Friday, September 28, 2007

Pop again!

I had no idea there were so many different kinds of weird pop out there. I figured it was only American culture that spawned that kind of novelty, but apparently no.

A lot of these things started out as tonics of one sort or another...usually claiming to treat fatigue and constipation, which back in them thar days was referred to as 'digestive disorder' because it simply would not do to say 'constipation'. In fact I've taken a fit of the fan-tods just writing it.*

Dandelion and Burdock I cannot figure out. It seems to have been inspired by misguided thrift ("Oo lookit the brown guck running off the compost heap, Nigel! Got to be something we could make out of that!") Fentimans makes it, along with a small but interesting selection of other mildly wackoid-sounding beverages.** Apparently it's being craft-brewed and marketed on the 'fayre' circuit in crockery bottles coated with wax, which to my mind makes it sound rather more like a dangerous explosive than a soda drink, but whatever. I'll tell you what, betcha its diuretic as old billy heck. And everyone knows that if you deliberately take something that makes you spend a lot of time in the bathroom then it has to be doing some good, right? Right.

D&B has a relative in the American Dr. Browns Cel-Ray soda, a pop made from celery seed extract. Celery seed is diuretic too. Once again: what induced urination is supposed to do to promote good health is a mystery to me. I figure it has to do with the fact that all this stuff was invented before they had television.

Vimto seems to have entered the market as a constipation remedy. Even though they adamantly refuse to release the secret formula, you have only to look at the adsite design to discern that Vimto is made from raspberries, other berries, and green cocktail olives. Just thinking about it makes me feel regular.

This has it's parallel in the American beverage Dr. Pepper, which is carbonated prune juice, and tastes like this:
...southbound end of a northbound Tato

There used to be numbers on the label that told you what time to 'take' it each day, but they made them discontinue that in the 1960's because not even stoned people believed it cured anything by that point.

Irn Bru started life as an invigorant. Now to me, that sounds suspiciously like a Scottish version of Hadacol (oh look it up) to me. Their vague description of the flavor as 'light, citrusy, and refreshing' leads me to believe that it also tastes like Hadacol; ie, thin mud. This puts it in the same butch as fuck classification as neat gin as far as I'm concerned... you drink it because you're hard, and if you have anything to get hard it makes it harder.

Personally I don't think any of it does jack shit. It's like Bach flower remedies. It's all marketing. I remember when aspartame first came out and everyone was making all kinds of claims for it, too. It was supposed to make white mice grow out of your face or cure verticilllium wilt or something.

Early on in my history with Prozac one of the doctors I visited actually instructed me to drink diet pop every day with my meals. 'It's the aspartame', he explained. 'It metabolizes into a mild psychoactive that operates on the pleasure centers of the brain. The pop companies know this and that's why it's selling so well, you see. ' The same doctor also told me to eat some chocolate at least once a day for the theobromines. I don't have a problem with that, to be sure. What cast a shadow of suspicion on all this left-of-center advice for me was when the same doctor told me to drink a shotglass of Linseed oil every day.
A SHOTGLASS of linseed oil.
You thin paint with linseed oil.
I decided, no, I'll just have to risk squeaking or whatever dire ill that was supposed to prevent. I'll just eat more chocolate to make up for it.

* Someone send Katy for the smelling salts!!
Nah, fuck the ammonium carbonate; pass the laudenum. If I'm gonna have 'digestive disorders' then I might as well enjoy it.

**in particular their 'Curiosity Cola'. It sounds like it has a two-headed calf floating around in it. I am all for that.


  1. Hello!
    I dropped by with a wee cocktail for you before in my last comment, but then I thought it was rude to not provide cocktails for your guests, so here, have a whole lotta 'blue champagnes, Mojitos', Long Island Iced Teas and Vanilla Cosmopolitans' say thanks for providing me with b-day drink material and being so bloody entertaining!!!

    Incidentally, Irn Bru tastes mostly of sugar and tends to 'annoy the mouth' taste I'm still addicted!
    Have a Great weekend!!!

  2. I'll take one of them there "Mojitos" but I really think I would do better on a diet of aspartame and chocolate. FN, you are always a great source of knowledge whether or not one wants to actually learn these things.

