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Wednesday: A development warranting our immediate attention.

It's come to my attention, over the past few weeks, that we hold an unusual position in the community.

Specifically, I'm told that we have a certain obligation -- nay, duty -- to speak to issues of vital concern. If something significant appears, regardless of whatever else might be happening that day, we need to be examining it closely and bringing you the information. If something monumental is achieved, we need to be discussing it as soon as is humanly possible. We owe this to you, at the very least.

It's our job. Our calling. And when we don't address these matters, we fall down both as writers and as people.

So, having said that, I feel that I should tell you this right away, as a representative of and participant in the Discourse:

Pepsi Max Cino. What the hell?

America gets the Black Cherry Vanilla soft drink wars this season. However, Britain and the Continent are getting the coffee-flavoured soft drink wars. France has just seen the introduction of Coca-Cola Blak (and I swear to God that's spelled the way it is on the bottle, which makes me sad), which manages to contain some actual coffee and is said to froth in a cappucino-like fashion. Great, fine, no problem. Whatever.

Britain? Has Pepsi Max Cino. As usual, this is totally the bitch country when it comes to soft drinks.

[Pepsi Max Cino: resembling nothing known unto man until now.)Pepsi Max is pretty much Pepsi One, only slightly different and a few years older. Instead of getting the complete line of flavoured Diet Pepsis, we, uh, get Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max. A few months ago, we also got Pepsi Max Twist, which had something claiming to be lemon/lime flavouring. It was drinkable. It didn't resemble floor polish. Much.

This? I don't know. "Coffee flavourings," they're telling me. I think that that's coffee flavour the way that cherry-flavoured things are cherry-flavoured, which is to say they asked someone once what it might be like for a thing to taste like another thing, and then they didn't even listen. Moreover, I think they might have asked someone: "Someone, what does Starbucks Coffee Liqueur taste like?"

And, in fact, this might taste nice with Starbucks liqueur in it. (I'm not pretending that it won't instantly transform anyone consuming it into the femmiest femme that ever wore high-heeled mules, of course. And I'm not responsible for your subsequent dysphoria.)

But... yeah. So this tastes like, uh, Cino. Which is about "pushing the boundaries of innovation," says some guy at Britvic.

Unfortunately, it's not a damned thing like coffee. Or coffee-flavoured things. Or innovation. This is the Coffee Liqueur fanfic of soft drinks. This is the fanfic where someone took a look at coffee, took a look at Pepsi Max, thought, "I would like to see them entwined in a desperate clinch," and wrote something bearing only a superficial resemblance to either character.

Not that it's undrinkable, mind you. It's just completely unrecognizable.

Posted by Wednesday Burns-White at January 26, 2006 7:15 PM