Is there a “Stages of Grief” for beverage purchases? There should be. Having some time, I think I’ll invent some for my recent impulse purchase: Pepsi Jazz Caramel Creme.
- Fever Dreams
Stage 1: Confusion
I’ve had some foul drinks in my time. I mean foul. I’ve downed immunity boosting sodas, Sobe’s Green Tea Energy Drink (still the champ), and even the Jolly Rancher soda. So, I’m not afraid to try things that may ultimately shorten my life span. I live life on the edge. The impulsive, life-shortening, stomach-churning, edge.
When I saw the Caramel Creme soda on the shelves of my local Walgreens, I knew I had to try it. When I read about it last week, I predicted that it would be as disgusting as the old Canfield’s Chocolate Soda. I *KNEW* this. It *COULDN’T* taste good. Creme soda, for me, is barely drinkable as is. Why would imitation caramel flavor make it any better? Yet I rushed to that fridge and bought it the first chance I had.
Stage 2: Enjoyment
My first sip probably fits better under confusion than enjoyment. I didn’t know what I was drinking. It didn’t taste like caramel. It didn’t taste like cola. It didn’t taste like creme soda. Instead, it was some bizarre mystery beverage. A few more sips, and I turned to my friend Chris and said, “This isn’t so bad. In fact, I think I like it.” I suckled on that bottle like a baby. Half of it was gone within 10 minutes. Pepsi had won me over with their “Fool your body into thinking you’re eating sweets when you’re really not!” diet drink.
Stage 3: Denial
With 3/4 of the bottle gone, I began to wonder again what I was drinking, but was still convincing myself I was enjoying it. I think I settled on the idea that it tasted like a less-sweeter Coca-Cola, but more…gravier. Soak that in for a second. Who doesn’t love drinking soda flavored gravy? Who doesn’t love gravy flavored soda? (stay tuned for THAT story!) But it was still good dammit! DAMMIT!
Stage 4: Bloating
I don’t feel so good by this point. There’s a few sips left in the bottle, yet I no longer feel the need to ever drink another sip of this concoction that obviously came from the lower depths of hell. There was gas in me. Caramel creme gravy gas. And it wasn’t leaving.
Stage 5: Nausea
I had to reach out for help. I messaged my friend Sabrina to tell her about my mistake. She would understand. The last time I had to lower my head and breathe after a drink was when I took a gulp of Jones Soda’s Buttered Roll soda. It was so bad I didn’t eat for several hours.
Stage 5.1: Fever Dreams
I found my spirit animal that night. It was an octopus. It showed me the things I’ve drank in the past. Each of its arms waving around a different beverage of days gone by. Pepsi Blue. Crystal Pepsi. Holiday Pepsi. They were all there. It was grotesque, yet beautiful. The octopus spoke to me in clicks and whistles, warning me of days yet to come where even more horrifying drinks would quench my thirst. He said the push for crazier, limited edition beverages were just starting.
“Beware the Boston Creme Coke Zero,” he said before pouring himself back into the bottle.
When I woke up, I was halfway down the Stevenson Expressway, my pants and shoes missing. I’m pretty sure I was molested by my spirit animal.
Yeah it wasn’t good. I’ve had worse drinks, but there’s no one flavor that stands out, leaving a weird potpourri of flavors that taste fine individually, but together form a lethal combination of nauseating blandness. Unless you’re like me, and a slave to consumer impulsiveness, there’s really no reason to spend $1.50.