  3. Mojitos all round!!!!

  4. Dear, sweet, lovely, perfect, Madame Nation, I must take umbrage...nay... GREAT umbrage with your assertion regarding the flavorific wonderment that is Dr. Pepper (and, by association, the good Dr's close relative Mr. Pib.). Both the kind Doctor and his layman relative have a most invigorating and refreshing 'geschmack'. While having no practical or even anecdotal evidence to the former claims of restorative or recuperative powers of the beverage in question. I can, in a word, describe the visceral impact on one's taste-buds: YUM!

    A personal favorite that has been neigh impossible to find is the much revered Micky Melon; an effervesent, watermelon flavored soda. Each bottle imprinted with the brands benefactor, Mr. Mickey Rooney. Also, Barrelhead rootbeer.

  5. Oh, and have a go of Kombucha Tea (if you dare). I've seen it bottled. It's almost champagne-like except for the taste and smell. After all, it is made from mushrooms and has myraid claims as an elixer.

  6. Anonymous3:14 PM

    if i can't identify what's in it, i don't drink it.

  7. We had a doctor like yours over here - he was called Harold Shipman.
    Pop is pop is pop! It makes your mouth feel like something's just died in it, it rots your teeth and it makes you fart. Funny, the ad people leave all that off the label.

  8. I thought this was about pop music...

    Irn Bru is particularly notable for its TV ads, which spoof the aspirational lifestyle hot-bods-on-a-beach images of certain caffeinated beverages. And the fact that it's "made in Scotland from girders".

    There's some good stuff from Jamaica, eg grapefruit Ting and DG ginger beer.

    But I tend to avoid fizzy drinks cos they're bad for the bowels.

  9. I am sitting here scratching my head wondering how I had taken a picture of Scootie's butt and how on earth did you got it and then to just post it for all to see on your blog....? Wow

  10. punkin: well thank you! its gotta beat the hell out of what i'm serving up on this post. except for the Cel-Ray, that's ACTUALLY good for you! :)

    carmentza!!! hey chickie! omg! how you doin!?! hey, dis is one a dem edumacashinal places here.

    punkie: girl, hang on! you gonna get mo-shitfaced!

    'shot: see, the Biker agrees with you. he loves the stuff. when ever we have a bad pop jones he always gets it so I won't steal his. meanwhile, I gotta try the Mickey Melon! I've never heard of that-it sounds great, too-watermelon pop? you gotta wonder why nobodys thought of that before! oh wow! now the barrelhead rootbeer; i remember the candy version of that. and see Invincible Warrior II for the kombucha...she makes her own in a bucket in the kitchen!

    pink: that lets you out of the line for the kombucha tea then, huh. try jarritos tamirinda sometime...tastes like worchestershire sauce.

  11. I never drink the stuff , but a nice ham joint simmered in coke instead of water or stock (full fat not the diet muck) is Beasttastic.
    Its also very good for cleaning nasty stains out of the toilet bowl if left overnight , so gawd knows what it does to your intestines

  12. linseed oil will give you a nice shiny coat though, well it does my 'osses.

  13. I've got to say that D&B is a oersonal favourite, but you have to beware of the cheap supermarket bottles which are simply sugary fiz with a flavouring added. As for the other diuretic things, I suspect it induces a little weight loss, and is also a more discrete way of losing water than sweating buckets.

    The old Vimto, way back when I was a child, was delicious, the new Vimto has nothing on it. The closest thing to old Vimto is Dr. Pepper, which I like anyway just because the adverts were so good :)

  14. tastes like ass...i know some wine jokers who swear that the mark of a really, really, really good pinot noir....why that's a recommendation is beyond me and how they KNOW how ass smells....i'd rather not find out....

  15. when i first arrived in England I didn't know about all these sugary, concentrated bevereges (called cordial or squash). I wanted something to drink and went to the grocery store (with a bunch of other clueless foreigners) and bought a bottle of Vimto. The concentrated kind. But did it say that on the label? Did it fuck. I unscrewed the cap and took a huge swig. Havn't been able to bring myself to taste it ever since. It dissolved 3 of my teeth.

  16. My kids didn't really try soda ("tonic" to hard-core Bostonians)until recently. My older kid loved ginger ale so much that he tried it as a hiccup cure. Instead of fixing the hiccup situation, it made him jump around and throw-up. Powerful. My younger kid took one excited sip and said, "That's too much happening in my mouth at once."
    I know the feeling.