Sunday, August 7, 2011


There are three stages of being a kid: actually being a kid, growing up just enough to hate being a kid, and growing up further to wish that you could be a kid again. When you enter the final phase, you return to some of those behaviors that were shunned for a few years as being something 'kids' do. What was childish becomes nostalgic, and what was 'so uncool' becomes a rose-tinted memory.

Having firmly entered that third phase, I dream of a channel which streams a direct feed of 90s Nickelodeon (including commercials), skirts that spin up when you twirl, and, of course, drinks that are made up of at least half a dozen different sodas.

You know you did it. You went up to the soda fountain with your plastic cup and you expertly mixed a cocktail of Coke. You brazenly added fruit punch to root beer and blended Pepsi and Dr. Pepper. Add a dash of Sprite for a refreshing citrus twist, and you had something which may or may not be considered drinkable by an adult, but which was a nectar of the soft drink gods.

Today, that childlike wonder is excited in me again whenever I go to an eatery which boasts a Freestyle soda machine. If you haven't heard about them, they are these soda fountains with touch screen interfaces that contain 100+ options. Drinks that don't exist anywhere else, like Orange Coke Zero and Raspberry Fanta. With such strange ingredients, it would be wrong to simply fill up on one and walk away.

So far I've relied heavily on the Fanta Zero options to bring out the subtle fruitiness of other sodas, like Dr. Pepper, root beer and Coke Zero. I hope eventually to stumble upon some bubbling cup of carbonated perfection. I haven't gotten there yet, but I've been lucky enough to avoid any concoctions that have to be completely abandoned.

Now if only I could get that 90s Nickelodeon stream set up...

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