Fizzled Out: Ten Soft Drink Mishaps

There’s big money to be made in the sugar water industry with its ten million percent markup and its product’s ability to disappear down a slaked throat in seconds. Some beverage companies are on top of the world ( they would literally have a logo on top of Planet Earth if we let them! ) and have plenty of capital to invest in developing new drinks. One has to wonder what was floating around the research lab on the day that the following carbonated monstrosities came into being:

1. Jones Soda’s Thanksgiving and Halloween Specials

No doubt this is an elaborate joke meant as a gag gift or deemed justifiable only by the publicity Jones has received for their sheer audacity. The one thing it can’t be meant for is drinking. The flavours are changed each year but “Turkey & Gravy,” “Brussel Sprouts,” “Wild Herb Stuffing,” and “Salmon Pate” should give you some idea of this Seattle-based bottler’s assault on the season of giving. The half-sized cans meant for trick-or-treaters aren’t quite so distasteful although handing out “Candy Corn” and “Caramel Apple” flavoured pop to the neighbourhood kiddies just might get your windows soaped!

2. Orbitz

We Canadians are to blame for this one. The best way to describe Orbitz is that it’s a lava lamp you can drink: a sickeningly sweet beverage that comes complete with weird gelatin orbs that neither rise nor sink. Although this product has long since been discontinued, it’s quite astounding how many people kept a bottle to show people and make them go “Ewww!” Nobody wants a drink that you have to chew – it’s that simple!

3. Reebok and Speedo Sportswater

One’s a sneaker. One’s a thong. Call me a prude but I don’t think either of them should have anything to do with something that you ingest. Speedo’s slogan was “We know water.” Yeah, you also know about the butt cracks of furry-backed beach-goers. Next!

4. Pepsi Blue

Pepsi has had a lot of experimental flavours go South on them: Crystal Pepsi, Holiday Spice Pepsi, Pepsi Edge and, of course, Blue Pepsi, which looks and tastes like the stuff the barber uses to disinfect combs. One wonders if the creation of Pepsi Blue was prompted only by the desire to have every color of the rainbow represented on the cooler shelves. Pepsi Grey, anyone?

5. The Bloody Zit Froster

You know the kids today: they like products that are cool and edgy. They’re sure to love a slushy drink named after a ruptured pustule. Never mind that we’re asking them to symbolically devour plasma and pus – this flavour’s going to be a hit! Absolute proof that many marketing departments are bat-shit insane! Bloody Zit flavour was “sour cherry” before it was given its hideous rechristening. What’s next? Athlete’s Foot flavour? Hobo’s arse?

6. Avery’s Dog Drool Soda

Imagine trying to harvest enough dog drool to keep the Avery’s assembly line going? Canine saliva has not enjoyed this kind of main stream exposure since the days of Pavlov. Of course, real rover spit is not an actual ingredient, but it’s the thought that counts. Avery’s saves money on marketing by getting unpaid ten-year-olds to come up with product names. 90% of these names are rejected because they have the word “poo” in them.

7. Skeleteens Counter Culture Sodas

Skeleteens offers a wide range of beverages for thirsty Satan worshipers, Goths, and Anthrax fans. A leering skull is almost always featured on the label of pathologically weird products such as Rat Bastard Root Beer ( “tastes like a son of a bitch” according to the company website ), jalapeno-infused “The Drink,” and “From Dusk Till Dawn” soda – you know, that Tarantino vampire flick? Yeah, I don’t get it either. This company is trying way too hard.

8. Nutz Sparkling Peanut Soda

Let us say nothing of the millions of innocent allergy sufferers that the evil peanut has killed. It must be admitted that, salted in a bowl, they’re pretty good. As a refreshing beverage, however, North America’s favourite legume falls pretty flat. It seems that even from beyond the grave George Washington Carver is managing to carry out his evil agenda.

9. Goldin Pickle Juice

This is not a joke. Apparently if you drink a lot of pickle juice before engaging in athletics, you drastically reduce your chances of pulling a muscle. Goldin’s deadly dill aftertaste is compensated for by the fact that it has fifteen times as many electrolytes as Gatorade. This product is endorsed by NFL football player Jason Witten who must get laughed at a lot in the locker-room. As endorsement deals go, this one’s on par with Tinactin.

10. Chinese Sprite

They don’t seem to care for regular old Sprite in the Forbidden City. Tired of living in the shadow of Mao and hungry for an influx of stupid Capitalist products, the Chinese wet their whistles on Sprite Mint and Sprite On Fire. Maybe there’s an error in translation, but drinking something that’s in flames sounds a little counter-productive to me.

We live in a world of messed-up beverages, and it was real hard to narrow this article down to just ten. The popularity of Energy Drinks has resulted in an explosion of virile and empowering product names: Brute Force, Happy Bunny Spaz, Pimp Juice.and Big Head Aboriginal Coffee Cola. While it’s nice to see a movement away from the old Coke ( “I’d like to force the world to sing” ) and Pepsi standbys, I must admit that it would take several days lost in the desert before I would venture to pop a cap on some of the freakish fluids mentioned above.

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