Top Gun and the X-mas Pepsi Disaster

I am back. No more traveling for this working stiff. Well, at least not for another month so let the Christmas countdown begin!

Today I am going to share a story I seldom tell because it shows what a naive and questionably intelligent kid I was at age seven. It’s not that many had a good grasp on basic physics in their younger years but gee whiz, at least they didn’t do this.

Every Christmas Eve it is a family tradition to open one present. That present is carefully selected from the few that were under the tree which taunted me for a month before the big fella brought the rest later in the night. That particular Christmas, Top Gun was the previous summer hit and after having had a theater experience like that, I knew I was destined to be a F-14 Naval Aviator but (spoiler alert) we all know I did not. I eyed the gifts and with a recently purchased VCR begging to be fed, I eyed what could only be a VHS tape. To my delight, I received my favorite movie, Top Gun.

Not wasting anytime, I begged the parents to let me watch at least the beginning scene. You know the one, when all the planes take off and Kenny Loggins belts a killer “Danger Zone”? Yeah, you know the part. My nagging worked and I found myself up in their bedroom, unwrapping the cellophane, sliding the tape from the box and inserting the tape in the VCR. The anxiety of Christmas presents took a backseat to the movie which changed my life, or at least changed my idol from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Tom Cruise. Patiently, I waited through the FBI warning for piracy and just when I thought the Paramount mountain was next, it was a commercial.

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It was not just a commercial but it was a Top Gun parody commercial by Diet Pepsi. Had it been one of the damn Coca Cola bear or that stupid pigtail-ed girl, I would have FFWD that shit out of it but this was different. This had two Navy Fighter jets! And a “Refreshment System”!

This pleased me.

Okay, so we have two fighters that just came off of maneuvers and in celebration they are treated to a Diet Pepsi but something went wrong. Apparently Mustang’s DPRS (Diet Pepsi Refreshment System) malfunctioned and would not release his drink. Taunted by his fellow crew in the opposing jet, he fibs and claims no problems on board while trying to jimmy his Diet Pepsi free. Then, pulling out a bottle opener, he has an idea.

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Thinking fast, this cocky jet jockey pops the top of the Diet Pepsi that is lodged in its “Refreshment System” and held a cup to the edge of the bottle. Instead of tipping the bottle over the cup, Mustang turns his A-4 Skyhawk upside-down, simultaneously pouring his drink into his cup using gravity and the agility of his aircraft.

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The two assholes in the F-5 look around in puzzlement, wondering where he went. To their surprise, Mustang pulls an inverted maneuver and looking up, they are canopy to canopy, forced to acknowledge there really was no problem with his ability to be refreshed.

We finish with Mustang rolling his jet over, his cup of Diet Pepsi keeping inline with the angle of attack. The two jets roar over head and disappear into the blue as the iconic voice of Pepsi states the tagline, “Diet Pepsi: The choose of a new generation”.

Whoa! I was fascinated. I wanted, nay, had to try to invert-pour a soft drink into a cup. Nevermind the movie beginning, nevermind Kenny Loggins was starting to sing about the “Danger Zone” and nevermind Santa, this was what I need to try. But how? I didn’t have an A-4 withe a refreshment system or even a bottle of Diet Pepsi.

I went downstairs and found the closest soda to a Diet Pepsi (a can of A&W) and a coffee mug. Also a bike helmet. I went back upstairs with the items in hand as the adults were still at the dinning room table talking about dull things which were apparently hilarious. I never understood the conversations from the adult table that elicited such laughs and wheezes.

There I was, sitting on the edge of the bed with my pretend fighter helmet on and holding a can of soda in my left and a mug in my right. How the hell am I going to do this? I tilted my left arm up as my right arm dipped but it wasn’t quite right. I needed to somehow roll myself upside down as well. Shit, this was hard.

I GOT IT!

What if I was to lay on my bed and role in a 360 degree righthand turn? That would surely work and not only would I feel like Mustang but it would be the only way I would drink soda from then on. I would be a trendsetter!

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There were a couple of flaws with this plan which I am sure you can spot already. You see, the soda and my body need to remain static while the cup would be the only rotating item of the three. Or no, maybe the A&W rotate and the cup is static? Obviously I did not put much thought into the plan and laying on my stomach holding the can of A&W root beer in my left hand and the cup in my right, I began to roll over and poured the soda. Oddly the soda did not pour in the cup as planned but in a shocking and cold surprise, all over my face and the bedspread. I gurgled and spit and sat straight up, blinking the root beer from my eyes and when I came to, there was mom looking as shocked as I was.

She turned from the doorway and yelled downstairs to my dad, “BILL? BILL! YOUR SON IS IN HIS BIKE HELMET AND POURED ROOT BEER ALL OVER HIMSELF AND OUR BED!!!”. I am sure it must have been a pretty confusing sight to see and just as confusing to my dad and guests to hear. If there was ever explaining to do, this was it.

I won’t get into the yelling or the multiple towels and forced bath but I will say, they got over it. And every Christmas Eve I am reminded of the time I tried to pour a root beer upside-down…on their new bed…in a bike helmet.

