Tuesday, January 17, 2017

No Coke, Pepsi!

(Source)
Just to be up front about things, I prefer Coca-Cola products. The title is from an old Saturday Night Live bit which is tough to find on YouTube without running into a news report about the actual place in Chicago upon which the skit was based. Without going any further into that, as I suspect lawyers are involved, suffice to say that as a Coca-Cola guy the phrase "No Coke, Pepsi" always sends a shiver up my spine.

Why? Pepsi is just too sweet. Perhaps the same reason that I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate, the latter is just too sweet. No, no, no, not toute suite which is French for "right now" and sounds remarkably like "too sweet." Only with that snooty French accent, come on you know the one I mean.

Why yes, bring me a Coke and some dark chocolate, toute suite!

But I (predictably) digress.

Truth be told, these days I only drink the decaffeinated, diet variety bottled by Coca-Cola. Which, I know, I know, why bother? There's a bit of a story behind that and about which there will be a video in just a bit.

No. Do not scroll down and watch the video now, patience.

Some of you will do that anyway. Sigh...

Anyhoo. I used to drink regular Coke, not that Coke "Classic" nonsense, regular Coke. Back when it had real sugar in it, not high fructose corn syrup. (No, I didn't drink Coke when it had actual cocaine in it, while I am old, I'm not that old. Juvat might remember it though. Old NFO for sure, he might have been there when it first came out. Before my time.)

Anyhoo, back in '85 it was when the Coca-Cola Company changed the formula for Coca-Cola. I was in the Air Force out in Colorado, also in college, also in Colorado (long story which I might, or might not, tell some day). All I remember is purchasing my favorite beverage one day and it tasted "odd." I thought it tasted more like Pepsi than Coke. Which, suffice to say, rather upset me. I mean, if I wanted to drink Pepsi, then I would bloody well buy Pepsi. What the "h" "e" double hockey sticks was going on?

Found out that it wasn't a bad batch of Coke on the market, no, this was a deliberate attempt to bring down Western Civilization match Pepsi's market share. Apparently Pepsi was "more popular" than Coke, probably due to a rather slick advertising campaign by Pepsi which kind of implied that all the young, hip kids were drinking Pepsi, not Coke. (My personal theory is that that was true, the young and "hip" will always succumb to clever marketing. Witness the past eight years in the good old U. S. of A.)

At any rate, I suffered through the "New Coke" period and was overjoyed when "Coke Classic" came out. It was touted as a return to the old formula. Which may or may not have been the case. The Classic variety of my favorite soft drink did not taste as I remembered it tasting. Something was "off." Then one day after class, I hit up the vending machines for an ice cold Coke.

There were none. No Coke! WTF, over. Yes, they had Pepsi but I think I would rather go thirsty than drink that, ah, what's this? Diet Coke? Remembering earlier "diet" drinks, like Tab, which tasted like liquefied asphalt (or what I imagined liquefied asphalt tasted like) I hesitated, but damn it, I was thirsty. So I bought one.

Kind of tasted like Coke only with a sort of soapy after taste. No, not that pleasant. But still, I thought, better than Pepsi, or a sharp stick in the eye, not that the two are related or anything. Gradually though, I switched to Diet Coke full time, as The Missus Herself had also remarked that I could stand to lose a couple of pounds and wouldn't a diet drink be just the thing?

Fast forward a few years, after I had retired from Uncle Sam's Aerial Follies, I was having a great deal of trouble sleeping at night. I attributed it to my distaste for being a civilian, my doctor thought otherwise. So into the medical realm I went, note that The Missus Herself accompanied me to the appointment.

My Doctor: "So you're having trouble sleeping. How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?"

Your Humble Scribe: "Oh one, sometimes two..."

My Doctor: "Well then, that can't be it, how about..."

The Missus Herself: "How about the three or four Diet Cokes you drink every day?"

My Doctor: "Well there you go, those have a lot of caffeine in them. Cut down on those, you should be sleeping better in no time."

The Missus Herself: "I told you so, 'Mister Never Reads The Label.'"

Your Humble Scribe: "Yes dear, you're right dear. Thanks Doc."

So there I was, no longer able to drink my beverage of choice in the quantities to which I had become accustomed. Bereft I was, inconsolable I was, and...

