Roxie's face was all scrunched up.
"I've got a bone to pick with you, Jim!"
"I don't understand, Roxie. The only bones we've ever picked are barbecue bones. What's going on?"
"I've heard that you are going around knocking paws. My sources say that you have been talking about paws that do not refresh. Are you talking about that great organization All4Paws or my paws? Paws are symbolic of the whole canine. I don't know how many times humans have looked at my paws and, unlike you, have come away impressed and refreshed."
"Wait a minute. ... Hmmm. Oh, I'm sorry. I've got it. I was talking about pause, not paws. They sound alike."
"I don't understand that at all. Keep explaining."
"A big to do was recently made about the Administration in Washington deciding to have an 'indefinite pause' in plans to drill for oil off of South Carolina's coast."
"That sounds like good news to me."
"It would be if it were true."
"You're not telling me that the government would not be totally truthful about something?"
"I'm not going there, Roxie. Back to the issue at hand. There has been no definite word from the federal agency responsible for overseeing the process of offshore oil exploration and drilling. In fact, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management continues to work on seismic testing permits. Seismic testing is in itself a threat to the ocean, and it is the first step in offshore drilling."
"Okay. I'm following now. The pause in offshore oil drilling is not a pause, so we shouldn't think that this is the end of the threat."
"You've got it, Roxie."
"But Jim, while I now understand the play on words, where did the part about refreshing come from. You simply could have said this is not a pause"
"Roxie, as you know, I'm from Decatur, Georgia, right next to Atlanta. At a pharmacy in Decatur, a druggist decided to mix carbonated water with syrup (he threw in another ingredient that is not legal now). The druggist served the drink to customers. They liked it, even after the illegal ingredient was taken out. A company was formed to produce and sell the drink. Thus, Coca-Cola was born. One of the most famous advertisements for Coke was, 'The Pause That Refreshes'."
"It is all clear now. You seem to know a lot about that soft drink."
"I do and part of my connection with Coke is a reflection on a sad family story."
"Tell me about it. Should I go get my 'Doctor Is In' shingle?"
"No, that isn't necessary. My grandfather was a developer in Decatur. He started the first savings and loan association in the area to help people finance homes. In 1914, granddad was approached by a friend who offered him the opportunity to purchase $100 worth of stock in a company that had just gone public. Granddad turned the offer down. He thought the product the company produced was a dumb idea."
"I see where this is going. That company was ..."
"Yep, it was Coca-Cola. Over the years I've fought the urge to see what that investment would be worth today."
"Jim, it seems to me that for you, no pause refreshes. For happy hour, I guarantee what we won't drink."
The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins and Roxie live in Pawleys Island.