think of pleasant, icy cold things, at least I do.

Let me confess that I’m no fan of soda pop, regardless of brand or flavor. I’m convinced it’s like escargots and artichokes, an acquired taste.

The first time I tasted Coca Cola was during an Italian summer. Can’t remember the year, but I must have been over eighteen because I was taking driving lessons at the local driving school. And I had a friend, rather older than I was, who would pick me up after class to drive me home. The man was from Switzerland, he spoke Italian with a charming mix of accents and he was a bit of a celebrity among the town people because he was a pilot. He only flew private planes for the rich and famous. One of his best clients ran a big business close by and so my friend kept a suite at the fancy hotel in town and when he was there he often drove me to dinners or to shows he had discovered thanks to his line of works. We were friends, no more no less, looking back he may have been gay, not that it mattered. Of course the whole town thought otherwise about our relationship.

One Saturday afternoon, other pilots, from various countries, came to visit him and they drove up to a mountain Hotel to escape the summer heat…A few had brought wives or girlfriends so I tagged along. Some of them ordered drinks I’d never heard of and then my friend asked for Rum and Coke, okay it was Rum and Coca Cola. And that’s how I discovered I’m not crazy about Rum or Coca Cola. By the way, Italy doesn’t have laws regarding underage drinking at least not back then. If I really, really must drink some kind of soda I tend to pick Seven Up or Mountain Dew, then I close my eyes and pretend I’m drinking San Pellegrino. Salute.  


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  1. I feel your pain about the air conditioning, or lack of it. I do have a/c in my house, but my car has decided that it doesn’t want to provide me with a/c. Why is it always summer when this happens?
    Unfortunately, there are no cool thoughts that spring to my mind while I’m literally melting in my car. But I will give it a try tomorrow. :-)

  2. Maria, you truly have a gift for writing. Even a short item like this, as I read it I am feeling your experience as though I am there.

  3. Hi! I’m Jeannie and I’m a Coca Cola addict.

    All seriousness aside, I love my Caffeine Free Diet Coke (I can’t stand the stuff with sugar and I swore off caffeine) but, since it’s not the healthiest stuff in the world, I limit myself to no more than two a day most of the time (rarely less, though).

    Now, rum in coke is a whole ‘nother story. I ordered a coke in a bar once and the bar tender couldn’t understand that I just wanted coke only, no alcohol (I can’t stand the smell and taste of grain alcohol). I took a swallow of my “coke” and almost spewed it all over. That stuff was just nasty!

    San Pellegrino is my standby for when I want something bubbly but don’t want to binge drink (for me, drinking three Caffeine Free Diet Cokes in a day is binge drinking; drinking more than three in a day—very rare, btw—is going on a bender for me). I always have a few bottles chilling in the door of my refrigerator.

    I do not envy you having to deal with a dead AC. When mine died without hope of resurrection three years ago, I lucked out that it happened in April and that year’s April was more merciful than this year’s. Fortunately, I had my new one in less than a week.

    How is poor little No Name dealing with the heat?

    Last night, around 9PM, the power went out in my area of the Mobile Home court I live in. Even though the power was restored in around half an hour or so, it still got a bit toasty inside.

  4. I can’t stand rum and Coke.

    I rarely drink soda, but when I do, it must be Coca Cola.

    I drink iced tea most of the time.

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