The Missus Herself (to whom I have been married 39 years as of last Thursday, just to mention it) brought home a new thing, something called Caffeine Free Diet Coke. Hhmm.

Tried it, didn't like it at first but, as "regular" Diet Coke did, it "grew on me." I got used to it, eventually grew to love it. Well, love is perhaps too strong a word, but like it a lot fits. And it's still better than Pepsi. YMMV.

This post was indirectly inspired by ColoComment (again). Indirectly because she tipped me off to the whole "Today I Found Out" YouTube channel to which I have become seriously addicted. Even more than Russian dash-cam videos (don't ask, I'm not proud of it).

So with that YouTube channel, a six pack of Caffeine Free Diet Coke and some big chunks of dark chocolate, I could easily while away an entire afternoon. Not saying that I have, not saying that I haven't.


Truth be told, I'm still pining for that whole bourbon and eggnog holiday drink thing. No, really. The Musician and I put away a couple or three of those up at Mom's over Christmas. She's probably still wondering where all the bourbon went. Needless to say, devotees of the science of mixology we are not. "That looks good, oh dear that's a bit strong" works fine for us.

A bientôt!




48 comments:

  1. Yes, Coke changed a lot over the years. Always was my favorite and I agree that Pepsi is way too sweet. I miss the little 10 oz returnable bottles that were around back in the sixties. They always seemed to have an extra bite to them. More carbonation or something than the larger bottles.

    Last Thursday was your anniversary? You mean Jan 12th? Congratulations. The lovely missus and I celebrated our 43rd on that day.

    Superbowl trivia: My beloved Pittsburgh Steelers won their first championship, Super Bowl IX, on that day in 1975, which was our first anniversary. Pretty cool anniversary present. The little lady spent the day fetching me beers and cheese and pepperoni and crackers and sammiches so that I could watch the game and not have to get up and miss anything. Ah, to go back to those days when women knew their place. Just kidding, just kidding. I'm not a misogynist. Maybe a misanthrope, but not a misogynist, so don't any of you lovely lasses who read this blog get your panties in a wad................

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    1. Well then, belated congratulations to you and Mrs taminator013!

      I remember those halcyon days when the Super Bowl was played in January, odd that your team, the Steelers, will be meeting the Patriots in the playoffs this coming weekend. Should be (I hope) a good game, most games between them are.

      Misanthrope. Now there's a word I haven't heard in a while, an old favorite.

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  2. When I was running the roads, keeping a large private radidio network operating, I got hooked on Dr. Pepper. 10,2 and 4 I took literally. I thought I might be drinking a bit much, so switched to diet Dr. P. A while after that, I developed a right eye twitch. It would fire off at various times. Had to explain that to a homely waitress once...... um..... yeah.

    Want back to liquid candy Dr. P, and it went away.... hmmmm.... Next year I decided to lose some weight and went with diet Dr. P again. After the second bottle, some giant hit me across the head with a lawnmower blade!!! From ear to ear, across the top of my noggin. That was one of the worst headaches I've ever had. Aspertame is off my list!

    I quit fizz water, and dropped 20 lbs without any effort.

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    1. Yeah, the fizz water (especially the high octane variety) is not conducive to weight loss.

      Dr Pepper was never a favorite, though it does have an interesting flavor, not unpleasant. I guess I'm just a cola guy.

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    2. Well, I'm gonna come right out and say it. I prefer Pepsi. There! You may fire when ready Gridley!

      I used to drink Diet Pepsi to the tune of 4 or 5 a day. Started getting migraines that ranged from annoying to debilitating, and 3-4 a week was the norm. Our winemaker friends had made their money (how do you make a small fortune in the wine industry? start with a large one)in pharmacy. I was over at their winery and a migraine hit me. My friend asked me what was going on, I told him and he asked if I drank diet sodas (no requirement for Pepsi to be the culprit). When I said yes, he said switch to sucralose or back to regular for a week and see what happens. I did. Almost instantaneous improvement. Where I used to have 12 or so migraines a month, now I might get 1 to 2 a year and the severity is much more bearable.

