I hate Garbage Day.
On those mornings, when I wake up to the sound of the garbage truck rumbling down my street, I jump out of bed in a panic, unsure if I put out the garbage the night before.
This leads to frantic running around in PJs out front, putting on a show for the neighbors and the driver of the garbage truck.
I say PJs as if to suggest I wear pajamas when I sleep. I sure hope I do, because I’m out that front door before my brain has engaged, and the show for the driver and neighbors could be considerably less PG if it turns out I sleep in the nude.
In fact, it would be rated R…for horror.
But enough about my less-than-ideal physique. I was talking about my less-than-ideal memory in the morning, especially on Garbage Day.
Let me illustrate with an example.
Say I spent Garbage Day Eve curbside, sheltered behind my recycle bin and its load of crushed aluminum soda cans, engaging in a shoot out with an entire Scottish-Welsh drug cartel.
Even under such memorable circumstances as those, I still won’t remember if the cans were out next morning.
I would, however, totally win that gunfight. My hypothetical gunslinging skills are legendary. Plus this imaginary Scottish-Welsh drug cartel is one of the smaller ones.
And they’re really bad shots.
Because they’re also butter fetishists and their fingers keep slipping around the triggers of their guns.
I don’t know why they insist on coating their guns with butter, or in the cases of the more health-conscious cartel members, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter…Spray, but I’m not complaining because it’s keeping me alive.
See? I know enough not to overreach.
Now if I could somehow get a caffeine fix prior to the diesel-grumble that heralds the arrival of the garbage truck, I might be awake and mentally alert enough to clearly recall that yes, I did indeed move the cans out last night, and I can therefore go back to sleep.
Except I can’t because I’ve just been dosed with caffeine!
Dammit! I just want another ten minutes of sleep in the morning! Is that so much to ask?
This caffeine connection is precisely why I hate restaurant sodas.
Oh sure, I used to believe that restaurant soda was the same as canned soda.
I also used to believe that a miniature, flying tooth fetishist used to come to my bed at night and leave me some loose change in exchange for the tooth tucked under my pillow.
That little bastard kept me up for years, mouth clamped shut for fear the Tooth Fairy would tumble into my room after a bender and, finding nothing under the pillow, whip out some pliers to ‘make the sale,’ as it were.
Because anyone that hung up on children’s teeth must drink a lot, right?
And the Tooth Fairy ain’t drinkin’ restaurant soda.
My hatred of restaurant soda is, much like me in general, completely rational. I only developed this healthy hatred after recent events forced me to reach a very reasonable, very logical conclusion:
Restaurant soda is not the same as canned soda.
How did I deduce this?
Simple. Bathroom break frequency.
I drink a can of soda, I have to make a trip to the (no pun intended) can maybe once.
I order a glass of soda at a restaurant during my lunch hour, I get back to work and have to hit the john three, four times. And I wear a bunny suit at work. Which is hard to get in and out of, not to mention time-consuming.
You don’t know urgent until you’re struggling to get out of a bunny suit while your bladder is on fire with the desperate need to empty itself.
You might feel compelled to point out, “Hey, soda has caffeine in it. It wakes you up, but as a side-effect, makes you need to use the bathroom.”
Yes, but as I just said, a single can of soda does not render me urinal-bound. A glass of restaurant soda does.
Now sure, you’re likely to come back with a snappy, “Hey man, you’ve been hitting the glue again, haven’t you? Restaurants typically top off your glass, so you’re actually drinking the equivalent of two or three cans on your lunch break.”
Actually, my usual haunt, it’s more like four cans. And I haven’t sniffed glue in years.
But that’s not the point!
It’s a conspiracy. A conspiracy to get you out of the restaurant sooner so they can cram more paying customers into your now vacated booth.
And I have to admit, hats off to the restauranteurs. It’s a brilliant plan.
Here’s how it works:
Take soda syrup.
Out of sight of customer, add carbonated water.
Still out of sight and also out of hearing of the customer, laugh maniacally and add Turbo(TM)-brand Divine Diuretic, 10ppm – anything more will kill your customer via dehydration.
Top off soda glass at customer’s table liberally until, with crossed legs, the drinker asks, nay, begs for the check.
So there I am, sprinting off to the toilet during the lunch hour rush, freeing up valuable table space for the next round of victims.
And then tapping my feet in anguish as the traffic cop writes me a ticket for speeding.
Stern-looking cop: “Why were you going a hundred miles per hour in a school zone?”
Me: “Because I really, really have to go to the bathroom.”
Unimpressed officer: “Like I haven’t heard that before.”
Me: “You issue a lot of speeding tickets near Hobee’s?”
And then, finally at work, I’m dashing up and down the halls, screaming expletives as I search in vain for a bathroom that isn’t closed for cleaning.
Damn our housekeeping staff! Damn them to Hell!
This painful cycle continues for the next couple of hours before I’ve finally cleared my system of the kidney-pumping, bladder-shrinking diuretic I’m convinced has been slipped into my cola.
Every quarter during my performance review, these antics around the workplace bathrooms come up, and not as a point in favor of a raise / bonus / continued employment.
Which is why I hate restaurant sodas.
You think this is all a load of bull? Well, I have only one question for you then:
If I’m wrong, why do airlines only serve passengers soda from a can?
Hmm? They’re cutting costs, and buying syrup in bulk would save them money. But then they’d be serving restaurant soda, and Boeing and Airbus would have to build planes with a minimum of fifty toilets on them.
Fifty fewer passengers per flight. Now that’s gotta hurt your margin!
Now if you’ll excuse me, all this writing and irrefutable logic has made me thirsty.— And now, a word from our sponsor: me! My book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, is out!