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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
  • Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
  • Thursday: Bradley Denton
  • Friday: Steven Gould
  • Saturday: Caroline Spector
  • Sunday: Rory Harper

Brain Activity



Boy, Do I NOT Know How to Pick ‘Em

January 31st, 2008 by Bradley Denton

 Push-Button Transmission!  What's not to like?

About fifteen years ago, Maxwell House came out with a bottled “iced cappuccino” here in the States called Cappio. It was available in several flavors, including cinnamon, vanilla, and mocha . . . and man, I loved that stuff. Especially the mocha, which tasted as if coffee and cocoa had made sweet, sweet love to produce a God-Child who had descended to Earth for the sole purpose of making my poor tired brain happy again. World without End, Ah-men. Ahhhh-mennn.

It was moderately kinda sorta expensive, but it sure was tasty. Smooth, sweet, and a kick like a mule wearing velvet horseshoes. Hoo boy.

Then one day it went on sale. Everywhere. So I bought up a bunch, never thinking that maybe it was on sale for a Reason.

The Reason, of course, turned out to be that it had sold like crap at a stable-shovelers convention. So less than two years after introducing it, General Foods stopped making it for the U.S. market. All the stores put their stock on sale so they could clear the shelves for whatever came next.

The result: Once I knocked back my little stash, that was it. No more Soup for me.

A decade and a half later, all of the bottled iced coffee drinks on the U.S. market taste as if they’ve been filtered through a stevedore’s shorts. And they apparently sell like crazy despite being more costly than heroin. (Okay, maybe not the best heroin. But still – two bucks for a six-and-a-half ounce Doubleshot? I’d ask how those rapacious bastards sleep at night, except I’m pretty sure they don’t.)

Now all I have are my memories . . . memories of sweet, cool, chestnut-colored nectar.

[Note: I’m told that Cappio still exists in the U.K. under the "Kenco" brand. But a fat lot of good that does me here in Central Texas. Damn you, Great Britain! First you steal our Rock and Roll – and now our only decent iced coffee. I hereby curse you with gray, drizzly weather and warm, bitter beer the consistency of motor oil!]

I relate this sad tale of Cappio’s martyrdom to illustrate just how far out of the Mainstream I am.

This is only one example of hundreds I could offer. But rather than do that, I’ll just ask you to trust me when I tell you: If I really really like something, it will go nowhere with the Masses; and if I really really dislike something, it will make a zillion dollars, spawn spin-off websites and frozen dinners, and inspire tens of thousands of acolytes to dress up in imitation of it.

And recently, to my dismay, I’ve seen evidence that after almost twenty-eight years of marriage, my bad mojo has rubbed off on my beloved spouse. Case in point: Within the last two years, Barb has found Campbell’s Chicken Verde Condensed Soup to be quite useful in concocting quick-and-tasty Tex-Mex cuisine. But now (you guessed it) they’ve decided to stop making the stuff.

FOREVER.

In other words – No more Soup for Barb, either.

So I hereby publicly apologize to my wife for bringing this curse upon her.

And now, finally, I’ll reveal that all of the above is merely a prelude to noting that yesterday, Senator John Edwards ended his candidacy for President of the United States.

Yup, that’s right. He was my boy.

In fact, two months ago, if you’d asked me what my ideal Democratic Prez/Vice Prez ticket would be, I would’ve said, “Edwards/Richardson.”

But now, just like Cappio, that’s off the shelves. To put it mildly. (“Terminated with Extreme Prejudice” might be more accurate.)

And, yes, because I know you’re wondering . . . with regard to the two major Democratic candidates left standing, I DO have a preference.

But if you think I’m gonna say which one, yer a-smokin’ da wacky weed.

I mean, consider my record. Back in college, I was for John Anderson. John Freakin’ Anderson. Remember him?

Nope. Didn’t think so.

So I’m keeping my damn mouth shut about the remaining Candidates until after next Tuesday. At least.

Thus, all I can allow myself to say in conclusion is:

If I had been old enough to buy an Edsel when they came out . . . hell, I’d probably still be driving it.

Or trying to.

Posted in Barb, Brad, Dammit!, Disability, Food, Personal History, Politics, Pop. Culture | 10 Comments »

10 Responses

  1. Maureen McQ Says:

    Could I maybe make some suggestions for who you should endorse? I’m thinking maybe you could come out for McCain?

  2. Paula Helm Murray Says:

    I live in Kansas City, I’m used to finding consumer products, especially food items, that come in, I like, and the drop out of the market.

    We’re a test-market area (hey, if KC likes it, everyone will like it…. that doesn’t say much for the McRib, does it? We’re the only market McD can sell the f-ckers).

    So I’m accustomed to really liking things and then they disappear. But I wish Edwards hadn’t dropped out. I’m kinda pissed off about that.

  3. Barb Says:

    Thanks to Caroline, I have a source for the last few cans of Creamy Chicken Verde soup in the known universe, at an outrageous price which I refuse to pay. She offered to buy me some for my birthday, to which I said, “Soup? For my birthday? Do it and you shall die painfully!!” (or words to that effect) I have decided to Get Over It. That’s how I was raised. A little well-placed sulking and then I move on with my life, eating suboptimal chicken casseroles.

  4. Dr Paisley Says:

    all of the bottled iced coffee drinks on the U.S. market taste as if they’ve been filtered through a stevedore’s shorts.

    As opposed to a Steve Gould’s shorts?

    And I worked on John Anderson’s campaign, ya punk!

    As for the McRib, the best meat counter insult I ever saw was several packages of MCRib-style pork patties at a store here in KC labeled “St. Louis Style Spare Ribs.” Snap!

  5. Madeleine Robins Says:

    Y’know,it would never have occurred to me that there was such a thing as “meat counter insult” until now. What a sheltered life I have led.

  6. James Hollaman Says:

    for me i usually find out of stuff that i think would be cool and it never comes out. But when i do like some thing it usually does well, then some shmuck thinks its a good idea to change things up and then it goes down the tubes…. oh well…..

  7. Rory Harper Says:

    You can’t hardly get the good Orange Sunshine any more, either.

    Uh, not that I’d know personally, of course….

  8. Bill Householder Says:

    Rest assured, Dear Denton, that you or Dear Barb do not suffer alone: my wife is afflicted with the same curse and we’ve seen many tasty things vanish like smoke up the chimney. Alas and alack :(

  9. Klages Says:

    Looks like you’re not the only one who misses Cappio, but this gentleman seems to think he’s found an acceptable replacement:

    http://noumenon.roderickrussell.com/froidian-sips-organic-iced-coffee-hits-shelves

  10. rb Says:

    *sigh* All in our humble casa are, apparently, Angels of Restaurant Death. If we like a place, really dig it, frequent it… sayonara.

    It’s like in THE GOOD EARTH? Where the married couple exults over the health of their son, then, horrified at tempting providence, they cry to the heavens, “What a shame our firstborn is misshapen and poxed and merely a girl!”

    Or words to that effect.

    What a tragedy the puni puri at Swad isn’t crisp enough to shatter in your mouth, releasing spicy-cool cilantro sauce! How pathetic that the birria at Garibaldi’s isn’t rich enough to make you feel like you wrapped your mouth around velvet! These places are terrible, I tells ya, terrible!

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