      All that having been said, after my incident in December, 2 out of 2 Doctors agree, juvat needs to cut back on sodas (and booze, exercise more, lose weight yada yada yada). So, I'm down to maybe one soda (Pepsi) a day. That plus the booze, exercise things, has vastly improved my sleep. Still wake up at 3am and solve the problems of the world, but now can go back to sleep.

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    3. Your liking of Pepsi will neither harm, nor benefit, your position here at The Chant. Tastes vary in many areas between otherwise like-minded folk. In other words, it won't be held against you. Much. (LOL, as Virgil might say. Speaking of whom...)

      I too need to cut back on eating and increase the exercising. I eat too much and exercise too little. For me the alcohol consumption has never been a problem. Two or three beers a month is a lot for me, though that tends to increase around the holidays.

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  3. Those russkies with their dash cams, pretty addictive huh? Total guilty pleasure. Wife and I weaned ourselves off diet Coke a few years back. Still can't sleep though.

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    1. Ah, another devotee of the dash cam. Total guilty pleasure indeed, though I tell myself that it's for the study of how not to drive.

      Sleep seems harder to come by these days, too much in my brain at times.

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    2. The Russians have a real problem with speeders on snowy roads.

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    3. After being at a few real accidents, that sort of thing loses it's interest.

      I, too miss Real Coke. The syrup, which where a LOT of money is made, used to come in aluminum five gallon cylinders, called, appropriately enough, "figals". It show how paranoid big companies can be, that at the time of the switch to New Coke, since Coke had accounts for McDonalds, Burger King, AND Wendy's, for every figal of Pepsi sold, Coke sold a truck load.
      I wish they still made Coke. Diet Coke is OK, but it just isn't he same.

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    4. Haven't been at an awful lot of "real" accidents, except as a participant. Fortunately, none of mine caused any more than bumps and scrapes. That having been said, I find no interest in those videos for much the same reason. No interest in seeing people maimed or killed. But, heck, I got squeamish with photos of Prairie Adventures surgery.

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    5. @SCOTTtheBADGER - Very few gory dash cam videos, most are blurred when there are casualties. I watch them for the infinite parade of human stupidity when it comes to motor vehicles. On a grand scale.

      And no, Diet Coke just isn't the same.

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    6. @Juvat - I get that but again, there is next to no gore in the videos, they are great examples of how not to drive.

      Besides, Russians. (If you get my drift.)

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  4. A nerve you have hit. All soda should be banned. Sugar is the poison making us fat and giving us diabetes. Even the "Diet" which has never had a weight lose effect. Sugar and fake sugar triggers the brain to be hungry and want even more sugar...addiction much? DO the research my friend and then cut back, it is an addiction, but it is easier to break than say smoking...maybe a week and the craving abates.

    I could never tell the diff between coke or pepsi, and tab tasted like slightly flavored water.

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    1. Yeah, you know the old bit "'Niagara Falls!' Slowly I turned..." That's me with soda. Sorry.

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    2. Hahaha!

      I wonder how many people get the "Niagara Falls" reference? (I do.)

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  5. I was operating a small grocery store when Coke pulled their stunt.
    It was not fun.
    That said, Pepsi had a larger share of the market then, as it has always seemed to have had in the Central Valley of this state.
    (One could almost claim Pepsi is conservative, Coke, progressive... almost!)
    My own favorite is the original Coke.
    I could goon all day about P v. C AND regale you with tales of dealing with suppliers.
    But it's not my blog.
    Besides, I've better things to do at the moment.

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    1. "Better things to do."

      Heh, I get that.

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  6. "it grew on me" So do mold and moss if you sit there long enough. I drink mostly Diet Coke these days, but decaf? As you said so eloquently: "Why bother??"

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    1. I know. I feel somewhat ashamed. I drink it for it's lack of caffeine and its Coca-Cola "like" flavor.

      The Missus Herself says I should drink more water. While healthy, it has less taste than Decaf Diet Coke.

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    2. You should move down here. I truly believe that God puts what we need in the water where we live. Turns out, those sulphur tablets I took as a Boy Scout a couple weeks before summer camp aren't needed down here. Crack a tap at the end of the pipe after a day of disuse, and you get a whiff of Grandpa's outhouse. Just rub it all over and drink a cuppaday. Keeps the fleas and ticks off dontcha know.