Have any funny stories you are reminded of by loved ones during the Christmas season? Spill ‘em! (see what I did there?)

 

 

 

Ginseng Cola and Watermelon Beer?

I don’t consider myself a connoisseur of soft drinks (or anything for that matter), but every so often I am tempted to try something and yap about it on here as if I know what I am talking about. Sort of like my annual Autumn beer review. While it is fun to get a buzz and carve Jack-O-Lantern faces in various items, the review should not be taken as a serious beer taste-test. I just needed a vessel for my shenanigans. So here is a quick article that will fill  my time off as a facade for being productive.

Tonight, I am going to review a few items that I picked up at the local Food Co-Op. To me, the Food Co-Op of Moscow, Idaho is a slice of heaven. There are so many international items, odd vegetables, organic anythings and hundreds of micro brews in the beer aisle that to shop there is less of a chore and more of a trip. Sure there are some die-hard organic-loving hippies but for the most part, there are people like me who just want to load the cart with oddities and spend $1.30 on a root beer. Maybe I am the weird one and the hippies are normal? Hmmm. No, I smell much better.

As you can see, the selection of the beer and sodas from around the US and world is pretty extensive. The really cool thing is the box full of old 6 pack holsters so you can create your own beer box of goodness. As a person who has an average appreciation for fine beer, much is wasted on me because one man’s heavenly nectar is another man’s bottle of yak piss and if it is less than pleasing, I have a habit of making this face. So, don’t expect me to be agreeable over a $10 bottle of beer when I am the type that has recently ordered a Happy Meal and an orange soda. But I did end up with a few gems and here they are.

Lola was promised a part in this review.

Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer from 21st Amendment Brewery was something that I just could not pass up. I can’t tell if it was the watermelon flavor or the fact the can spoke to me through its impressive designs and company’s mission statement. Whatever the reason was, it ended up in the basket.

The can posed this beer to be simple in ingredients but shocking in originality. Both hold true from the weird combination of wheat and watermelon to the warning stating “Agitate before opening. Yeast inside”. Being the type of person who ignores words and warnings, I popped this can and drank it down as if it was a Bud Lite. Not a  Bud Lite!

The first thought I had, was eating a piece of watermelon and dropping it in a bag of day-old grass clippings. And then, instead of leaving the watermelon in the bag, you just pick it back up and keep on eating, rhine and all. It definitely is a wheaty, yeasty beer but after a few more sips, that taste subsides and a dry watermelon flavor permeates allowing the main attraction of this beer to be shown. I don’t know what I was expecting. Perhaps a Zima with a watermelon Jolly Rancher inside? No, but definitely not a medium body wheat. I love it for what it is; a cool concept in cooler packaging. Check them out here!

The following two are the colas that I needed to try. That is pretty much because the only three colas I have ever had were Coca Cola, Pepsi and R.C. and to me, each are only separated by a few varying degrees. I know the difference, but I am not the type to spit one over another out in protest.

I needed to try the organic and micro brewed type just so I can really define what cola is. In the past, I have been let down by most anything cola flavored just because it all tastes like soda burp. Whether it is gum or candy, I leave it up to major corporations to tell me what real cola is supposed to taste like.The homemade version intrigue me.

The one on the left is from the soda micro company Natural Brew and from the picture, its label seems to read “Band Crapter”. That can’t be right. Anyway, it’s defining feature is the Chinese ginseng root that promises sharper memory and motor skills. I don’t know. The taste however, was much like RC. No, it tastes exactly like RC. To the Royal Cola haters this might be a deal breaker but the ginsing…uh..”zing”, helped me learn French in a night. And I built a fort from the couch cushions, invited the neighbors and pelted them with rolled up socks.

The cola to the right is from Virgil’s Micro Company and this one was a little more pleasing. Perhaps it’s the 64 grams of sugar? I have really become a fan of Virgil’s anything. The root beer is the greatest root beer you will ever have. While the cola is just like Coke, the root beer is like an acid trip to Candy Land by way of Chutes and Ladders. Unbelievable. If I had ten they would probably be consumed so fast I would slip into a diabetic furry of zombie-like coordination and absurd statements like “I lost my January” or “Beanie Babies for President! Four more days! Four more days!” It’s better if I just stick to one a week. Here is what I am talking about.

This was perhaps the most in-congruent review I have ever done. I just needed an excuse to spend stupid money on stuff that economically sound folks would scoff at. I suppose that is why we have blogs. It is a great excuse to do most anything. I can’t tell you how many stupid things I have done, not because it was for the reasons of writing, but just because I wanted to do it. The blog only justifies my actions to others.

In other news, I saw Trick r Treat finally. I liked it. Not so much for the quality of the movie but for what it was trying to do. I loved The Creepshow feel and even more so, I absolutely loved the Halloweentown feel. Did I really just give props to a Disney movie and in the same sentence with The Creepshow while describing an R rated film? Bet your booberellas I did. If I keep going I might just throw a bone to Are You Afraid of the Dark from the ancient world of SNICK.

If you guys have nothing going on tonight, check out Stacie Ponder’s relatively new radio show, The Scare-ening that is live at 8:00 Pacific. It’s a horror-fun-good-time.

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