I don’t know. It sounded really good to me when I read about it on the internet. Was that my first clue? I do not know. It doesn’t matter. But maybe the impression it left on my mind is the lesson to consider. The inviting wholesomeness of cola, paired with the soul-warming festiveness of holiday spices. A soda that feels like home, really. How could it be anything less?
I see now that I was imagining the acidic bark of a carbonated hot mulled cider. As if. Why do I keep thinking things are going to be as I hope or plan? Why did God curse me with such a fetid imagination? Is fetid the word I’m looking for, who even knows. That’s how lost I am tonight.
Still and all, I am a person whose hopes easily rise, and so when we stopped at the Kum ‘n Go in Havana Illinois and I espied a row of Holiday Spice Pepsis in the cooler, it was like waking up one morning to find that Santa had stopped by a month early. Back in the car I did that thing where you sniff the heady aroma of the beverage before you sip it. I see people do it on TV all the time. I took a few moments trying to pick apart the complicated bouquet. Cinnamon? Clove?
Unfortunately that was all the holiday spices I could name off the top of my head, so I asked Rosalie for her input. She busted out nutmeg, and something called allspice, which seems like a cop-out. She added: “Please God let it not be nutmeg in a cola.” Anyways it probably was; the taste was not as good as the smell. It was like a Pepsi that someone dumped pepper into, maybe. Not really, but I don’t feel like trying any harder than that to describe it. It wasn’t good, OK?
But check it, I guess therein lies the genius, if you peep the timeline:
- High initial enthusiasm about a particular item.
- Anticipation skyrockets upon receipt of said item.
- Total anticlimax and letdown after having opened and experienced said item.
Just like Christmas.
Later that night my brother had open heart surgery and I took this picture of the label before recycling the bottle. He’s still in critical condition. Happy holidays.