Diet Pepsi: According to my past review of sodas, I have not yet covered the important topic of Diet Pepsi. What a shocking oversight! Anyway, I am taking a sip of it right now. …Hmm. It tastes pretty much like Diet Coke. So, in other words, like sugar-water mixed with crushed-up aspirin, except it’s slightly sweeter than Diet Coke.
I feel like I’m running out of clever words with which to describe diet sodas, and that’s a concern. In other news, I currently work part-time at a wine store, and all I ever do is lie. Which is what I feel like I should do with Diet Pepsi. People at my store ask me about wine, and I don’t even like wine that much. So I lie. And the thing that I’ve learned about lying about how something tastes is that you need to be imaginative. Someone asks me about, say, a red wine, and I’m like: “Oh, it has a strong bouquet of shale. With an undercurrent of oak.” This is a perfect lie, because it’s meaningless. Wine can’t taste like a rock with an undercurrent of a tree. But the lie sounds fantastic and profound. …Anyway, to bring us back to base — Diet Pepsi has a strong undercurrent of Diet Coke. Except with a less good advertising revenue. And so it gets a grade of: C.
Caffeine Free Diet Coke: …Which is the only soda that my girlfriend ever drinks. My question here being: “Why?” No sugar and no caffeine and it tastes bad. Why not just give up soda altogether? There are plenty of other drinks, after all. I hate people who can’t make a choice like that; it’s why I like atheists better than agnostics. So okay, diet soda, fine. (Especially if you’re a, um, diabetic.) But no caffeine? Isn’t soda just basically a caffeine delivery system? …Dante reserved a special place in Hell for the indecisive, and that’s what I think the lovers of Caffeine Free Coke are: indecisive. Or, as Yoda once said: “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.’” …Oh, wise little Yoda.
Anyway, what were we talking about? …Oh, the soda itself? It tastes bad. Grade: C-minus.
Coke Zero: For centuries, philosophers have been fascinated with the concept of “zero.” How can a number be a number and yet not a number? …If you know what I mean. …And did you know that “zero,” as an idea, wasn’t even invented until the 13th century — 5,000 years after all the other numbers were invented? (This is just the kind of pointless information that you’ll learn while reading these reviews, and you’re welcome.)
Anyway, the idea of “zero”! It’s impressive, maybe. It is a thing… and yet it is not a thing. Like, for example, how many enormous wild tigers do you have in your apartment right now? Zero: I’m guessing. But is that something? Don’t you almost always have zero tigers in your apartment? So what does it mean to point that out? Is there a point? Or no point? …Think about all of this for too long, and you’ll go crazy. And so, “Coke Zero,” we must pause to salute you. You are something, and yet you are nothing. You embody contraction.
…As for the taste of “Coke Zero” itself, it tastes like slightly better Diet Coke. And so, in conclusion, whatever. Grade: B-minus
Spirit Zero: Let’s not talk about that whole “zero” thing again! So… Sprite. Hmm. The slogan is “Obey Your Thirst. Drink Sprite.” Wow. Soda slogans are pretty fascist, aren’t they? “YOUR PATHETIC WHIMS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING. DRINK YOUR SPRITE, SLAVE!” …Yay.
I’d make a terrible advertiser, I guess, because I’m wussy like that. My slogan would be: “Perhaps maybe you’d enjoy a small sip of Sprite, if you’re not doing anything else right now? …Or not? Anyway, sorry for bothering you.” …But then, I’m pretty wussy.
Anyway, Sprite Zero tastes… shockingly good. For once I’m going to drop the irony here. I’d never tried it before, but it tastes just like a normal soda, with no “diet” taste whatsoever, except it’s less grossly sweet than normal sodas, which is actually an improvement. Well done, Sprite Zero! Grade: A
Diet Sunkist: Whoa. Holy crud. They still make Sunkist? Color me very surprised. I haven’t thought about Sunkist since 1985, at least, and really, I associate the soda with the 80s, and bad commercials with girls in bikinis and that “Good Vibrations” song.
Honestly, I guess I just don’t go to the supermarket often enough, because they had a lot of stuff that I didn’t think still existed. …Like Deviled Ham. And “Five Alive.” And “After Eight” brand mints. …Whoa. All the forgotten brands of my past. And “Junket”! They even had “Junket”! Do you even remember “Junket”? I bet you don’t.
But that’s the American supermarket for you; a “mausoleum of all hope and desire,” to quote William Faulkner. (To be honest, I just wanted to squeeze that Faulkner quote in here so that you would think I was smart.) …And as for Sunkist, it also tastes pretty good! Fruit flavors seem to be the winners here with diet sodas. First lemon-lime, and now orange. Kind of surprising. If I ever saw someone with a Sunkist, I’d make fun of them, but still… it’s a pretty good diet soda. Grade: B-plus.
Diet A&W Root Beer: Close your eyes. Now take a sip of root beer. Now forget what you’ve just drunk, and ask yourself: “What does this actually taste like?” …Answer: toothpaste! …Right? Root beer actually tastes exactly like toothpaste. …Bizarre. Someone pointed this out to me once, and it ruined root beer for me forever, because they were right. Anyway, I just wanted to point this out again, so that I could ruin root beer for you too.
As for Diet Root Beer. …Well, do you like the idea of diet toothpaste? If so, then we may have found the soda for you, my friend. Grade: D-minus.