Nectar of the Gods

Published in Soda on Aug 16, 1996

The day started just like any other. Wake up at 5:30am, brush my teeth, bathe in a tub of warm milk, and trim my toenails while quietly resenting the fact that Flipper was on Nickelodeon at this hour instead of Rocko's Modern Life. That would have to wait until 5:30pm for that, and I am impatient.

In truth, the day would likely be spent slogging my way through Gumby, Rugrats, Muppet Babies, Allegra's Window, Gullah Gullah Island, Eureeka's Castle, and numerous other shows fit for my little sister before I could hang with Rocko. But I digress. My life was about to change.

The doorbell rang. It was 11am and I opened the door to see my friend Matt standing there with a maniacal grin on his face. Behind him, toppled furniture was scattered about my yard and a dozen neighborhood kids were arranged in a haphazard circle. In the center of this ring of humans stood a tall pedestal upon which rested a cylindrical and metallic green can.

The time had come. We had seen the commercials. This was our first foray into the underground competitive world of Fully Loaded Citrus Sodas with Carbos.

Off to the side someone screamed the single word that would forever alter the course my life.


As if bolt of lightning struck us all at once, we sprinted — nay, hurled our bodies towards the pedestal without regard for life or limb. The collision of human bodies could be heard 6 blocks away as fists swung and hands clawed, hair tore away in chunks, buttons flew from plaid hoodies tied around waists, and sneakers took to the air, loose of their foots.

I can't say how, or at what cost, but my hand closed around the ice cold can first. It was mine. The crowd fell back, subservient to the victor like the days of Sparticus, Crixus, and Marcus Attilius. I cracked the tab and a cool spray of citrus coated those lucky enough to be close. I tossed my head back and from the height of my upwards and outstretched arm, poured the sweet nectar of the gods down my throat.


Wherein I left my body

I could hear a symphony from on high, replete with horns, trumpets, harps, and one very faint ukulele. My soul lifted up out of me and I was carried away in a torrent of joy. I looked down and for a brief moment I could see my body before a wave of carbo-laden sucrose crashed over my consciousness.

I lost all sense of time. Did I surf the seas of maltodextrin for a minute? An hour? A year? Was Yellow #5 my brother? Truly I could not tell you, for I do not know.

Wherein I returned

My body was transformed. Lean muscle rippled with unbridled strength and my vision had become sharp and keen. My mind raced with access to deep wells of new knowledge and wisdom. I surveyed my lawn, the neighborhood, and my subordinates and knew my life would never be the same.

Victory is sweet. Surge is sweeter.