Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You had Me at "Crystal Pepsi"

Last night on Twitter, Emily and I were discussing the untimely demise of Crystal Pepsi. Sure, it was almost twenty years ago (wow, that makes me feel old), but there are some things you never forget. It’s amazing how many memories we have that are tied to trends (whether bad or good).

Like how I saved up all my allowance so that I could have a Crystal Pepsi every day at lunch. I was in junior high, and the big deal about being in seventh grade was that we were allowed to drink soda. There was even an honest to god soda machine. Not just one, but FOUR. Our school was big enough cool enough to have Snapple and Fruitopia, which was this fruit drink with these trippy adds of kaleidoscoping fruit.

Really? Like a fruit drink could save the planet.

Yeah, okay, maybe I believed it a little bit. But that was before I saw crystal Pepsi.

If a beverage could save the planet, it would be Crystal Pepsi.

After all, Crystal Pepsi got me my first boyfriend. It went something like this:

I was hanging out at lunch in the library, helping the librarian shelve books (yeah, I was that awesome) when I realized that I was a bit parched. A beverage was in order. I walked out to the Crystal Pepsi machine (every slot was Crystal Pepsi, with one sad Diet Crystal Pepsi selection at the bottom) and ran right into the boy of my dreams, at least that week. Jon McPhee. Green eyes, brown hair, a complete lack of understanding of the themes in the book A Day No Pigs Would Die (we had advanced English together. Yes, I was hitting ALL of the checkpoints to popularity), and apparently also a Crystal Pepsi drinker.

So I approached the machine where he and his friends hung out. I put in my thirty-five cents, and pushed the button.

Nothing happened.

Woe! Catastrophe! Distress! I need a Crystal Pepsi RIGHT NOW! Just like the ad says.

Jon McPhee saw my distress. Him: Hey

Me: Hey.

Him: Did the machine take your money?

Me: Yeah.

Him: That sucks. Here, let me help.

He proceeded to beat the living crap out of the machine, despite the huge metal cage surrounding it to prevent people from doing that. Eventually we hit enough buttons that not one, but two Crystal Pepsis rolled out. I handed one to him.

Me: Thanks.

Him: Hey, no problem.

I walked away, completely in love with my knight in Crystal Pepsi Machine kicking boots. They were actually Doc Martins, but whatever.

After a few passed notes and whispered conversations between friends, we were an item. Well, at least at lunchtime and during PE. He moved away a month later, but I knew it wasn’t meant to be when a couple of days before he left he turned to me and said:

“I don’t really like Crystal Pepsi all that much. Coke’s more my thing.”

Agony and heartbreak.

So, what fad will you forever remember fondly?


Lisa_Gibson said...

I work with a girl who mourns the loss of Crystal Pepsi with you as well. I think I mourn the loss of Bubble Up (even further back in time). ;)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Elena Solodow said...

I must THANK YOU for reminding me of the name of this Pepsi rendition. Just a few months ago, I asked my sister:

"Do you remember that clear Pepsi that came out when we were kids?"

I got a shrug. And today, I am sated. I miss it too.

E. Kristin Anderson said...

1. We need to collect that series of Tweets and submit them to McSweeney's. Because we're sort of hilarious.

2. In high school my friends and I wrote a poem about Fruitopia. I used to have the whole thing laying around, but from memory, here is the opening segment:

Fermented fruitopia, in the caf
Making us drunk so we can laugh
Dancing on tables, dancing on chairs
(Gee I hope I don't fall down the stairs).

And the end had the lines:

The bell has rung, it's time for class
I fall off the table, onto my ass

I don't remember the rest. Will have to look for it.

I love you.

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