I’d like to address this specific dispatch to the good people at Lipton.
First of all, I’d like to thank you for responding to my beverage needs for the last five years or so. There was a time before 2006 when I would start off my day with 20 ounces of Diet Mountain Dew. Certainly the caffeine content of said drink was enough to give me a slight buzz through those days in cubeville as I sat there mastering the art of joins, case statements, and concatenation while living life as an SQL padawan. Even still, the citrus component of what I once called “Rocky Mountain Horse Piss” made me a frequent visitor to that one place where the rigid rules dictated by the man card require that I strongly adhere to “Urinal Etiquette”.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the process, “Urinal Etiquette“ is the process by where two men, using urinals in a public restroom leave an empty, unoccupied urinal between them. Men should never stand immediately next to each other when relieving themselves publicly. Streams could cross, worlds could collide, and the offending participants could feel compelled to go watch reruns of “Sex in the city”.
Now where was I?
Oh right. Diet Mountain Dew has been known to give me a slight buzz and it makes me pee a lot.
At one point, the cafeteria at work started carrying Lipton Green Tea in a citrus flavor. Upon trying it, I likened it to the syrup found in fruit cocktail. Overall it wasn’t bad, however I found it a little thick. At the time, I was looking to reduce my intake of high fructose corn syrup. It turns out the new green tea I had tried had that stuff in it.
But then, I found the diet version in the same flavor. It had none of the fructose stuff. It didn’t have that thickness the leaded stuff had. It had just the right mixture of citrus elements in it to avoid overpowering my taste buds and my bladder.
It’s now become a stationary component of my life. If you see me planted in cubeville, or in a conference room without a Diet Citrus Lipton Green Tea in reach, then I’m probably pondering my next steps to obtain one.
Just to summarize; green tea is my crack, and I don’t cross streams in the restroom.
I’ve tried the same flavor in a few other brands, mind you. In each of those cases, it was obvious to me that Lipton’s competition hasn’t been able to use enough corporate espionage to find the formula that works. Just to be clear here, Lipton has it figured out.
This last Saturday, I participated in a springtime activity which has been a part of my life for the last ten years. Is it gardening or yard work, you may ask? No. It’s baseball. TharpSter Jr. has been playing every spring since 2001 when he was 7.
How does my son’s ability to put out a would-be base stealer on a throwdown from the plate have anything to do with green tea?
I know you’re asking that right now. You should know by now I’m all about the non-sequitur.
Technically, the two items are mutually exclusive.
After his game the other day, we stopped at the gas station to fill up the truck at approximately $3.79 a gallon. The CFO and the kids went inside to get drinks while I stayed outside at the pump, firmly grasping my ankles.
Bless their hearts as the gang remembered me when getting the drinks. Things were different this time though. The good people at Lipton had changed the shape of their bottle. The plastic seemed to be thicker or even stronger. This bad boy wouldn’t crush to the pressure of me twisting the lid off.
Lipton appeared to have gotten a libidinous edge on the green tea front.
Who’s up for a quick history lesson?
If you’re still here, raise your hand. It appears I still have your attention.
A quarter of a century ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long), a brilliant marketing campaign was perpetrated on the soda guzzling public. At the time, mall goers across this great nation of ours were stopping at strategically placed folding tables to take the Pepsi Challenge. Suffice to say, Pepsi was kicking the collective butts of Coca-Cola in taste tests all over the place. Pepsi had the self proclaimed King of Pop on board, lighting his head on fire in order to express the virtues of soda being the choice of a new generation. Coca-Cola wanted their market share back.
You know what they did don’t you?
That’s right. They changed their formula, rebranded it as New Coke, and marketed the hell out of it. In return, what did the American drinking public get as a result?
Crappier tasting Coke.
“Bring back the real thing” type rallies cropped up in just enough places to make the local news broadcasts and raise a stink. Before we new it, the original recipe was rebranded as Classic Coca-Cola, New Coke seemed to have disappeared into the sunset, and we were all free to continue our carefree lives in the middle of Reaganomics.
So I told you that to tell you this.
The recipe of citrus flavored green tea which had been poured into that curvaceous bottle had been changed. I don’t know exactly what it was that was different. My guess was that more orange had made it’s way in there. It wasn’t the original flavor. It wasn’t my crack.
Now I could tell you how I knew it wasn’t the right stuff. I could liken it to the story about how bank tellers are trained to recognize counterfeit bills. I would expect you’re already familiar with that story, and I’m certainly not interested in publishing a rerun here on TharpSter.Org. Just know that I knew it wasn’t the right stuff.
So what am I going to do about it?
First of all, I’m going to write a smart ass blog about it and put it out on the worldwide web.
After that, I’m going to tag the article so that whenever innocent bystanders happen to google the term “Lipton Green Tea” or “naked chicks”, the smart ass blog will come up in the search results.
Beyond that, I’m going to sit here and just hope that the new tea featured in the new bottle was just Lipton’s uninspired and meager attempt to reinvent itself.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pee.