My Treatise on Carbonated Beverages, vol. 4: Pibb Xtra

Again with the soda. What can I say? It's really garnered my interest. After hearing about Pibb Xtra I was very interested to try it out. Finally my chance came yesterday.

The Scene: the Burbank McDonalds. Each Wednesday for damn near three years a group of us go and gorge on the cheap food. But this Wednesday was oh-so different.

At the self-serve cola machine I saw a new sticker had replaced my favorite Mr. Pibb. It was ... bolder ...

See, Coca-Cola, in revamping the Pibb, said that the new drink has "a bolder taste to match your lifestyle". Apparently my soda drinking habits have remained, um, less-bold? Non-bolderistic? Un-bold? Boring? Whereas the rest of the nation has been enboldened in their drinking habits, I have not been.

So I went into my Wednesday lunch fully expecting to hate the Pibb Xtra.

But you know what? I couldn't tell much of a difference. Honestly. It was about the same as Mr. Pibb. I bet that most people, if faced with a Mr. Pibb vs Pibb Xtra faceoff, wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two.

That made me happy at first. "Yay," I thought selfishly, "I can still enjoy the Pibb! Maybe Coke will even make a greater market push for this 'new' cola!"

But then I got to thinking, "What the hell was wrong with plain old Mr. Pibb? Why did they have to gussy up the marketing to get people to enjoy this fine beverage?" That made me mad. Xtra mad.

I've said it once and I'll said it again - I don't get the major US soda manufacturers. Why Coke ever released "OK Cola" back in 1994 is beyond me - it really was a professional version of the "suicide" (when you take one hit of every soda in the fountain and end up with a God damned mess!) Or heck, the whole "new" Coke debacle in 1985. Whose brainstorm was that?! Seventy-nine days of foolish, if you ask me. Pepsi Clear, Tab, the complete lack of Japan's Vegitabeta in the US ... things I just don't get.

So we Pibb fans didn't lose the battle or the war. And that, if I might say, is the close to one of the most soderific summers ever.

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