Vol. 2, Issue 29, July 27, 2004
The Joy of Liquid Shrimp!
Random Perspective

I Shall Have your Secrets, Diet Pepsi!

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

The naturally healthful effects of a fine Single-Malt Scotch such as the Glenmorangie are well-known to men of Science and Culture: never has hair grown so Thickly, nor the brain been prompted to its Highest Potential, as when these smooth spirits are properly Savored. Yet no single beverage is a Cure-All: and it must be admitted that even Scotland's finest can do naught for the Waistline, for Varicose Veins, or the Vapors. For these and other sundry Complaints, mankind has turned to Science.

Who can forget the heady days of the Soda-Fountains in days of Yore, when pharmacists diligently applied their Knowledge in the service of Man-Kind? The original Giants - Coca-Cola, Seven-Up - were each conceived as Elixirs of health, fortifying organs ranging from the Pancreas to the Pituitary Gland. Each has its purpose, and besides being Healthful and Delicious is most beneficial, if administered under the dutiful care of a qualified Pharmacist.

I mention this to explain my Dilemma: for on a hot afternoon the other Day, I found myself in the News-Room in search of a Cold beverage, wishing to balance the bottle of the Macallan I had started my day with. With Ephram and the lads at a Cock-Fight and Elisabeth at her Luncheon, I had no one to Guide me, and so was faced Alone with the task of unraveling the mystery of the Lone Bottle in the Ice-Box: a "Diet Pepsi."

Now it is absolutely Vital before imbibing any manner of Medication to understand precisely what Effects it may have, and so I hesitated at this unknown Product. "Diet?" Is that to mean the drink may substitute for one's regular Meals? "Pepsi?" A description of its Stimulating effect upon the Nervous system or Brain, or merely a Family Surname? The bottle had no clues, offering only a "Nutritional Information" label filled mostly with Zeroes: clearly a Technical label of no use to the Consumer.

I set about to conduct a most Rigorous scientific exploration of the Drink. I offered some to the Cat which Resides in our Difference Engines; but it Objected rather Strenuously, to my dismay. I then tested the Drink upon a potted Plant, which displayed an Instant and Regrettable loss of Viridescence. I even poured some discreetly out the Window on Passers-by; though I observed no increased Hair growth or good Cheer as a result - quite the Contrary!

Alas, my Investigations came to naught: and it is too Dangerous to proceed thus Uninformed. Besides, my Experiments consumed virtually the entire Bottle. I do hope it was not a Medication upon which Ephram relies excessively. Should he inquire about its Absence, do please make my Excuses. I shall be down at the Club having an iced-tea.

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