Coke/Pepsi Variants

I’m at the pet store this weekend picking up as many cans of cat food as I can carry, which you know is a lot, so I’ve got two teetering towers in each hand — wait, let me put it in Lord of the Rings terminology since that’s all you seem to understand these days: You know in Two Towers where there’s the evil tower Friskatus that stabs toward the sky like a charred skeletal finger and the good tower Fancifeastus that gleams like a +4 two-handed broadsword? And they totally fight each other until Fredo shows up and says, “STOP IT STOP IT I BEG THEE!!!” And then somebody around here, I’m not saying who but his initials are almost ELF, starts bawling and cheering and singing songs in actual orc-tongue?

Anyway, it’s like that and I notice a little fridge of soda near the checkout counter, and it’s sort of like they’re saying: “Hey! Precious Puss-Boots needs treats but so does her precious owner!!! :-)” So I grab me a Code Red and start chugging.

Mountain Dew Code Red, Dr Pepper Red Fusion, Pepsi Blue, Vanilla Coke, 7-UP’s dnL, Sprite Remix, Pibb Xtra … is there any major soft drink that doesn’t have some kind of variant in rotation right now? And aren’t they all pretty wretched? I mean, I’ve knocked back my fair share of Red Fusion but I think, when you get down to it, I like Dr Pepper so much that I’ll take the variant even though it’s kind of sketchy. That and the crappy deli near my house had a buy-one-get-one-free thing going with those for seriously like a year, which helped.

But my primary reaction to the Code Red was: This was completely assembled in a lab. Pure chemical. I mean, Mountain Dew is already pretty distant from any sort of natural flavor — like it doesn’t even pretend to be lemon-lime or whatever — but the addition of Red just pushed it into total synthetic territory. Which, I’ll admit, was sort of sexy.

Anyhow, here are my capsule reviews:

Code Red: I can feel its nanobots building cities of refreshment in my heart.

Red Fusion: Like Mary-Kate, it makes me wish for Ashley.

Pepsi Blue: My teeth hurt and I feel sad inside.

Vanilla Coke: Remember on Family Ties when Tom Hanks was an alcoholic and drank vanilla extract?

dnL: Lime Life Savers in liquid form, i.e., blecchy.

Sprite Remix: Avoided even though it’s in the office vending machine because you said it’s sort of pineapple-ish, which sounds awful.

Pibb Xtra: Never seen in the flesh but very eager to try. It sounds more like what I’d want out of a Dr Pepper variant: Dr Pepper +4. Dr Pepper raised to the power of Dr Pepper factorial or some shit.

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