Who doesn’t love a good origin story, right? Batman and his parent’s night at the opera ruined by a crazy clown asking weird riddles whilst pointing a gun. The Bionic Woman’s parachute failing to open, Mr. Magoo, falling into a vat of acid….OK, THAT never happened but it would’ve explained his terrible eyesight! Right?
So last night I’m getting a glass of soda pop for my beloved when it occurred to me, cuz that’s the kind of random jumbly-joo that goes through my head non-stop, that all of the things that used to really have a solid reason for existence are just sort of fluffy meaningless filler these days. Bear with me here, or if you are adventurous, feel free to ‘bare’ with me too, see long ago, I don’t really know when as I haven’t googled this, I am just going on my own actual knowledge, gleaned from various and sundry, books, magazines, stories old people tell me and of course my magical ability to put 2 and 2 together. You remember that right? It used to be an ability we had before Google. So I will tell you what I know and then for the surprise at the end of the blog, I will look it up on Google and see how close I am.
As I understand it, soda pop or just pop started out as a tummy ache soother that one could get in the local pharmacy, which was kind of a social place to go. I’m picturing something like the one George worked at in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” So the 40s? I will check on that later. But I’m thinking radio was in its heyday. Sodium Bicarbonate aka Alka -Seltzer is a quick remedy for upset stomach and the pharmacist would add flavoured syrups to make it more palatable. People would wander down after a heavy meal and socialize and have a fizzy treat to stifle the meatloaf. Marshmallows used to have marshmallow in them. I’ve had more than one frustrating conversation with some idiot in a grocery store while attempting to be witty and charming and ending up an annoying know-it-all. Heh. Ok ‘nuff said on that count.
But, marshmallows were a whipped confectionary medicinal aid to soothe sore throats. I learned this long ago when we took an herbal learning class trip. Marshmallow being said herb and now we call a fluffy pile of sugar a marshmallow when it in fact contains no marshmallow. Ginger ale is a great example of this too. Ginger was used to subdue nausea but became popular refreshment, so guess what? Let’s take out the good for you i.e. expensive ingredient and just make it with sugar, soda water and artificial ingredients. Ginger ale contains no beneficial amount of ginger. Same with Coca-Cola. Cocaine was the medicinal ingredient. In fact you could purchase vials of cocaine from the Sears catalog. Cocaine was a prominent ingredient in so many easily obtained remedies and encouraged to give to children. It became so widespread that a nation of addicts was formed and the FDA was forced to put it on the controlled substance list. I imagine much that same will happen with caffeine soon. The preponderance of so-called energy drinks aimed at youth will certainly cause some alarm in the near future. Don’t believe me about the cocaine do you? It is true. The good ol days right? No wonder some seniors are so bitter.
What strikes me about our current culture is the emptiness of it. How all good things are stripped down to their essential baseness and sold to the masses. Chocolate without cocoa, Marshmallows with no marshmallow, Peppermint candies with no peppermint, Ginger ale with no ginger, Coca-Cola with no cocaine….(OK, I guess that is a good one) sex without love.
Pornography seems to be the greatest offender of this trend. Now there Is nothing wrong with adding some audio-visual spice to a relationship, but replacing human relationship sex with porn is a dangerous trend. I’m not saying everyone should be married but remember the reason we even have sex is for procreation. We seem to forget that, but It’s also a way to share your feelings for someone and yes for gratification. But seems that gratification is the only reason it is done anymore. We took the Ginger and the Marshmallow out of it and stripped it down to just a physical thing.
All I’m saying kiddies, is let’s look for substance and meaning in our lives again. It is ever so much more enriching to have some value and meaning in what we eat, who we love and our connection to this world.
Now for the Google confirmation of my earlier statements;
Drumroll please (just play it in your heads)
Wow. So I was right in that they started out as medicinal but it happened way way way before the 40’s
In fact I found this awesome page for you to read
also It’s a Wonderful Life 1946
That’s it kiddies, stay healthy in your mind, body and soul, Question everything.