Fanning, I know you apologized via email for all the terrible things you did to me, and I definitely printed them all out (preserving your distinctive formatting, incl. the center-aligned text and purple Comic Sans) and put them in my “Precious Sentiments” file folder, but I don’t think I really believed you were sorry until I got all those rare and awsum sodas you scored from the Homer Soda Company.
(Frankly I thought you’d made that place up. It seemed like kind of a cheesy fantasy. Remember when you’d talk about getting out of your little podunk town and moving to a place where vegan cookies were readily available and Kylie played an all-ages show every Saturday night for half-price and Veronica Mars wasn’t canceled and people did not constantly judge you? Like that.)
Anyway on Memorial Day I was enjoying an all-filler all-killer non-vegan hot dog fresh off the grill, and I hit the fridge and saw all the gleaming chilled Homer contraband sitting there. I wanted to savor each one, give each its proper due, but whatever dude I was parched and needed something posthaste. I grabbed a little something called Dang! Root Beer (full name: Dang! That’s Good Root Beer), popped the cap, and downed half the bottle in one swallow.
It tasted like rusty grease. I was all: Way to memorialize our valiant soldiers, Dang. Nice work.
Then I took a paper towel and wiped off the rim and saw I’d removed a good amount of rusty grease. Then I took another, more tentative, sip and I was like: Dang! A nice sweet taste that’s in the ballpark of the undefeatable Weinhard’s, but not nearly as thick and rich so it’s a better companion to an elegant repast of grilled wieners. (Henry’s is really a meal in itself, and does not play well w/others.)
Now, what did I learn from this experience? I learned that if we’re serious about getting a piece of that Web 2.0 money, we need to not drop the ball on our reviewing methodology. Google frowns on that shit. We need to get the beverage at the proper temperature and pour it into a neutral container that will not affect the flavor or composition of the beverage (maybe Sharper Image has something affordable??). And the Tasting Session must take place in a controlled environment with minimal distractions — don’t you seal off your kids’ room with tinfoil to keep it pitch-black all day long? That might work.
And finally we need to develop a standards-based analysis system so we can be consistent in our reviews. Readers need to know what to expect when we describe something as “piquant” or “hella yum” or “ball-ticklingly effervescent.” I’m sorry to suck the fun out of this whole project but we’re providing a valuable service to a lucrative demographic here, and we can’t have johnny-come-latelies like “Drinkr [Beta]” or “I Like Soda LOL” eating our lunch.