Coke, Dr. Pepper, Tab and More: Review of Sodas
Coke: For me, the weird thing about Coca-Cola is the fact that it doesn’t taste like anything else in the known universe. What does it taste like…? …It tastes like… Coke.¹ But Coke is a good soda. Every religion needs its leader, its main god, if you will, and so if sodas were Ancient Greek gods, Coke would probably be Zeus, while Pepsi would be one of those gods that you forget about occasionally, like Poseidon.
My favorite story about Coke has to involve my best friend Tiffany and her sister. The two of them were traveling across Europe when they were eighteen, and they ran into some sneering yet good-looking French guys who hated Americans, as sneering French people will. And so the French guys said to Tiffany: “You Americans… so foolish… so stupid… you think everything is like… like John Wayne movie. And with your McDonalds with their Big McBurgers… and highways everywhere… and guns shooting… and fat… and drinking Coca-Cola for breakfast. Pah!” And Tiffany got mad at them, and started yelling at the Frenchmen, until her sister made the unwise tactical decision of pointing out that they had, in fact, drunk Coke for breakfast that day. And so, fairly quickly, the two of them got the hell out of there. Grade: A
Dr. Pepper: You know, Dr. Pepper used to be my favorite soda — I believe I drank approximately 22,000 cans of it during college — until some nameless person thoughtfully pointed out to me that the main ingredient in Dr. Pepper was, in fact, prune juice. And so now… when I drink Dr. Pepper… it tastes like prunes to me, which must have been what it always tasted like but I could have gone my whole life without realizing that. Thanks, nameless person! And I’d like to thank the other people who pointed out that things taste like other things, thereby engrossening those things for me. For example:
1) Root beer = toothpaste.
2) Going down on a girl = feta cheese.
Sierra Mist: I don’t really care that much about Sierra Mist. I’ve only, uh, drunken it about ten times in my life. …It’s okay. It sort of tastes like a watered-down Sprite, which is fine by me, because anything that takes some of that searing lemon-lime sweetness away is undoubtedly a good thing. But my old roommate Jeremy was once in the running to be the new “Sierra Mist” spokesmodel, and part of this involved coming up with a new catch-phrase for the soda. I don’t remember what his was, and he didn’t win, but mine was, “Go Fuck Yourself, Sprite.” Now… isn’t that a good slogan? Wouldn’t we have sold a million bottles of “Sierra Mist” with that or am I crazy? It’s easy to remember too! “Go Fuck Yourself, Sprite!” ”Go Fuck Yourself, Sprite!” ”Go Fuck Yourself, Sprite!” ”Go Fuck Yourself, Sprite!” ”Go Fuck Yourself, Sprite!” Now maybe it’ll be in your head for the rest of the day. Grade: B
Mountain Dew: Actually, apart from my “Dr. Pepper” phase in college, and these reviews aside, I don’t really drink that much soda these days, and when I do, I drink diet soda, pretty much out of the compelling desire not to weigh two hundred and fifty pounds. But the few times that I’ve had Mountain Dew in my life… Whoa. Jesus. Sugary! Caffeine! I just imagine some guy in the factory standing next to a single can of Mountain Dew, with a fifty-pound bag of sugar poised over it, and he says to the boss, “Okay now… say when.” And then the boss never says when and the whole bag of sugar just magically disappears into the can.
Anyway, if I have one, or god forbid, two cans of Mountain Dew, you can pretty much count on me walking around for the next couple of hours saying things like, “I feel great! Yet crazy! Yet also great!” Jesus. So sweet! There’s a reason that they have all those commercials for it with people screaming insanely at the camera and things like that. …If real mountain dew was like this stuff, we’d have a lot more mountain goats careening wildly off of cliffs while on sugar highs, and more bald eagles finishing twenty page term-papers in 5 minutes at four o’clock in the morning, and a lot more bears saying stuff like, “Did you ever really look at your hands?! …I mean, just look at them,” and anyway okay I’m done with this now. Grade: C-plus
Tab: Impossible to find now, for the simple reason that it tasted like Alkaline battery fluid mixed with chewing gum. But back in the day, it was the only soda with no sugar in it whatsoever, and since my sister is diabetic, we used to have six-packs of the stuff lying around my house, because it was the only soda she could drink without an ambulance instantly pulling up next to our front door… with the result that when I was in the midst of my fourteen-year old torpor phase, and unable or unwilling to walk the half block to the store, I would often come home from school, drink an entire six-pack of “Tab” — which was pointless, since it had no sugar and no caffeine — eat a bag of “Doritos” and collapse on the couch and watch episodes of “Saved by the Bell” back to back to back. And then my parents would come home, see this, and yell, “Why’d you drink all the Tab?! Do you want your sister to die? Go to the store and get more Tab… now!!” To make up for this, I would occasionally get out of work or school by pretending that my sister was in the hospital with a diabetic heart attack or something — which I am probably, and rightfully, going to hell for. Grade: D
(1) I once read a translation of a Chinese newspaper article; right after “Coke” was introduced to Communist mainland China, which described the taste of “Coke” as being “like sucking on the warm leg of a recently massaged athlete.” Gross! But if you’ve ever drunk an entire liter bottle of warm flat Coke, as I have, you can see how this review is kind of… one percent right.
(2) I’m not gay! …Although I must confess that I find the solo taste of mushrooms to be infinitely more appealing than the idea of eating a bunch of feta cheese, which, yuck. But I do think that feta cheese and mushrooms combined make a great topping for pizza. …Which probably means that I’m bisexual.
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