Are the good ole days the real thing?

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

I am always amused, or should I say bemused, when I hear people talking about the good ole days. I'm probably guilty of doing the same thing, but in reality, a lot of the good ole days weren't so good if you look very deeply.

I mean, how good could it have been to have to go and cut wood so that you can start a fire to heat your bath water before you take a bath to end the night? For that matter, how good could it be if you needed to do all of this before dark because after dark there was no electricity and you're depending on light from a lamp that if you turned it over your entire house would burn down? I also doubt it was all that thrilling to use an outhouse or go to a crowded theater to watch an event in the middle of the summer without air conditioning before deodorant was invented.

There is at least one thing about the good ole days, however, that I think might have really been good ole days. I see where Coca-Cola is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

The drink was concocted by Dr. Pembroke back in 1886 and became almost an immediate success. Now, I'm all for enjoying the taste of Coca-Cola, but I think a lot of its immediate success was not particularly related to the taste of the drink. You see, for the first 20 years or so of Coca-Cola's life, one of the ingredients placed in the coke was cocaine; hence the name.

I'm not sure what I exactly think about Coca-Cola once having cocaine. I assume back in the late 1800s the women's bridge game was probably a hell of a lot more lively after the ladies took a break and drank a 6 1/2-ounce Coke spiked with cocaine.

I complain now about women talking too much, but I shudder to think what it would be like to come home to a housewife who had been guzzling Coca-Cola all day and was now ramped up on real coke.

In raising my two little children, the 6-year-old tidal wave boy and 7-year-old follow-the-rules little girl, I have tried very hard to make sure they do not develop a Coca-Cola or soda pop habit. The little girl has been easy and steadfastly refuses to drink Coca-Cola or soft drinks of any type, etc. She is quite content with water, orange juice or the like.

But, oh my, the little tidal wave gets as excited about drinking a Coca-Cola as I would if I received an invitation to the Playboy Mansion. His mother's reaction to his enthusiasm is pretty similar to the reaction she would have to my enthusiasm over the Playboy invitation. There are a hundred reasons why I would prefer he did not drink Coca-Cola, including, but not limited to, it has many empty calories which can easily lead to one becoming fat later in life, it has no nutritional value and, last but not least, because it has caffeine which juices him up.

My little boy needs a lot of things in his life, but I can assure you one thing he does not need is additional juicing up.

So, I wondered, what in God's name did people do with children once they took a few sips of Coca-Cola back in the good ole days.

No wonder the old timers had a rule that the children would be in a separate room and could speak only when spoken to. The kids were probably climbing the drapes in the living room while chattering like an African monkey. If you gave my little boy a drink laced with cocaine, I'd need a helicopter to pull him off the top of the WALB TV tower. He'd make Robin Williams look like he had iron tired blood.

Maybe Coke will come out with a 125th anniversary real classic. If they do, I'm locking the boy in the gun safe and I won't go to Mama's Tuesday afternoon bridge game for a $1,000. Oh boy, the good ole days and Coke is the real thing.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.