I’ve got a problem.

OK, fine, fine, as any woman who has ever kissed me knows, I’ve got a scad of problems. But I’ve got one problem

I’m addicted to Coca-Cola. Totally hooked. It seems to have happened when I moved back to South Carolina from L.A., 13 years ago. Perhaps I wanted to fit in and Coke was an easy answer. An answer to being Southern without resorting to giving a rats ass about the Carolina-Clemson football game or killing fowl with ballistic weaponry. Whatever, the reasons for starting, I am a straight out, junkie hooked on Coca-Cola today.

There were warning signs that I had a developing problem with Coca-Cola. For instance, I started drinking Coca-Cola first thing in the mornings…in the shower. The hot shower water by itself was simply not waking me up. I wish I were kidding..

How much Coca-Cola do I drink? Four or even five 12 oz. cans a day. That’s about 1/3 of my total intake of calories. I use it as a constant treat while I write, while I beg for aid for orphans, while I drive in traffic, while I deal with L.A. celebs and their henchmen, essentially any time I feel the need for comfort I turn to Coca-Cola. There’s a cold one 14 inches from me right now and it’s 1 A.M.

Can I sleep at 1 A.M. after a Coke, you ask? I could probably sleep while drinking a Coke, it’s so second nature.

I know that this sugary concoction is a crutch. I know that it is unnecessary. It’s a simple but profound addition. Knowing that it is an addiction makes it worse. Hey, the first step in solving a problem is admitting the problem and here I am admitting. I’m no better than the junkies on the street to whom I give spare change and unwanted clothing.

I understand that Coca-Cola is not just sugar and carbonation. It is the base of my pyramid of foods. Coca-Cola is how I get through the day. Coca-Cola is not a beverage, it’s a coping mechanism.

When I feel the lack of love from a woman, about every 3 hours, I turn to Coca-Cola. When I feel that I am a lacking Father, about every 2 hours, I turn to Coca-Cola. Subconsciously, when I feel great stress about the fact that “civilized” mankind’s greed and arrogance is pushing us to self annihilation, which happens about every hour, I turn to Coca-Cola.

I keep one can constantly in the fridge that I take sips from every 15-30 minutes during the day. It may as be a self administered morphine drip. But it’s GD Coca-Cola.

Oh, and did I mention that it is perfect every time. Perfect with every sip. Perfect in every situation.

My own child’s love can be very inconsistent but Coke hits the target every time. What can I say, on some level I love Coca-Cola more than my own child. Just like the Coke marketing people hoped would happen.

Just like any Junkie I have a ritual for how my Coke needs to be prepared. It MUST be properly chilled, between 28 degrees to 33 degrees Fahrenheit and served from aluminum cans or glass bottles. I don’t touch Coke in any type plastic. Won’t touch the s*** if it’s in a 2 liter plastic bottle or even the 20 oz plastico shaped like Jennifer Lopez. Do I sound like a man with a problem yet???

And it has to be Coca-Cola. Not just any cola. Offer me a Pepsi every 5 minutes from now until eternity and I will turn you down every time. Bless each and every one of you at PepsiCo, but you just ain’t got it. It’s got to be “The Real Thing”. You junkie MFer!

I’ve tried generics, made by the Walton Family, the Bi-Lo and Teeter Families but I go back to Coca-Cola every time with a sheepish apology like a Husband caught with sales rep …”Honey, I don’t know what I was thinking, sipping from another well…it’s YOU I love.”.

I’ve given up meat. I’ve given up sex. I’ve given up material possessions. But I can’t seem to give up Coke.

I’ve got it bad. There’s a monkey on my back, Jerry. And I want to get rid of it. So I’m taking action.

I’ve decided that I am going to do whatever it takes. And just like any true American, I want easy answers. Willpower is for other people. People like aborigines or Europeans.

I’ve decided to see a hypnotist. And not just any hypnotist but whatever hypnotist I can find in the phone book that is willing to treat me for free.

I’ve actually considered seeing a hypnotist about my Coca-Cola addiction before. I had a friend from my comedy touring days, a comedian/hypnotist, Tom DeLuca. Tom performs at colleges and does corporate gigs for something between $3000-$10,000 a day. Tom considered by Coca-Cola habit too insignificant to take his time. Making a coed cluck like a chicken IS worth his time but my physical well being is immaterial. Perhaps if I had tossed Tom $8000, he would have squeezed me in. Capitalist, Pepsi drinking swine!

My Ex-Wife’s Father is a M.D., a Psychiatrist and he uses hypnotism in his practice. I sought his “help”. However, Dr. M also considered my addiction to not be worth his time. But then he considered ME to not be worth his time on every level. Dr. M would rather treat a rattlesnake for hemorrhoids than help me in any way.

Actually, I’m glad that Dr. M never hypnotized me because if he had, he probably would have had me commit suicide while under his hypnotism. The perfect crime for an imperfect marriage, in his eyes I would suspect.

So, it’s off to the phone book. I will find help. If the hypnotism doesn’t work, I may try a 12 Step program because I recognize that this is a drug addiction. Right now, I’m trying to figure out who I have “hurt” with my Coca-Cola addiction? Who will I have to apoligize to for my behavior during this period? And all I can say is “I’m sorry PepsiCo.”.

I’ll let you know about the “perfected” me next week after the hypnosis. Or if there’s anyone else out there that can help, give a call. You know I’m up, I just had a Coke.