When I recently got a call from the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) in England begging me to be on a program they are producing, my immediate reaction was, “About time.”

Even though this international call to aid orphans from the renowned BBC was long overdue, it was not connected to the “genius grant” that I expected from Oxford University. Still, I was pleased at the timing and made it known that I would do whatever necessary to help the 16 million orphans in need.

The lovely and very Brit producer, Lucy, then explained that they were not interested in our work for orphans, they were interested in my personal addiction to Coca-Cola. Suddenly, I was troubled, “How does the BBC know that I am secretly addicted to Coca-Cola?” Dear God, do they also know that I listen to the Spice Girls and planned to kill Benny Hill until I found out he was already dead.

Lucy then explained that I had written a column about a year ago discussing the horrors and hold that Coca-Cola has on me.

I first started drinking this carbonated goo habitually when I came back to the South 13 years ago. Very soon, I found literally that I was drinking it in the morning — in the shower — because the water by itself was not waking me up.

At times within the past year, I have been drinking as many as five 12-ounce cans of Coke a day. I found that I drank it any time I was sluggish or frustrated. Which is, as you’d expect, all the time. I have 16 million orphans to worry about.

I often keep a can that I am “working on” in the fridge from which I will take hits when I need. I even take hits in the middle of the night and go back to sleep.

If this is not addiction, I do not know what is.

Just so you know my chemical past, I have never been and am not presently addicted to alcohol, meat, drugs, nicotine, People magazine, or street whores. Of course, I do not keep any of the aforementioned items in my home and I do keep Coca-Cola. Perhaps if I had street whores lounging around my pad, I would have a problem. Anyway, Lucy then told me that the BBC was willing to not only pay me but also willing to hire a hypnotist to try to cure me of my Coca-Cola addiction.

I immediately said “Yes” because of my extreme desire to make rent in February and keep my life insurance policy in effect, in case I anger a street whore down the line.

Ahh, the comic world that is “reality.” I had joked about getting a hypnotist for this exact purpose in the past but did not, because every hypnotist I talked to wanted to get paid or had a pressing appointment at a local nightclub to make audience members believe they are a dog eating their own excrement.

I even consulted three hypnotists to whom I am personally connected — my ex, who is an M.D. in psychiatry and a hypnotist; her father, who is an M.D. in psychiatry and a hypnotist; and my old friend, Tom DeLuca, who is perhaps America’s best comedic hypnotist. All considered, my Coca-Cola addiction was too insignificant for their time. Or they probably considered me too insignificant for their time.

See, I’ve already learned something valuable. Somehow, the BBC cares more about me than my friend, in-law, or even the woman that took my demon seed and created a wonderful child, Gabriel.

So, later this month, the country that we fought a Revolutionary War to get away from will fly a hypnotist to me from Texas so that I may potentially no longer be addicted to sugar water.

I’m just glad that I didn’t tell these lovely Brits that I have been cutting back on my Coca-Cola use of late — all by myself. Let’s keep that a secret just between us Americans. I really need next month’s rent and am at least four times as funny as Benny Hill. There is no way for me to mess up the BBC.

I suppose this is a sign that I should drink more Coke.

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