Help, I’m Addicted To My Sodastream

A break in the supply chain forced me to confront how much pop I drink — and how much I refuse to feel bad about it.

First, I would like to thank the clerk at Staples for being unduly generous to a crazy woman during what is a hard time for everyone.

A couple of months ago, because I’m secretly an Earth Day-loving hippie underneath my middle-aged punk exterior, I loaded up my bicycle with a couple of spent CO2 canisters for my Sodastream to take to the office supply chain, which has a service where one can exchange them for full canisters at a discounted price. But when I got there, the kind soul working the counter kindly informed me that they were out of the canisters available for exchange, and had no idea when there would be more.

I have to imagine the flash of frustration that passed through my eyes — the only visible part of my face, due to the mask — was alarming, because he continued to reassure me that he understood and that, because of the pandemic, the exchange program had mysteriously halted. Abashed at his compassion in the face of my naked need for fizzy drinks in a time of great suffering and pain, I slunk out of the store and returned home.

Internet research quickly proved how right the Staples clerk was. Due to the pandemic, not only Sodastream not making canisters available for trade-in, they were also running short on various flavors, like their Diet Dr. Pepper knock-off and their pink grapefruit soda, that we apparently consume in vast quantities in my house. Soon, we were out of not just CO2 but all our flavors, and facing a prospect that we hadn’t considered in the many years since we first bought our in-kitchen soda maker: Buying canned sodas from the grocery store.

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