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.

I guess I’m a little slow to pick up on news of the caffeinated 7-Up. It seems that dnL was introduced in 2002! I recall seeing dnL, but must not have realized at the time that it was caffeinated.

Now the Uncola is just … cola. How disappointing.

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