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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today At DEWmocracy.com ...

We, as Americans, sit at a crossroads ... a political precipice of life-affirming proportions. We get to select yet another flavor to join the royal Mountain Dew family.

I take this duty solemnly. Most Americans, like myself, will probably give this decision more serious consideration, ask more peers for guidance, and perform more research than we did for the most recent presidential contest (come on, the black guy was too hip not to vote for).

Since the 1940s, PepsiCo has been supplying us with one of the greenest, fizziest, tangiest, caffeine-iest sodas ... first in Tennessee and the Carolinas exclusively, then taking the U.S. and the globe by storm. In 2007, Mountain Dew was ranked as the fourth best-selling carbonated beverage in the world. In 2008, like celebrity couples and fickle rap artists, the popular soda came up with a neater nickname and became known as MTN DEW.

This is the second such "election" in the drink's history. As if to undo the nation's error of a second term for George W., PepsiCo presented consumers with three new flavors of Dew and allowed us to elect the winner. In 2008, store displays grabbed our attention and encouraged us to try "Supernova," a strawberry-melon blend that tasted like a wet Pixie Stick; "Revolution," a berry-flavored drink with a not-too-subtle medicine-like finish; and "Voltage," a raspberry concoction that was like a cross between blue snow cones from the carnival and angel wings. Voltage became our reigning Dew, joining with regular and diet versions as well as "Code Red" (a 2001 very, very cherry creation), "LiveWire" (the 2003 tangy orange variation), "AMP" (a Dew step-child energy drink), and "BajaBlast" (a 2004 blend of lime, pineapple, and Dew magic).

Today, the ballot again has three contenders. "Typhoon" is a pinkish tropical punch-like drink with hints of strawberry and pineapple. To me, it's like that Hawaiian Punch guy after he's moved into a nice retirement village ... no oomph. Next we have "Distortion," a lime-infused drink that has kind of a syrupy feel to it, and a peppery or minty after bite. Think kamikaze shots from your college days ... or last Thursday. It's reminiscent of Rose's Lime Syrup and pretty damn tasty! It's also got a cool greenish color, like radioactive sludge from any sci-fi movie. But my early favorite in the race for American soft drink taste buds is "White Out." It's white ... like luscious pearls ... or fiery opals ... or the cool special effect they gave Halli Berry's eyes in "X-MEN." Like really bad glaucoma. It's billed as "Citrus Smooth" and it delivers in spades. I also think it screams "mix me with citrus flavored vodka and call in sick tomorrow!"

And like modern elections with their gimmicks and outrageous promotional spending, each Dew candidate has a political ad. Typhoon shows a pink tidal wave washing over a pair of arguing beachgoers ... they deserved the tasty disaster because, in the short time we know them, they seem truly annoying. In the spot for Distortion, viewers are treated to an animated rave with hip youngsters, rockin' DJs, and an it-seems-so-natural cloudburst of raining limes. But again, leading the pack, the advertisement for White Out is far superior, featuring a smiling female shopper who thwarts a pack of crazy ninjas to enjoy her refreshing pearly white beverage. It's like a clip from an '80s action movie, and look where Schwarzenegger's limousine is parked ... at the governor's mansion!

This will truly be an election where you can't go wrong. Especially if you're like me ... in love with carbonation. I loves me the bubbles!! In fact, even with my history with alcohol, I'll choose some fizzy beverage over the "hard stuff" nine times out of ten. It goes back to my childhood. For whatever reason, the children in my family were raised on Kool-Aid and Wylers ... "pop" was a rare treat we had when visiting friends or celebrating holidays at the homes of relatives we only saw once or twice a year. I remember a family that lived on the far end of the block ... the Nelsons. They had two kids that none of us liked, but I think they had a soda pipeline connected to their house. And I'll never forget the first time I pretended to want to play with them and was rewarded with a tall, sweating bottle ... bottle, I say ... of Pepsi. I distinctly recall Mrs. Nelson bringing the chilled containers outside and popping the tops with a bottle opener. That hiss of released pressure and subsequent development of carbon dioxide "bubbles" gives me goosebumps to this day. And the "bite" and "fizz" caused by the carbonic acid separating out makes my mouth water. Is it getting hot in here?!

Anyway, do your dew-mocratic duty and vote at DEWmocracy.com. And as with any election, I exercise my right to introduce a right-in candidate. Around Halloween in 2004, and again in mid 2005, PepsiCo created "Pitch Black," a Dew formula centered around the taste of sour grape. Words cannot describe how wonderful this drink was, but I'm gonna try ... INCREDIBLE! It had zing, and pow, and bam. It had a flashy silver, black, and deep purple can. And it mixed beautifully ... like pretty teenagers in a backseat on prom night ... with Absolut Kurant. Where did you go, my pretty? If I had a fallout shelter, I'd fill it half with Pitch Black and half with Twinkies ... and throw in some books, comics, deodorant, water, vitamins, a good first-aid kit, flashlight and batteries, and a case of Absolut Kurant. And no bombs or war ... I just want a cool place to hide out and get hammered!!

POINT OF RANT: I do loves me the bubbles!

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