“Tab’s Got Sass”: the greatest slogan ever? survey says “YES”

somewhat recently, our hero janklow took part in one of those workplace events wherein all the various employees bring in some sort of food or drink for the workers as a whole; as befitting a man of my admittedly masculine cooking skills (although i suppose i could always, in any given situation, bake a pumpkin pie), i brought in some soft drinks. yes, this is basically the theme of this week’s update, so you might want to bail out now if it seems a little weak. ANYWAY, there was an assortment of selections, including Orange Crush, which i enjoy due to its tasty flavor and cartoon of a juicy orange slice. however, when our hero returned to eat himself, he found all of the Orange Crush had been immediately drunk and the pickings limited to Diet Coke. OUTRAGEOUS!

now, given that these employees violated a key tenet of life (Thou Shalt Not Drink All Of Janklow’s Orange Crush), what i’ve decided to do for the next one of these events is to get a selection of only the soft drinks i can’t picture anyone wanting to drink, and only bring THOSE in, and laugh uproariously as they wander around confused, wondering why anyone would do this to them. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY THEY WILL LEARN. so we have some contenders for this title:

Fresca
Fresca: “not widely available outside of North America”

Fresca
i actually feel a little guilty about bashing Fresca – “marketed in the United States as a calorie-free, grapefruit-flavored soft drink, ostensibly catering to discriminating adult tastes” – since while the majority of people i know seem to never want to drink it, my grandmother buys it all the time. this, however, results in my firsthand witnessing of people entering her basement to get some soft drinks and discovering … Black Cherry Fresca. none of them are ever pleasantly surprised.

the reasons why no one would want to drink it seem clear: who wants a grapefruit-flavored soda? i don’t know many people who are excited about ACTUAL grapefruit. and it’s established fact that when you make something sugar-free, you make it that much less popular (although apparently there’s a version of Fresca sold in Latin America that DOES contain sugar and is randomly known as “Mexican Fresca”). and the other flavors (black cherry and peach) seem better, but they ALSO remind me of this other old-lady peach soda my grandmother used to drink when i was much younger. also, i’ve never seen someone drink a Fresca and seem pleased about it, and i see relatives drink it all the time. well, okay, my grandmother seems to like it.

chances of people drinking this at work: not good. it really doesn’t even LOOK like a soda, despite the fact that it says “soda” right there on the can; if i had to guess, i’d assume it was some sort of medical water old people used to settle their stomachs. it might actually be that.

TaB
Tab: “a beautiful drink for beautiful people”

Tab
now, this does seem to have one thing in common with Fresca, according to the world’s most accurate encyclopedia: “Fresca has so far managed to defend its niche of the market, and, like Tab, can rely on a relatively small but loyal customer base.” which, quite frankly, is not a ringing endorsement of your product. “hey, only a few people like Tab, but those three guys REALLY like Tab.” meanwhile normal Americans are purchasing Coca-Cola left and right, guys. but i digress, we’re ripping on Tab here. it’s also worth noting that i’m not sure what Tab is “supposed to taste like”; the Wikipedia never mentions flavor, merely positioning it as the Coca-Cola diet soda from 1963 until the introduction of Diet Coke in 1982. they’re both still around, of course, but Diet Coke has a clear identity (as in, a diet version of Coca-Cola). what the fuck is Tab supposed to be about?

Tab honestly seems like the soda people HATE the most; colleagues and friends who have never tried Tab seemed appalled by the concept. i DO recall seeing an aunt of mine drinking this stuff back in the 1980s, but then again that might have just been a nightmare i had once, because i am also pretty sure i killed a velociraptor with a spear in the garden near my childhood home in the 1980s. it was a rough time and things are a little fuzzy.

chances of people drinking this at work: absolutely none. well, okay, i bet someone would drink ONE, but i just can’t fathom a scenario where people are plucking Tabs out of the fridge voluntarily. the Fresca would clearly look more appealing.

Squirt
Squirt: …uh, no thank you, mysterious box from the 1950s, i’d really rather not

Squirt
ah, Squirt. this soda is the comedy gift that keeps giving. obviously, no one takes it seriously when you say “oh, have you ever had Squirt?” although i did randomly meet a woman who DID seem familiar with it, and i have to admit, that shit was distressing. i mean, look at the description of this nonsense: created in 1938 by Herb Bishop, “his intention was to make a soft drink that required less fruit and sugar than other sodas.” so… less of the things that give it flavor and make it delicious? what’s the purpose of that? “hey, this steak is pretty good, but could you make it have less meat and fat on it?” also, “the product received its name because the drink was claimed to “squirt” into one’s mouth like a freshly squeezed grapefruit.” i’m not even going to touch that one beyond to say “who the fuck made THAT claim with a straight face?”

personally, i best recall Squirt as a soda i once found in the basement of some rural relatives (not my grandmother); i drunk it and was shocked and appalled by what i had done. sometimes i think that can of Squirt ruined my life, which i admit sounds melodramatic… until you ask yourself, what HAS janklow accomplished since he drank that can of Squirt? also, when you search on the internet for Fresca or Tab, you get results regarding the sodas right away. when you search for Squirt… well, let’s just say that Squirt.org is not for everyone.

chances of people drinking this at work: zero, because i am not going to be seen in public buying Squirt even for people that WANT it. let’s forget about this ill-fated Squirt experiment.

Diet Dr. Pepper
Diet Dr. Pepper: …yeah, mention the “diet” thing as if it’s an afterthought, like it’s not a big deal… like “hey, we made this gross soda and it just somehow ended up diet! yeah!”

Diet Dr. Pepper
okay, i admit it: this entry is just here so i can say that if “Diet Dr Pepper tastes more like Regular Dr Pepper,” then it must taste more gross! ahahahaha! so, anyway, that wasn’t very mature, but i can’t help it. i don’t like Diet Dr. Pepper or Dr. Pepper or even than adorable Dr. Pepper knock-off Mr. Pibb (why, oh why couldn’t it be called Dr. Pibb?), and that’s where it ends. no one at work is every going to drink it because i’m not going to put one thin dime in the pockets of the monsters than manufacture the toxic sludge they call “Dr. Pepper.” well, unless i am paying them for cans of RC Cola. THAT stuff is delicious.

i also sort of resent Dr. Pepper’s “so mysterious you can’t even describe what it tastes like” flavor and/or ingredients. how can i recommend it to someone? at least with Fresca and Squirt, you can say “well, they’re less popular citrus sodas” and vaguely describe the concept (“like Sprite, but much more gross?” “like 7-Up, but as if it leaked out of the breast of a demon-possessed cow?”); the same basically goes for Tab, because it’s a diet soda, which always tastes like diet soda, and i can say “well, it was the predecessor to Diet Coke.” i haven’t drunk a Tab, if ever, since the mid-1980s, but i bet i can predict the taste from that description alone. but Dr. Pepper and its indescribable-but-not-made-from-prunes-we-swear flavor? fuck that shit.

chances of people drinking this at work: likely. i have some co-workers that love it and this entry is secretly designed to rip on them without them knowing, as i have often declared i’d rather drink Squirt than drink this nonsense.

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