Who Needs Milk When You Can Have Coke?

It’s sad to read about the tainted milk in China which has resulted in the the death of 4 infants and the poisoning of thousands of children (“Milk off shelves as China’s safety scandal grows”).

Fortunately in México this would never be a problem. Why? Because we are bottle-fed Coca-Cola at a very early age and in some cases the liquid crack has replaced milk as the beverage of choice for most escuincles.

Don’t worry, Mexican Coke (above, pic source: SFoodie) is not the dentist’s dream that American Coke is for one very simple reason. Whereas American Coke is made with corn syrup, the Mexican variant is made with cane sugar. I understand that makes all the difference in the Western Hemisphere, especially in taste (this is one of the few things my Fatherland does better than my adoptive land).

I can fondly remember my dear mother exulting in the fact that she didn’t give us Kool-Aid because of its high sugar content. To back her decision up she would lament that her Kool-Aid-swilling nieces had dental work that rivaled that of famous Bond villain, Jaws (right)

All the while the dear woman let the 3 of us have a free run at the Coke products (Orange Joya rocks). Coca-Cola was an integral part of my childhood (not to mention part of our balanced breakfast), and thus it is not surprising to find that it remains an integral part of my adult life.

Except that for most of my life I’ve been drinking the solvent that passes as Coca-Cola here in the States.

So thanks Mom for your introduction to addictive non-alcoholic beverages. To her credit, not one of her 3 children ever had to get a ‘silver’ chiclet.

Mother indeed, knows best…

Shawn Johnson is Awesome

Yeah she’s only 4’9″ but let’s see you do this:
Sports Illustrated

That’s the chippy Ms. Johnson during her gold medal balance beam routine (click here for the the full story).

After Johnson secured a gold medal in these games, I guess it’s safe to say that the Coca-Cola curse is no curse at all.

I must admit that it is nice to see an American Olympic athlete live up to the corporate hype. Though I’m sure Coca-Cola preferred that she won all gold medals, Johnson with one gold and 3 silvers to her name still had a pretty good haul (we’re still holding our breath in the case of Bron-Bron).

Which brings us to the best part of her Olympic experience. So if you’re Shawn, you’ve spent countless hours in the gym: bleeding, sweating, crying, tumbling, falling, learning. Your folks have spent an inordinate amount of time and keish to keep the Olympic dream alive, according to this piece, Johnson’s parents,

…took out a line of credit on their home and have used that money over the years to cover travel expenses. The debt has made a dent in the family finances, but that’s a price parents seem willing to pay.

Yet for all that, the affable Ms. Johnson, in describing her gold medal, reminds us what the Olympics are all about, a childlike wonder and dreams fulfilled:

“It’s crazy,” the 16-year-old Johnson said. “I remember seeing Nastia have hers from the all-around and it is so pretty. Silver is really pretty, too.”

You’re awesome Shawn Johnson!

Nastia Liukin Haliukins Rest of the Field to take Gold

Every four years we, as a nation, care about gymnastics, women gymnastics that is (as for the men we collectively care about them as much as we care about the WNBA).

Last night’s women’s all-around final was no exception as many people around the country (my wife and I included) stayed up until midnight to watch American Nastia Liukin win gold and teammate Shawn Johnson take silver (and Chinese gymnast Yang Yilin and her cadre of judges take bronze). I was shocked to learn this morning that even my boss (who misses the latter parts of Houston Rockets late playoff games) stayed up to watch the drama unfold.

Liukin and Johnson push each other to all-around glory

After the Russian-born Liukin won, I couldn’t help but think if the Russian team was bitter because they could have had her on their team had her parents not moved to the States when she was 2.

Although Shawn Johnson got the silver, could the “Coca-Cola Curse” (second cousin to the Madden Curse) prevented her from getting gold? Could her appearance on commemorative 12-pk Coca-Cola boxes (below) prevented her from getting gold?

Let’s just hope that doesn’t extend to her boxmate, LeBron James as he tries to restore former glory to USA Basketball.

If you’re wondering what in the world Haliukins is in reference to, here is a hint: