For certain members of The Silver Family, Diet Coke is as crucial to existence as ambrosia was for the Greek gods. The Coca-Cola Corporation’s pre-eminent calorie-free carbonated beverage, Diet Coke is, to quote Old Lady Standish, guzzled by certain Silvers “like it’s going out of style.”
Dark brown fizzy water, flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, and citrus oils, among other flavorings. It is commonly served cold.
According to Wikipedia, which is never wrong, “Cola became popular worldwide after pharmacist John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886, which was later imitated by other manufacturers.” Diet Coke, the calorie-free alternative to traditional Coca-Cola, was introduced on July 8, 1982.
Younger members of the Silver Family, once they were allowed to drink soda at all, traditionally stuck with the regular Coke products that their dads drank—leaving the Diet Coke to the moms. But as body image issues passed down through the generations, these younger Silvers eventually turned to Diet Coke too. And now they cannot—and will not—be separated from their nectar of the gods. Studies warning about the side-effects of artificial sweeteners be damned!
In The Boot of Destiny, Old Lady Standish accuses Tracy Silver of guzzling Diet Cokes during her high school lunch period “like they’re going out of style.”
Later in that same book, Michael Silver introduces an anecdote about his time in New Orleans by saying “I’d been nursing Diet Cokes and listening to the house band at a little joint called Fritzel’s, way down past the strip clubs and the sports bars.”
During an inner monologue in The Piano of Death, Veronica Silver thinks “They were supposed to be drinking Diet Coke, not Coors Light.”
While hanging out with her friend David Johnson in the story “Robin: The Word on the Ceiling,” Robin Gates also partakes: “While his back was to me, I reached across the table to pluck a fry from his plate. It was so soggy and disgusting that I might not have finished it if it weren’t for the fact that I had no place to hide the evidence. I chewed quickly, swallowed, and reached for my Diet Coke.”
And in the short story “Where It Hurts,” the protagonist laments the cessation of her habit: “Janet sips at her Coke—no longer Diet, because of the baby.”