Andrea's column: There's nothing like a CokeHave you heard the story about the 30-year-old woman who died from drinking too much Coca-Cola?
Have you heard the story about the 30-year-old woman who died from drinking too much Coca-Cola? Natasha Harris, a New Zealand mother of eight, suffered a heart attack which a doctor attributed to her cola-drinking habit.
Her partner said they bought four 2.5 liter bottles a day — the most the store allowed at the sale price — solely for Natasha. You don’t have to be a math whiz to figure that if one of those bottles is equivalent to 10.5668821 cups, this woman was swigging a lot of soda.
Natasha’s partner said she had her first drink when she got up in the morning and that there was some on her night side table when she went to bed. They thought nothing of it, he said, because, “It's just a soft drink, just like drinking water. I didn't think a soft drink was going to kill her."
The more I read about this woman and her addiction, the more I thought of Yogi Berra and his statement that something was, “deja vu all over again.” You see, I also suffered from this addiction. Not to the extent Natasha did but I couldn’t get my day going without a Coke, either. And without my fix of six cans a day, I, too, “would become moody, irritable and have no energy.”
Pop was a big treat when I was a kid. I can still picture the night my father walked into the kitchen carrying a case of Red Owl’s store brand, Brimful. Dad encouraged us to try a can and urged us to agree there was no reason to pay more for Coke. We disagreed.
Brimful’s cola could not hold a candle to the real thing, so whenever Dad brought home the bargain brand, I took a can of black cherry instead and gave thanks my father didn’t have much time to spend in grocery stores.
When my high school friends and I hung out, we all ordered the real deal. And as a young wife, even though I should have followed Dad’s lead and saved money with Brimful, I couldn’t. The slogan promised and I believed, “Things go better with Coke.”
Natasha must have felt the same. Or perhaps she believed Coke is “the best friend thirst ever had,” as the company advertised in 1938. For sure, whether she was aware of it or not, she lived the slogan of the following year: “Whoever you are, whatever you do, wherever you may be, when you think of refreshment think of ice cold Coca-Cola.”
Well, wherever Natasha may be now, I hope she has found her nectar of the gods. I hope she is enjoying the pause that refreshes.