Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday's Blow, Mostly Nasally.

I am generally rather skilled in the willing suspension of disbelief. And I'm trying so hard. Really, I am. But the caffeine-free diet Dr. Pepper fizzing quietly on the corner of my desk is not making it easy for me.

Dr. Pepper is the Elixir of Southern Gods. It is a vital part of the creative process, a cure for the common headache and sometimes the only thing that gets me through the afternoon. And I'm even OK with the diet version, unless I'm using it medicinally; in which case, only the real thing will do.

But now I'm trying to give up caffeine. And this brassy-looking can is sitting here, staring at my half-closed eyes and quietly mocking me with it's deceptively normal and disarmingly charming bursts of fizz as it releases it's carbonated gases into the ambient air. It's taunting me with it's lack of substance. It's teasing me with flavor, but delivering nothing even remotely beneficial.

If I keep drinking this stuff, I may never write again.

Evidently, my muse is not a seventh grade boy named Ichabod, as I'd always assumed. Instead it may well be a maroon-colored aluminum can with a Phd., a ton of sugar and a heavy dose of pep-me-up chemicals.

And, speaking of Dr. Pepper - guess what I found this weekend! Flamin' Hot Funyuns! The ultimate in redneck (and red-fingered) snacking! Yee-haw! I stopped at a store in the armpit of the earth, about 30 miles north of my parents' house. If ever you were going to discover redneck snack Nirvana, this would be the place.

I'd originally stopped there to look for a new CD to listen to on my 3 hour drive home. Unfortunately all they had were two rap albums, a couple of bubble-gum pop divas and a butt-load of crappy country. Some country makes me happy, but really none of it published since about 1991. I loved country in the days of Alabama and Restless Heart and Eddie Rabbit. The current crop of purposely dumbed-down songwriters leave me nauseous. They had a Ferlin Huskey CD, which I almost bought just because I like to say Ferlin Husky.

Ferlin Husky - Ferlin Husky - Ferlin Husky

But, I didn't and instead settled for the next one up in the CD player in Earl the Truck. It was the soundtrack from the Broadway version of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Not one of my favorites. I don't remember who the female lead is, but her voice grates on my nerves something fierce.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my all-time favorite stories. I've loved it ever since I was a spooky little kid. Also The Scarecrow, which is basically the same story set during the American Revolution and The Shadow and The Green Hornet and...

I have a bit of a thing for costumed vigilantes. If I can ever find a radio active spider willing to bite me and transfer a few superpowers or an obscure Asian monk willing to teach me the secret to cloud men's minds, I'm so gonna get me a costume.

I already have the cape...


Anonymous said...

You are the only person I know that would willingly let a spider bite you!

esperanza said...

This is maybe the strangest post I've read all day, but the caffeine-free might explain it.

From personal experience, the caffeine-free version doesn't do much unless, and only unless, you've given up the whole shebang for a loooonng time--bubbles and everything. Then after a loooong time, you can fool yourself that you are really drinking something fun. Sorry to be the bearer of that bad news.

dust bunny said...

I would die if someone were to accidently (or with malicious intent) disconnect my caffeine drip.

Ferlin Husky - Ferlin Husky - Ferlin Husky.

Yep....the name feels good rollin' across the tongue.

annie said...

I can't believe you stopped at a store in the armpit of the earth and actually expected to find a CD worthy of purchase!

We've discovered jalapeno Cheetos at work, they are very good, but alas, some of us are trying to eat healthier, so I feel kind of bad when I eat them anyway! I'm the rebellious dieter in the group!

Any kind of caffeine-free soda is not worth dirtying your mouth for, in my humble opinion! I am trying to cut back on Diet Cokes myself.

annie said...

PS I think maybe my muse and your muse went away to some redneck haven where they are now dancing to the music of Ferlin Husky...

Dijea said...

OMG - Dr Pepper is an elixir of the Gods. I've never had the caffeine free diet version, but the plain sugar filled caffeine free version is much better than the coke caffeine free version. At least the Dr Pepper fizzes - the coke tastes flat from the get go.

My sons would die if they found Flamin' Hot Funyuns - you can never say another word about it, because I might accidentally say something out loud that the kids here and then I'm off to a 4 county search. SHHH! Seriously.

cheesehead said...

As much as I love your photography, it is your writing that is internet gold as far as I'm concerned.

I loved reading this!

Presbyterian Gal said...

Well this is scary. You wrote this without caffeine? I can feel your fidgets and withdrawal jitters in every hilarious participle!

Here's your writing plan: On caffeine for two months, off for one. It's either that, darlin', or an illegal substance, and you don't want to have to visit yourself in your own office.

Ferlin Husky Ferlin Husky Ferlin Husky.

Gonna name my next pet Ferlin Husky.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Chasing rabbits I tell ya. And those rabbits were drinking your Dr Pepper.

I miss my diet cokes. I think that they made me a better person.

Ferlin Husky Ferlin Husky...that would be a great name for a big ole tom cat.

Are they as good as flamin hot cheetos?? Cause I am in love with them!!

jonboy said...

Oh Hell, if you're piggin' out on flamin' hot funyuns, the Dr. Pepper ain't gonna hurt.
It's been my experience that if you're going to give up caffeine, you have to completely switch to like Sprite or something so that you don't try to fool yourself.
By the way, that little town is the same place I once saw a beat up old pickup truck with a full camper shell, the type with the sleeper over the cab. On the side of which was spray painted advertisements for "fresh fish."

Gator World!! said...

Some day you should just wear your cape to work. Just for fun, and then when people ask you why you are wearing a cape then you should act like it is nothing out of the ordinary. If I had a cape then I would do that, of course no one would probably say anything, because I work with a bunch of MHMR clients.

P M Prescott said...

My wife just loves the Scarlet Pimpernel with Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews. She's nearly worn out the video.

Do you drink Hot Dr. Pepper?

SpookyRach said...

I have tried the hot version, but I don't think I'm doing it right. Aren't you supposed to add lemon and something to it? Do you have a receipe? If so - I'd love to have it!!!

Miss Kitty said...

I feel your pain on giving up the carbonated caffeine. [sigh] And I find myself listening to older country (1950s-1980s) rather than today's crap.

P M Prescott said...

You either like hot Dr. Pepper or not. You can add a slice of lemon or lime. There is one good side effect. If you make a full pot of it there will be no more lime deposits on your drip pot.

Anonymous said...

What is it with people and Dr. Pepper?
Gag a maggott on a gut wagon!!
(Sonny Boy and my brother both love that crappe stuff.)
Gimme a cherry coke anyday!