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Like so many other Americans, my daily caffeine intake is high. I don't view this as a bad thing, however. To put it into perspective, the drug in our sodas prior to 1903 was cocaine (Coca-Cola...get it?). Caffeine is partly responsible for my good grades in school, my aversion to sleep, my popularity in school, and my good looks. It's a wonder drug. Some drug addicts like to smoke crack. Others enjoy injecting it. The professional elite of America satisfy their caffeine need with a $4.25 Vanilla Mountain Espresso Double Shot (extra whipped cream) from Starbucks. Your annoying coworker prefers to tweak out on Red Bull all day. My caffeine drink of choice is Diet Coke (DC); its shimmering aluminum body, sugarless but sweet nature, and beautiful price tag draw me in. I consume slightly less than a gallon of DC a day, mostly in can and fountain-drink form.

A favorite nighttime activity of mine is putting on CNN's Headline News and relaxing with a pack of David's Sunflower Seeds and an ice-cold DC -- until I'm rudely awakened by the rise of the sun. DC was the main motivation of my purchase of a mini-fridge. Running downstairs became a hassle.

Four years ago, I bothered my girlfriend enough to go on a date with me. I was secure with myself and ordered a DC at dinner, despite the feminine reputation it possesses. She laughed at me. Guess who's addicted now? DC has fueled many memorable all-nighters in which we shared passion.

My mom used to try and limit me to one soda a day. Parents of America, this strategy sucks and should not be implemented. It made me want it more, made the whole thought of drinking DC and caffeine an exciting event. She's cool about it now and keeps the fridge stocked. -- Patrick Cole

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cafehunt March 16, 2008 @ 9:38 a.m.

Check out http://cafehunt.com for a list of independent coffee shops around.


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