I had a day off today and went hiking with Yort. This is where we went:
On the way up the mountain, I saw a little bit of green poking out of the ground, so I checked it out. It looked like a piece of bottle glass. I dug it up, and I was right -- it was an old Fresca bottle. I vaguely remember this as being one of the first low-cal sodas on the market. I didn't know it was a Coke product, but that little circle at the bottom says "A product of the Coca-Cola company" so there you go. The bottle is stamped with a 67, and according to my research, Fresca came out in 1966, so I'm guessing it's an original. Since the writing was silk screened on to the bottle, it was still pretty legible. Here it is, in all its glory:
After I brushed it off a little more, I was able to read the rest of the label, and I laughed out loud. You see that little line of writing underneath the logo? It actually says this:
IMITATION CITRUS FLAVORED DIETARY ARTIFICIALLY SWEETENED CARBONATED BEVERAGE
Holy shit -- that is some serious effing truth in advertising right there.
It's a pretty sharp contrast to today's marketing. When I see commercials on TV for Diet Mountain Dew, half the time I'm not sure if they're trying to sell me a car, a pair of jeans, or the new Hoobastank record.
I can just imagine sitting in front of the tube in 1966 when the commercial for this shit came on.
Announcer: "Try new Fresca! A really great-tasting imitation citrus-flavored dietary artifically sweetened carbonated beverage!" (deep breath) Now at your corner grocery!"
That would have totally made me jump up off the couch, grab my Impala keys and hit the first 7-11 I could find. A 6-pack of Fresca and a box of Quisp and I'd be good to go.
Besides, there is nothing I love more than "imitation citrus flavor." I am serious when I say this. (For instance, I love the way Orange GoJo hand cleaner smells -- I want to eat it -- but never have. I am also pretty sure that same shit is what makes Lemon Pledge smell so good. I've never had the balls to taste that either. If you ever eat a candy called Lemon Heads, that's exactly what I picture Lemon Pledge tasting like.)
You gotta admit, when the words "Artificial" and "Imitation" are part of the actual product logo, it almost has to be the best damn synthetic soda that modern science has to offer.
When you read the ingredients on the back, things get a little scarier.
Call me crazy, but that one line that says "should be used only by..." sounds like something that belongs on the back of a prescription bottle and not on the back of my imitation citrus-flavored dietary artifically sweetened carbonated beverage.
They appear to be saying, in effect, "If you are grossly obese and already at high risk of dying, then go for it, because I mean, just look at yourself -- it certainly can't hurt. Otherwise, do NOT drink this beverage on purpose, as it may quite possibly kill you dead. We know this because that's what it does to lab rats, although you will have to read between the lines here because we really don't want to put that on the label if we can help it."
Hell, it was 1967. They probably didn't have that whole saccharin/rat-cancer thing worked out yet. People were still tanning to a crispy brown, smoking unfiltered camels and draining their car oil into the storm sewer. Shit, they didn't know. They figured that if you looked good, that was all that mattered. Case in point:
1967 cheerleaders. Totally hot, am I right?
See that one chick showing some knee and demonstrating her awesome reverse grip on the megaphone?
Yeah. She's the slutty one. I'd put money on it.