The dynamic duo: a small Coke and peanuts

Published 6:53 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I recall when there were two kinds of Coca-Cola: the kind I bought and the kind someone else bought for me.

I remember when there was no Diet Coke. Back in my boyhood days, it was called TaB (that’s the stylized version). I tasted TaB once or twice. I’d rather have castor oil — or even a whuppin’ — instead of that nasty TaB.

The diet soft drinks started getting a significant place in the soft-drink market about the time I graduated from high school, which was 1973. My preferred soft drink was Coke or 7 Up, with an occasional bottled chocolate drink called Brownie. On each bottle of Brownie, the list of ingredients included whey, as in “curds and whey” in the Little Miss Muffet nursery rhyme. To this day, I’m not sure what “whey” is, but I suspect it’s a close relative of tofu.

These days, I prefer diet Dr Pepper and diet Cheerwine. I’ve even found a diet peach soft drink that’s acceptable.

As every Southern boy or man knows, pouring peanuts from a small, tubular plastic bag into a cold bottle of (insert your favorite soft drink here) is the way to make a poor man’s Gatorade. I prefer my peanuts in the six-ounce Coke bottle. Everyone knows that the smaller-sized Cokes tasted sweeter, so that mixture of sweetness from the Coke and the saltiness of the peanuts were the perfect answer after a day of sweating while playing baseball, mowing the lawn or pulling weeds.

The question in my boyhood days — and it may still be the question asked these days — was what brand of salted peanuts to put into one’s soft drink. There were really only two choices — peanuts from Tom’s Snacks or peanuts from Lance. That’s right, the leaders in nabs production were the leaders in the sale of salted peanuts sold in small, tubular plastic bags.

I am a Tom’s Snacks fan. Why? Because my Granddaddy Sanders preferred them. That’s the only endorsement I required.

Of course, the only thing better than a small Coke with Tom’s peanuts in it is the combination of an RC Cola and MoonPie.

I’ll be happy with either one, but I’ll be much happier with both combinations.

Mike Voss is the senior member of the newsroom at the Washington Daily News.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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