On strange pairs of purchases

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel by Steve Estes

As another year has passed into history, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is at last finally over, and we enter the wierdness we call season, it gives me time to contemplate some of the more perplexing questions of life.

I often see some slightly strange things that taken individually prove to be of little consequence and spark very little thought, but then there are the other things. They are also of very little consequence in the grand scheme of things, but they are just enough out of the ordinary to make us ask ourselves the hard questions, mostly rhetorical, to which we must find answers.

Take for instance a peculiarly perplexing happenstance just the other day while at Tom Thumb inside the convenience store.

There were about five people in line, and I was somewhere in the middle. The gentleman just in front of me had only two items to put on the counter. He had a large cold bottle of Budweiser beer, and a small cold can of Mountain Dew.

Now by themselves, neither of those purchases would seem to be in the least out of the ordinary. But when made together, they open the door to a host of perplexing questions.

The first question that comes to mind is just what kind of  person does it take to choose those two particular items to purchase in a single action?

But that is a question that would require some considerable time to learn the probably sordid details of one’s life that would even make the contempt ation to purchase such a diverse pair of drinks fact for a later time. But as I contemplate the question, I am left with the distinct feeling that I, too, would indeed purchase both of those items, though the beer of choice would be different, and I have had to give up Mt. Dew. But this is not about me.

But leaving the esoteric behind, one comes to the question something akin to the seemingly unanswerable “chicken or egg?’

Should one actually mix a beer and a Mt. Dew and proceed to pour it down one’s gullet, would you receive a high-flying buzz, or perhaps a more swift buzz?

The purpose of Mt. Dew is to give a speedy delivery of caffeine and/or sugar to the body. The purpose of beer is to deliver a mind altering liquid into the body.

So if you mix the two, would it speed up the beer buzz, or would the buzz burn away the beer impacts more quickly? And if the Dew burned up the beer buzz more quickly, would it take more beer to get the same buzz? And since beer is a depressant of sorts, would the two simply counteract one another and you wouldn’t get the desired energy burst, thereby taking more Dew to feel that familiar charge?

But since both of those drinks are well documented to add inches to the waistline, would the mixture push one towards the abyss of obesity in obscenely quick fashion?

So many questions…..and no way to get answers, without actually trying the experience. But my experimenting days are over. Can’t stand the headaches the day after.

But if any enterprising individual out there actually decides to do the research and in the end produce such a mixed drink, remember it was my idea, I want a piece of the action.

The second lady in line placed her package of sugared donuts on the counter along with her one-liter Diet Coke, and topped off the pile with a bag of M&Ms.

Of course, she did have a good handle on all of the major food groups, starch in the donuts, some protein in the donuts and sugar, dairy in the chocolate, and a respectable mix of vitamins counted against the suggested daily intake.

And the Diet Coke kept the calorie count down to something manageable.

But again this begs the question. Does anyone really like the taste of diet products well enough to make them part of a daily regimen by choice?

I would have to answer no to that, but then again, I’m sure not everyone would.

Of course, if anyone had been following my purchases with the same twisted eye that I use on the world, they would have come up with a really interesting set of questions for the purchases I put on the counter before I walked out the door.

My new car developed a coolant leak in the sensor that kicks on the electronic fans. Because it is a special-order rig, it took the parts house a few days to find just the sensor and then it had to come from the supplier, another couple of weeks. Meanwhile the sensor allows coolant to leak out so I have to put some in every few days to keep the replenishment tank in the car full. The sensor arrived right after Christmas, now I just need the time to put it in.

But on that particular day I was in a hurry so I grabbed a gallon of coolant, my new drink of choice Pepsi Max, and a roll of cough drops for the persistent allergy-related cough I’ve had the last couple of weeks.

Now if I were looking at the purchases without knowing the back story, I could probably conclude that I wanted to get someone to ingest the coolant, thereby poisoning them, and may have been attempting to use the Pepsi Max to mask the taste of the coolant for the unsuspecting victim.

The cough drops, why for me, of course, to wash away the taste of the bile that was sure to rise after I did that to someone whom I did or did not know.

Wow, was that a morbid scenario.

Of course, in this case, should someone around the country manage to succumb to poisoning by engine coolant masked by mixture with Pepsi Max, I don’t want a piece of that action.

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