The Jug of Life Has Many Flavours
Lemon is my favourite
What colour is your Kool-Aid?
There are many, and each has its appeal. Cherry, certainly. Watermelon, on ocassion. Grape and strawberry and blueberry and, of course, Tropical Punch.
So many Kool-Aids.
They keep making new ones.
Some powdered, some squirtable. Some ready to drink.
By nature’s rules, clear water should be enough to quench our thirst, but we always want to flavour it.
It’s just nicer when the water changes color. They make ‘invisible’ Kool-Aid too, but I can’t imagine why they bother.
Who are we kidding? You may not have colour stains on you tongue but the sweeteners and artificial flavourings are all there. (O.K. “natural” flavourings. I don’t want to make trouble with Kool-Aid.)
There’s nothing wrong with it. We all need a little something in our water.
I like lemon. I prefer not to use powder, though I sometimes will.
If I have time, I’ll make fresh lemonade, squeeze the fruit myself, deal with the inevitable sting on cuts.
Fortunately, today I hardly touch paper — even as a writer — most of it is digital.
Sometimes I miss the feel of real paper, the clicking of real keys, the “oops!” moments when you have to rush to find white out and blow on it so it dries quickly.
But there’s always a trace of the mistake you made. It never really disappears.
Later electric typewriters had those fancy stick correction tapes, remember? Those were some kind of awesome.
They erased any trace of error, unless you were paying close attention to the indentations on the paper where it had been double struck.
Working on digital platforms, you start to believe that every typo can be erased — never happened — and your small grammar peccadilloes can be quickly edited.
Of course, we all leave traces of our errors behind, even now. I could decide this article is a mistake a few weeks from now, and delete it but it won’t really go away.
The same happens on Social Media. We tweet or share something in a heated moment of whatever: humour, ill timed, ire at some random thing that struck us the wrong way at the right moment, a false fleeting sense of superiority which tempts us to give unsolicited advice. Whatever: we tease, we preach, we rant, we rave.
We mix up some Kool-Aid. We offer our friends a pitcher.
Tea is good too. Nice iced tea. Unsweetened for me. I respect the Southern sweet tea lover, but I just like my tea tart and dry. Lemon is very welcome.
I think the trick is to be aware that what you’re drinking isn’t clear water.
It’s important that you’re drinking it by choice, and that you know you don’t really need to drink it.
You have to be fully aware that what you drink has a bunch of colours, flavours, and sugars which have no real substance but make every day’s bland a bit more palatable.
But, with Kool-Aid, always make sure you mix it yourself.
It’s a sad lesson I learned in my childhood, before I could understand why such monstrous things happen. I still don’t know why. It’s evil nonsense, really. You can’t trust others to mix your Kool-Aid for you.
And there’s sparkling water. That’s wonderful too.
It’s full of clear gas which produces those fun bubbles that tickle your nose and somehow make plain water much more refreshing. Don’t ask me why that works. I’m sure science has answers.
I drink an awful lot of plain fizzy water — even more than lemonade or iced tea.
I probably drink too much diet Pepsi — sometimes cherry flavoured. I don’t kid myself about the diet part.
I find I have no desire to share a Coke, but I’ll give you a smile.