Want to help kids at St. Judes? Drink your broccoli soda

image As I’m sure you can imagine, being a humor columnist, I am constantly working up a sweat. In fact, I can already feel perspiration forming. By the end of this paragraph, I will be a drippy, sweat-stained mess. Most people don’t know it can take hours to finish a column.

The reason has nothing to do with procrastination, writer’s block or even the ability to Google history of Star Wars universe; many of us humor columnists simply become too sweaty to operate our keyboards without sliding off and potentially endangering ourselves and others. Newsrooms everywhere understand this, which is why we are often placed in special cubicles that are refrigerated.

Or at the very least equipped with a drain pan.

Yet somehow, beverage companies continue to overlook us as potential thirst-quenching icons when developing trendy ad campaigns. Chances are, you’ll never see a commercial featuring a humor columnist at a keyboard with green Gatorade streaming out of every pore in his body. Or witness a humor columnist emerge from a droplet of Propel fitness water and do a back flip out of an office chair (which we often do, by the way, sometimes for no reason at all.)

That’s because our segment of the beverage-buying market is considered too small to worry about, even though, as analysts have shown, it is a powerful one, at least in terms of odor.

According to the advertising people I spoke with, the key is finding a beverage product that fits the humor columnist profile; something that seamlessly combines beverage consumption and sweaty writing; something that speaks to millions of thirsty consumers and tells them:

Hey, what you really want is a beverage that tastes funny.

I had given up on finding such a beverage until I opened a package from Seattle, Wash., containing what has to be the strangest soda concept since New Coke. In this case, we’re talking about quenching your thirst with the crisp, refreshing taste of “Broccoli Rice Casserole.”

Or “Salmon Pate’.”

Or my personal favorite, “Turkey and Gravy.”

Can't wait to pour a frosty one of these for my kids tonight...
Can’t wait to pour a frosty one of these for my kids tonight…

Apparently, the folks at Jones Soda Company, who produce these and other weird flavors each year as part of a limited-edition “Holiday Pack,” are aggressively targeting a niche market known in the advertising world as the “gagging consumer.” This became clear during an impromptu taste test I held here in our newsroom, where all 10 of my test subjects preferred drinking these sodas over, say…

The taste of bile.

I knew right away I’d found my product. Who better than a humor columnist to promote a beverage that is marginally preferred over stomach juice? I immediately contacted Diana Turner at Jones Soda Company and informed her of my availability.

I then called her back and explained I meant as an advertising icon.

After aggressive negotiations that seemed to go on forever but lasted closer to four seconds, I was told that the goal of the “Holiday Pack” was to raise $150,000 for children’s charities, and that paying for a “beverage icon” would mean less money for those charities.

I told her I was cheap.

She said every dollar counts.

I agreed to do it for free.

She asked me to please stop calling her.

As it stands, I still haven’t become a beverage icon, and it doesn’t look like I’ll become one anytime soon. Until then, I’ll just have to quench my thirst for becoming a promotional figurehead by consuming these extra bottles of “Turkey & Gravy” soda.

That’s if I can hold onto them with these sweaty hands.

Then again, they’ll have to pry this soda from my hands long after I’m dead. Probably from a stroke…

This wasn't included in my samples, but rest assured I'll get my hands on some.
This wasn’t included in my samples, but rest assured I’ll get my hands on some.

(Visit the folks at the Jones Soda Company website to find out more about its fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Toys For Tots. Or you can write me at Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR. 97439, or at nedhickson@icloud.com)


(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation and a member of the writing team at Long Awkward Pause. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

42 thoughts on “Want to help kids at St. Judes? Drink your broccoli soda”

  1. Bwahaha! Bacon soda – yep that will be your last memory on this planet. Jones is a fun company who have just released Pumpkin Pie flavor soda. You can have custom labels made if you want Ned – you could have Bacon soda labelled as Ned’s Finest – with your picture on the front. That would be funny. I especially like the picture of you asleep and drooling on your keyboard. Great post.

  2. You always seem to happen along precisely when I need to laugh until undignified things commence and it all goes off the rails. Mission accomplished, thank you. I’m reblogging this UNLESS YOU STOP ME RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND!!!

  3. While on a road trip to Portland, OR, with a girlfriend last summer, we happened upon a candy shop selling those questionable libations. We could not leave without buying both the buffalo wing and ranch dressing sodas. It will take a nuclear winter to get me to drink them.

  4. Why don’t you just become their rogue spokesman and promote it….wait a second…a clever Jones soda promotion disguised as a blog post. Hats off to you! The 5 cents they paid you is well worth it!

  5. I always learn so much and gain valuable insight when I read your columns.
    That said, I could have gone my whole life and been fine with not knowing about broccoli and rice soda.
    Don’t feel bad about not being a beverage icon. You can always call up Fr. Robert and ask if they need fruitcake marketing this year 😉

  6. Nothing in this world lie comfort food… bacon is definitely one of mine! Bacon and eggs, homemade biscuits and gravy with a big red sliced tomato next to it! Tall glass of orange juice and a hot cup of coffee…. WOW that sounds good!! I will be right back!!!! 😀

    1. Mmmm… had to add the hashbrown chaser!! LOL! That was really good! You are a great spokes person for said beverage company! Jones has great flavors.. You post just really made me hungry for some reason! ha ha ha!

No one is watching, I swear...

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