Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Coca-Cola Test

One of the joys of childhood is knowing you can stay home when you are sick. I remember that sometimes sickness came on fast. I would go to bed feeling fine and the next morning wake up ill. Some mornings I would wake up not really sick just feeling icky enough to not want to go to school. Then there were days when I would wake up not sure if I was sick or if I just didn't want to go to school. I was never sure which it was but my mother always knew. She also knew when I was faking illness to get out of going to school that day.

Whenever I woke up and told her I didn't feel well enough to go to school she would sit on my bed and put a hand on my forehead to see if I had a fever. If I did I was kept home. If I didn't she knew this didn't necessarily mean I wasn't ill since I could be at the just-getting-sick-stage and not have a fever yet. The only way to tell was by giving me the Coca-Cola test.

It was a long time before I figured out the Coca-Cola test. I just thought my mother was like "the great and powerful Oz," from The Wonderfu Wizard Of Oz. The Coca-Cola test was simple, so simple I didn't even realize I was being tested. My mother would ask, in a very sympathetic voice, "Do you think a Coca-Cola would make you feel better?"

If I answered no, I stayed home. If I answered yes, in a half-hour I was on my way to school. What I did not realize but my mother did, is that I never want Coca-Cola when I am sick. What I want is Ginger-ale or Seven-Up.

I have been feeling icky for the past three or four day but not sure if I was coming down with something. Yesterday I craved a nice ice-cold can of Coca-Cola but when I had it in my hand I realized I didn't really want it. What I did want was a Ginger-ale.

I think I'm sick.

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