Life in the Fast Lane


Of Glugging and Stories

By 4:12 PM , , , , ,


In the office pantry, I refilled my glass of water and downed it in under five seconds.

Then I heard someone say, "Ang bilis naman!" (That's so fast!)

This wasn't the first time someone commented on either: a) the loud sound my throat makes me whenever I drink water; or, b) the speed at which I drink water.

And I smiled, not bothering to offer an explanation.

But the truth is, I don't know how not to drink water fast/silently. And it's all because of the chocolate milk I used to drink as a kid.

Yes, chocolate milk.

Every night, we would play a game. In an attempt to make drinking milk (whether fresh milk or chocolate milk; I preferred chocolate) fun and exciting for my siblings and me, my mom would make us race. This may not have been the best idea (in a "Kids, Don't Try This at Home" sort of way), but it worked for us.

"On the count of 3, go! 1... 2... 3!"

We would then grab our glasses of milk on the table and chug them down to the last molecule, as fast as our little esophaguses (esophagi?) would allow.

"Finished!" the proud winner of the night would say. And he/she would have bragging rights for 24 hours.

But really, beyond being proclaimed the winner, we were more excited about what would happen next: story time. And here, my siblings and I were equals. We would take turns picking which story would be read to us.

I would join in when it came to choosing a book and listening to the story being read, even if I could already read by then. I still liked being read to; I would imagine myself as the heroine rescuing a cat stuck up a tree, or as someone's twin sister, or as a citizen of Bear Country. Soon, the drone of the reader's voice — usually Mom's, sometimes Dad's — would send me off to Slumberland within minutes.


As I downed yet another refill of water from our office pantry, I smiled at the thought of this particular memory.

I can't drink water any other way.

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