      Out in western R-Kansas, I've seen leaky taps that left blood trails down the sink. It was just the sulphur in the water, tho. Kept the ticks off, too. But you had to brush your teeth AFTER drinking the water.... to be polite.

      You'll never again say that water has less taste than (insert just about anything but Jet A or Diesel here).

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    3. Hahaha!

      I so get that. We lived in Long Beach, Mississippi one summer where when you filled the sink to shave, the sink would be brown when you drained it, just from the water.

      We drank no tap water after that, believe me. We even used bottled water to brush our teeth.

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  7. I went for Pepsi long ago when you could get 12 oz for the same price as 6oz of Coca-Cola. When the family travelled to Texas every other year from the left coast SFO, SEA, etc. I would look forward to Dr. Pepper which wasn't available out west. Oh and Fritos. Oh yes, Fritos. The first stop would be Electra TX to get my grandad two cases of beer (wet county) and me some Fritos. Oh! That first salty bite after two years deprivation.

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    1. Huh! How long ago was that? Because I recall Dr. Pepper and Fritos back at least as far as 1963 in San Diego County.

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    2. I lived in Electra back in the early 60s. One of my best memories was going to Friday night football games with my dad. Mom would work the concession stand - where I loved to order a Coke and Frito pie. The Frito pie was a small bag of Fritos cut open with chili poured in, topped with onions and cheese.

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    3. Very tasty! and good for you too!

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    4. Fritos and Chili and cheese mesh together very nicely!

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    5. @Juvat - well, I must try that, seeing as how it has the JSOA, "Juvat Seal of Approval."

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    6. @SCOTTtheBADGER - and seconded by the Wisconsin badger! We have a winner.

      (So would you drink Coke or Pepsi with that? And I do mean Coca-Cola Coke, not the more generic Texan "Coke.")

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    7. Either goes well, but, of course, the standard down here is Dr. Pepper.

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    8. Ah ha! Again, Dr Pepper seems to be a favorite among many of the Chanters. (So Tuna, do you get royalties on that?)

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    9. Diet Coke. Both Coke and Pepsi are citrus based, Pepsi is orange based, and Coke is lime based. I learned from a soda jerk that if you add real soda fountain lime syrup, which is made with cane sugar, to diet coke, you get a beverage that tastes a great deal like real, old fashioned Coca Cola. The syrup adds a little more lime flavor, and the taste of cane sugar. I have tried this, and it works!

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    10. Gee, and you called him a jerk...

      Oh, wait a minute...

      Yeah, that's old school.

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  8. I remember that! After drinking Egyptian coke for six months I thought new coke was great. I was always more of a Dr Pepper guy, but lemme tellya, don't ever drink Egyptian Dr Pepper.

    I like those Russian dash cams too. They have some darned tough livestock. And as Foxworthy might say, "If you're a Russian, you might be a redneck."

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    1. Avoid Egyptian Dr Pepper, aye!

      Dr Pepper is much more popular than I realized.

      As Buck would say, "I had no ideer..."

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  9. Did you know, in Hawaii and other cool good places, one can buy COKE made with sugarcane instead of high fructose corn syrup? Wonderful stuff.

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    1. Another reason to love Hawaii. Of course, they have ready access to the sugarcane.

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  10. Overseas it was always Pepsi, no Coke... Re original Coke, I knew an older lady back in the 1970s that had bought shares in the early 1900s ORIGINAL shares with bearer bonds. Never sold them. They were worth big $$ in the 1970s...

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  11. Interesting. I find Coke to be both too sweet and too flat.

    Although recently we have switched to mostly the lightly flavored seltzer waters to which I might add either powdered lemon or lime juice, or some of the liquid "add in" flavorings.

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  12. Hi thee to your local Home Depot and if you are lucky they will have cases of coke imported from Mehico(actually bottled in Honduras). Anyhoo it's made with the old formula using real sugar. Seriously good, especially with a shot of 100* Morgan Black Rum, heh, heh, heh.
    But definitely better then that canned stuff that's sold in grocery stores.

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    1. Local grocery store has them in stock. I'm drinking one as I write this.

      Minus the rum, it's still too early...

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)