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.”
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…
(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 email@example.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.)
42 thoughts on “Want to help kids at St. Judes? Drink your broccoli soda”
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.
Thanks, Paul. Don’t think I haven’t thought of bacon soda as Christmas gifts…
No thanks. I am still recovering from my bean burrito soda.
Good for you.I’m sure the children of Tijuana appreciated the support.
Your reply made me laugh and fart, not necessarily in that order.
Probably the soda still. I’ll wait here if you need to go change.
That explains the bubbles.
I’m holding out to become an icon icon.
I’m sure it won’t be much longer.
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!!!
I’M TRYING!! I’M REALLY…
Hey… is that a squirrel…?
You do so WELL most of the time …
P.S. We have a soda store here in Lawrence that sells similar flavors. We’ve only been in there once. For reasons.
Reblogged this on Playing for Time and commented:
Ned is my friend because he makes me laugh.
One of the nicest reasons I can think of to be a friend 😉 Thanks, Judy! And thank you for sharing this.
As long as there’s no lima bean soda!
Yes there is or yes no lima bean soda?
NO lima bean soda! I’ll make sure of it! Ecchhhh!
Thank you. That was close!
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.
I’d have to try it, a sip of buffalo wing with a ranch dressing chaser. Then stomach pumping…
Oooooooooh, bacon soda…..
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!
I had to pay THEM the 5 cents, but that’s not important. What’s important is…
I forget where I was going with this…
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 😉
Hahahaha! Fruitcake icon has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? Once the hurling stops, I mean.
as i sit here with my super-size bacon ‘n eggs over easy soda, i am enjoying your post.
Does that come with the Hash Browns chaser?
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!!!! 😀
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!
Hmm….I don’t know. I think drinking my broccoli sounds much more appealing than having to actually eat it. Blech. I could always follow it with a beer-flavored soda.
Hops are a vegetable, right?
Leave the pitch work to the Kardashians; you’ll always be an icon in the blogosphere, Ned….
Great post, by the way.
Thanks, Robert. I’m working on a butt workout video anyway, just in case…
Ned! They wouldn’t take you as a pitchman! What kind of people are these? May they drown in their own bacon drippings!
HEY! I want to drown in bacon drippings!
Sorry. 😉 I thought you wanted to die from bacon-related coronary issues. Btw, have you REALLY thought about this? I mean, all that bacon fat up your nose? 😉
All the time…all the time….
After a big soda meal like that, I’m gonna need some Toothpaste Soda to wash it all down.
Lol! Given your Gravitar, I’d suggest “Aqua-Fresh”