You order a Coke.
You get a look of judgement from the people you're with... who, while clicking their tongues, order Diet Cokes.
A fair judgement? With all the reports that have been made public over the years of the health issues associated with non-diet carbonated beverages, maybe it is.
But amuse me for a moment, observe further into your lunching experience. Count the number of Diet Cokes your colleagues/friends/family members order the next time you take your weekly trip to the Olive Garden or Crustacean or wherever the hell you go with whomever the hell you choose to dine. Just watch. It has been my experience that these self-deputized bastions of Moral Beverage Order drinking their "healthier" Diet Cokes order an exponentially greater number of refills than do the people drinking the regular version.
On average, I will order 1 refill. Maybe 2. While dining recently, I noticed 3 Diet Coke drinkers at my table who all ordered 3 REFILLS A PIECE! I'm serious. And it wasn't just this group of people, either. I've noticed this trend in A LOT of Diet Coke-imbibing friends of mine. They scarf them down like a fat chick with a bucket of tater tots.
Now, perhaps these consumers are just not privy to the recent news that Diet Coke is just as bad for you, if not MORE SO, in different ways. Regular Coke could lead to bad teeth, obesity and if consumed at a steady enough pace along with a perfect storm of poor diet+rare exercise+genetic pre-disposition, diabetes. Diet Coke, however, contains an artifical sweetener called Aspartame...which has been known to cause CANCER in lab rats. Additionally, my cousin- who used to down 6-8 Diet Sprites a day- began having seizures. His doctor told him throughout the course of a treatment to which he was not responding to stop drinking the Diet Sprites. Once he did, the seizures stopped. Now, there is of course the possibility that this is a medical coincidence. But, it does give one pause, no?
Oh, and by the way, if I'm drinking 2 Cokes and you're drinking 4 Diet Cokes...you're not really any different than me, are you? You're sort of canceling out the whole "Diet" notion.
It's that whole Placebo idea. Yeah, you know...the one that posits: "If it says Diet on the front it must have zero calories, no sugar and no carbs" and it sort of liberates the consumer to drink as much as he/she/it wants. I mean, that IS the logic, right?
Well, I'm sorry to wake you from your judgmental, naive slumber- but if you're drinking 4 glasses of anything that has a brown color...you ain't on a diet, sweetheart.
So, go ahead...judge me if you want. But I jog 4 to 5 times a week, regularly compete in tennis and dodgeball and I hike. So, my 5-6 Cokes a week is NOTHING compared to your 3-4 Diet Cokes a day.