The last time I had a Crystal Pepsi, it was July of 1992 and I was standing at a gas station on the outskirts of Palestine, Texas, waiting for the Greyhound to come by and get me the heck AWAY from Palestine, which is the primary goal of anyone who finds themselves there for any length of time – especially if you’re a resident of the local prison, which is the primary economic driver of the town.
It wasn’t a big enough town to rate its own Greyhound station, but that didn’t matter. Catching a bus just entailed standing at the side of the highway, getting on when the bus stopped, and buying a ticket at the next opportunity. You could even, as I found out, get on with a cage full of live poultry and nobody would raise an eyebrow, because it seems that’s Perfectly Normal in Texas.
Anyway, the next stop turned out to be another gas station at a town that could charitably be described as a slight widening of the highway, and it took several months for the charge – taken on one of those manual card swipers that was an anachronism even then – to actually show up on my account. It was quite the experience all around.
Oh, the Pepsi, right. I have a surprisingly vivid memory of the taste, which was best described as intensely cinnamonesque in nature. I know I never felt compelled to try it again, and wasn’t too shocked when it silently faded from the market.
Modern Crystal Pepsi doesn’t have much flavor to it at all, though I so rarely drink sugared soda these days that honestly all I can really taste is a overwhelming sweetness. It’s inoffensive is about all I can offer.
Because I was already making bad life choices, I figured that a package of Swedish Fish-flavored oreos would make a FANTASTIC addition to my waistline. I love Swedish Fish, but I recently had a crown put on and the idea of eating gummy candy right now is terrifying, so these seemed like the next best thing.
They actually aren’t half bad, even if they don’t taste exactly like the candy, and if you likewise find yourself in the position of being denied the real thing I can recommend them as a fair substitute. Don’t think I’ll be trying them in milk, though.