The soft drink industry has had some legendary rivalries: Coke vs. Pepsi and Sprite vs. 7-Up are probably the most well known of these (I happen to be a fan of Royal Crown Cola and Fresca, as most contrarians are), but my favorite war is that which has been waged between Dr. Pepper and Mr. Pibb.
This epic battle of the beverages is, in a sense, symbolic of the class war with which our nation has always struggled. The elitist pretension of the educated, born into favor, against the blue-collar honest pragmatism of the working class. And for decades, the two have squared off against one another, neither able to land that knockout blow; a microcosm of our very society.
As I approached the soda dispensary counter, I instinctively reached for the Mr. Pibb lever, as it’s without question the ideal complement to the Burrito Mexicano (con pollo e frijol negro). I was stunned when it registered in my consciousness that I was pouring not Mr. Pibb, but ... Pibb Xtra.
Pibb fucking Xtra. Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.
I can only assume that the Coca-Cola company is trying to rebrand its product and tap into the youth market, what with their Gen-X and X Games and all things X. (Luckily, the movie industry had the foresight to change the “X” rating to “NC-17,” otherwise, all these kids might be watching pornography! Crisis averted! *whew*)
My first reaction to seeing the letters “XTRA” was that it was an
But beyond the lame attempt at being all hep with the youngstas, what really hit me was that Mr. Pibb seems to have given up, and in essence, has said “yes … yes, you ARE better than me, Doctor. I admit it.” But you know what? For all we know, “Dr.” Pepper may have gotten that degree off of the back of Rolling Stone magazine, or worse yet, from some “university” in the Midwest run by Jesuits. It’s certainly not a medical degree – I wouldn’t trust “Dr.” Pepper to clip my nails.
So I don’t know what to do. Maybe this battle is lost, but the struggle for class equality goes on. You’ll be missed, Mr. Pibb, but your fight won’t be forgotten. In fact, the ranks of the upper-class elites have already been infiltrated by a clandestine agent.
Godspeed, Dr. Shasta. The workers of the world are with you.