Five drinks that should not be in my fridge.

Refrigerators are private places. Intimate places.

1

It’s hard to let strangers peek inside. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want people to see Tupperwares full of sludge, and forever associate me with Tupperwares full of sludge. I don’t want people to know how much I like Laughing Cow cheese.

It’s also hard because my refrigerator is different from other refrigerators. Since I’ve spent so many years reviewing weird food, I’ve become someone who feels an extraordinary attraction to weird food. I dislike throwing it away. If the food in question is “limited edition,” I’m too afraid that I’ll never see it again. Instead, I’ll shove it in the back of the fridge, like a dog burying its bone. If I ever find myself single again, this will be the catalyst.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t do this with everything. There wouldn’t be room for that, and I’m generally okay with tossing stuff so long as I’ve taken pretty photos to remember it by. But some things do fall through the cracks, and I guess what I’m getting at is that there’s enough expired food in my fridge to qualify it as a biohazard.

The upside? If I ignore my shame, I can get a neat post out of this.

Here are five drinks that should not be in my fridge:

5

Snapple Pie: Berry Mix & Mingle!
(2003)

“Snapple Pie” was a series of flavors meant to taste like you-know-what. This is just one of several bottles of it lurking in my fridge. I chose to photograph this particular flavor because the color reminds me of Ecto-Plazm.

It’s been sitting in my refrigerator for over ten years, and I’m only just now understanding the pun in the flavor title. “Berry Mix.” “Mix & Mingle.” “Berry MIX & MINGLE!” Ha!

This is a big moment for me. Formerly, whenever I’d see this bottle, I’d stand there staring at it for five minutes, confused by the words and oblivious to the precious cold air rapidly escaping my fridge. I’m finally free!

7

Pepsi Summer Mix!
(2007)

There must be ten cans of Pepsi Summer Mix in that fridge, plus a sealed case of it in one of our kitchen cabinets. This is odd, because my ancient review indicates that I absolutely hated it. I compared Pepsi Summer Mix to “chasing rancid Southern Comfort with Pepsi.” In the soda’s defense, I wrote that review back in 2007, when I still couldn’t get through a paragraph without calling something “the worst thing in the history.” Fuck you, me.

Still, there’s no explanation for why I saved so much of it. Maybe it’s because the can design looks like the midpoint between a talking parakeet and fiery Lucifer. Like, picture a gentle parakeet tricking some Disney princess to walk through quicksand. Once she’s out of frame, the parakeet morphs into Satan. This can design looks like the swirly smoke in-between. If you read this entire paragraph, statues will be erected in your honor.

6

Orbitz!
(1997)

Most famous of today’s drinks is this bottle of Orbitz. It was already expired when I bought it more than a decade ago, but only a fool would throw Orbitz away. Filled with fruity globules that swim around like aimless Sea-Monkeys, the beverages weren’t on the market for long, but they made an everlasting impression on everyone who dared to try them.

I was never a big fan of the various flavors, but I still bought them often. They were just too weird to resist. Before lava lamps made a comeback at Spencer’s, this was as close as I could get to one.

I used to drink all of the liquid first, leaving the dozens of weird floating things for last. Without the pineapple coco banana syrup to buoy them, they became an awkward mess of jelly, looking something like caviar and something like a sneeze. I’d eat them through a straw, taking almost perverse pleasure in how each piece flew up the length of it. I felt like a giant monster, getting kitschy with his victims.

Today’s youth only knows Orbitz as an online travel agency. I knew a better Orbitz.

4

Matrix Reloaded Powerade!
(2003)

I’ve STILL never seen this movie. I’m not even 100% sure if it’s the first or the second sequel. Seems I have zero retention ability with anything regarding The Matrix franchise. The only thing I can clearly remember about any of it is Joey Pants going crazy with a gross piece of steak.

It doesn’t surprise me that I never reviewed this when it was still fresh. There’s nothing too interesting about it. It’s just Powerade with a Matrix-themed label. They didn’t even rename the flavor. Actually, to the best of my knowledge, they didn’t name the flavor at all.

This bottle is a major point of contention between me and Ms. X. She knows that I have no attachment to The Matrix. She also knows that I have no special relationship with Powerade, outside of the few times when I’m extremely hungover in Jersey hotels, and can only manage to utter the words, “…gift shop… Powerade… the red one.” My insistence that we maintain space for this bottle drives her fucking crazy.

She’ll kill me for telling you this next part, but what the hell, I’ve had a good life. The last time “the Matrix bottle” came up, she was pretty adamant about trashing it. Out of options, I pulled out the big gun. I told her that the bottle had a soul, and puppeted it to state its case with a terrible falsetto. “Don’t throw me away! I’ve been here so long! I thought this was my home!”

She caved. She always caves when I do that. Mind you, she doesn’t think that it’s cute or funny. She HATES when I do this. It works, but she HATES it. I’ll never forget the silent treatment I got after I ran the same scam for a 6’ cardboard C-3PO that one of our cats puked all over.

3

Coca-Cola Blak!
(2006)

Coca-Cola Blak was coffee-flavored Coke. While I’m not opposed to the idea of having a cup of hot coffee in one hand and a bottle of cold Coke in the other, I rarely want the two to intertwine. Still, it wasn’t terrible or anything. Just not my cup of tea SODA.

I know why I kept the bottles, though. I used to work in Times Square, where I was privy to all sorts of crazy promotional events. I’ll never forget that morning when there was a four-story inflatable robot right across the street. Or when I found the Pikachu car.

I’ll also never forget the time that Coca-Cola invaded Times Square with 42 bazillion bottles of Coca-Cola Blak. Me and my friend Kev ran off with tons of it. Exactly two things happened on April 14th, 2006. Albanian politician Mahmut Bakalli died, and I got a shitload of free soda.

After taking these photos, I hid the bottles at the back the fridge, all over again. Never surrender.

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