Never Had It, Never Will
Around 4:30 AM this morning Tyler called out to let us know that she felt sick. I sat with her in the bathroom for a few minutes, rubbing her back, while she decided whether she was going to throw up or not. Luckily she didn’t, and I tucked her back into bed. Neither of us slept much after that.
After my shower, Tyler told me that she still felt sick, so I ran off to the grocery store to purchase some 7-Up. I walked to the soda aisle, found the 7-Up at the end of the row, and grabbed a plastic two-litre bottle. As I did this, I scanned the labels of the bottles nearby. Cherry Flavor 7-Up … Caffeinated 7-Up … I did a double-take and re-read that label a second, then a third time.
Cast your mind back to the mid-1980s, when I was a television junkie. I recall with great fondness a deep-voiced African American man reminding me that 7-Up “never had it, never will.” This was a mantra I grew up with. It became the punchline to jokes (“What do the Pope and 7-Up have in common?”). It was a fundamental part of my understanding of the world: 7-Up was always going to be caffeine free, unlike all the other sodas that came in both varieties. As a parent, I knew that 7-Up was always a safe chioce to offer my kids, because it provides all the carbonated pleasure of soda for them without the caffeine or sugar their little bodies don’t need.
Now the Uncola is just … cola. How disappointing.