First off, has anyone
taken a gander at the "new look"
Mountain Dew cans recently? Of course you
have, and you're probably as upset as I
am. You know, I remember a kinder, gentler
time when the only people who drank Dew
were psychos, film freaks, late night college
djs, and computer programmers. Taste schmaste!
We all knew that the Dew packed a wallop
no other soft drink could match...17.4%
more caffeine than any Coke product...40%
more than Pepsi...Taco Bell was the only
fast-food joint that served it...179 calories...44+
mg of sugar per 12 fluid ounces. And "fluid"
is a pretty kind way to describe the syrupy,
radioactive-urine-green reanimation juice
that was stored in those hippy-dippy green
Alright, I stood by while
they aired those stupid commercials showing
beautiful people jumping off cliffs, splashing
in country lakes, pretending to drink the
Dew. Deep in my heart of hearts I knew what
the real target market was for the drink...students
and others with too much to do and not enough
hours in the day. Those of us who needed
the collosal pick-me-up that Dew provided
without the thunderous crash pharmaceutical
experimentation often brought. I knew that,
yes, the Dew was a cruel mistress who was
apt to turn on you and transform your insides
into an anvil of flesh and blood that would
churn for hours. I knew the risks, but I
was not about to abandon my beverage of
Hell, I even kept my mouth
shut and continued to buy when they introduced...
ugh...Diet Mountain Dew. "Believe me
folks," I wanted to yell to those in
charge, "no one drinking this stuff
is concerned about caloric content."
But I knew they would have just carted me
away and stamped "Classified"
on my bulging FBI file (thanks to the Wooden
Shoe Book & Record Shop on 20th between
Chestnut and Sansom in Philly...stop by
sometime). [Ed. Note: Since the original
publication of this piece, the Wooden Shoe
has moved down to 4th or 5th Street between
South and Lombard.]
It became tougher to hide
my mounting disgust when Mountain Dew Sport
and Diet Mountain Dew Sport were introduced.
In a suicidal, headstrong attempt to unseat
Gatorade from the sport drink throne, the
madmen at PepsiCo. decided that a less carbonated,
more drinkable version of Dew was just what
this world needed. Wrong. First off, the
caffeine and sugar in your average Dew bury
any carbonation the goop may have once posessed...
shake a can and then open it sometime, you'll
see my point. Second, and I can't stress
this enough, 90% of those who drink the
Dew just aren't interested in sports or
any outdoors activity...that's what was
so bogus about the whole ad campaign to
begin with. Sports make you tired and cut
into valuable drinking/viewing/listening
time. They should've marketed it as a hangover
cure instead...how do you think I made it
through a Friday morning, 9 to noon radio
shift in college? Then they hired Bo Jackson
as the spokesman...grab some hung-over,
White-Castle-chompin' college student drinking
a Dew sometime and ask them who the hell
Bo Jackson is. If they know that he's a
sports figure and not an obscure blues artist
with a wooden leg, consider it a victory
for all those marketing $$$.
Well, the last straw has finally
been placed on the camel's back (or something
to that effect). Yes, PepsiCo. (The "Co"
stands for Cold Conglomerate with no Coares
about the individual...the "o"
in Coares is silent) has thrown down not
one, but two gauntlets to Dante. 1) They've
changed the labels...instead of the way-mod
type and beautiful (to me at least) green-dominated
can and bottle label of the past, they've
adopted this very 90's "sheet of acid
rain" bastardized-Dew look that drives
me to delirium every time I see it. It looks
like an old can that's faded due to sun
exposure, not a way-hip, downtown, CLUB-MTV
style drink!!! But more importantly...2)
The bastards changed the formula. Trust
me, why would I lie about a thing like that?
You have to remember gang, I've been drinking
this stuff since oh, 1976...I know what
goddamn Mountain Dew is supposed to taste
like. And this ain't it! Gone is the sickeningly
sweet, caffeinated bolt of lightining that
covered up the rapid-fire, staccato nature
that your pulse was taking on. In its place
is an...ack...saltier taste. Yeah, I guess
that's what it really is...an instantaneously
gross salt aftertaste that reminds me of
the rim of a margarita glass after your
fifth one in a Chi-Chi's bar.
Once I came to this realization
(after several taste tests) questions instantly
shot into my head: Has a salty substance
been planted in the formula to make you
thirstier, and thus crave more Mountain
Dew? Are the vats being used to create the
intentionally-salty Sport formulas also
being used to create the normally un-healthy
Dew? Could it be possible that PepsiCo.
has not invested in an anti-siphon device
to prevent the Sport drink from contaminating
the sugar and caffein-caked lines to regular
Dew? Is a giant conspiracy in the works?
Could Anton LeVay be right about "The
Invisible War"? Trust me -- your eyes
and ears of the exploitation trenches --
to get to the bottom of this and report
back in the next Dante's Inferno!