May 8, 1886 – Drug addled war vet sells pain relieving tonic


Just remember, nothing is new. Clever modern types think they are reinventing the wheel, but in truth, humans have done just about everything. And the stuff we didn’t, the aliens did. Cause aliens man.

So a war vet comes back from the front, having taken a damn saber to the chest, and gets addicted to morphine. He looks around and sees all his comrades suffering from PTSD. Depression, migraines, drug addiction, alcoholism, suicide, you name it. So chemist John Pemberton, fresh from a stint in the Reb army, invents Coca-Cola, or a variation thereof.

In 1886, due to those temperance people in Atlanta getting all uppity, he had to reformulate the drink to remove the alcohol. Carbonated water was added and what do you know, Coca-Cola was born, and first sold on May 8, 1886. Yes it had traces of cocaine in it, but you weren’t going to pound a few cokes then day trade from your laptop in the back of your Mercedes while doing blow of the body parts of another person.

It was just supposed to be a medicinal drink.

He knew he was on to something, but his health took a drastic, cancerous, turn, and near death, sold the rights for $1750 less than two years after inventing it, still broke, and still addicted to morphine. His son Charles would die, an opium addict, just a few years later.

And today, in 2019, we still suffer with pain, depression, illness, injury. And we still look for relief, and we still die, in far to great a number – 66,000 overdoses in 2016 alone, the majority prescription drugs.

If only there was a magic drink that would take away the pain…

If only there was a magic drink that would stop governments from sending their young people off to war.

If only there was a magic drink that would stave off depression, help you bravely face cancer, keep your father from developing Lewy body dementia and rotting in a chair with wheels and straps.

There’s not.

Coke Zero doesn’t make you a savvy, healthy consumer. Diet Coke isn’t a diet. They are just drinks.

Best drink I ever had? Most therapeutic?

12 years old, after an exhausted day of playing with my summer friends, from a garden hose.

So, today, for Johnny Reb, inventor of the ubiquitous carbonated drink, have a coke and a grimaced, trying real hard, smile.

Maybe they can put the cocaine back in it.