Note on Surge: À la recherche du pop perdu

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Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does a bunch of other stuff.

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50 Responses

  1. Avatar BSK says:

    Was that commercially really any more insipid than the “extreme” Mountain Dew commercials?Report

  2. Avatar J.L. Wall says:

    Surge reminds me of one particularly horrible car trip — my grandfather (not going on the trip) bought my younger brother several cans of Surge to take with him for the ride; my parents chose to sacrifice my sanity for the sake of theirs and completely ignore the back seat.  Two or three hours later, I was basically broken, but my brother and the talking Surge can puppets were doing just fine, thank you very much.  We were rather too young to associate it with romance — just the attempts of various relatives to load other people’s children up on caffeine and sugar and then laugh from a distant hiding place.Report

  3. Avatar Trumwill Mobile says:

    My university went Cocacola only when Surge was their MtDew equivalent. Didn’t like the stuff at first, but came around about when it was discontinued. I’ll always associate Surge with college and miss it for more than one reason. Never saw the commercials.

    I came around on Vault at about the same time it was discontinued (or scaled back). I’d chalk it up to bad luck, but I started drinking a lot of Vault when it was 3/$1, meaning that it was already doomed and that was why I was getting the exposure.

    One of my favorite MtD equivalents is actually a house brand. Better than all of the above, IMO.Report

    • My wife just brought home some sort of mango Jarritos flavor that was really good. Of course, it’s not available in Canada. I just heard about Vault, incidentally. I’ve discovered there is a Facebook group for people who want to bring back Surge, if you’d like the address. There are also Norwegians who make a killing mailing six packs of Surge to North Americans, so you’re not alone. I would definitely try it again, just for the nostalgia factor.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Rufus F. says:

        They don’t sell Mountain Dew Livewire in a state where I used to live. Go right across the state line and it would be there about 2/3 of the time (if they had Code Red, they had Livewire). Some coworkers and I formed a fan club, and any time anyone left the state, we would take reservations and come back with a ton of Livewire.

        I think Surge is probably best left in the land of Nostalgia.

         Report

  4. Avatar David Ryan says:

    I remember the bottle, but nothing more.Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    ” it essentially tasted like what a kiwi fruit might urinate, if it could do so”

    So far, this is the best line here in ’12.Report

  6. Is your wife cool with you publicly calling her charmingly amoral?  If so, +1.Report

  7. Avatar b-psycho says:

    Personally I thought Surge was waaaay better than Mountain Dew at the time.  Thought Vault was better than Mountain Dew also.  Today I’ll drink the alternate flavored versions of Dew like Code Red or Game Fuel, but the original is terrible.

    While we’re on the topic of discontinued product nostalgia: COOKIES AND CREAM Twix.  WTF happened?  That was my favorite one by a MILE. the others suck.Report

  8. Avatar mark boggs says:

     feeling that I belonged in exactly the time and place I was. You’ll therefore forgive me if, perhaps, I remember the girl, the drink, and the relationship as all tasting a bit sweeter than they really did.

    Everybody else seems to be perseverating on the whole Surge as drink thing, but I’m seeing it more as the vehicle for the above ending portion.  Your Surge is probably what my Marlboros and 88 Sunbird convertibles and hanging out in the Memorial Union at Iowa State are: Vastly glorified and revised to near perfection memories of a time looked back upon with a possible sense of longing but more likely a “those were the days” type of sentiment..

    Or like all the old-timers see the 1950’s.Report

    • Avatar b-psycho in reply to mark boggs says:

      I assume it’s uncommon for people to remember things as worse than they actually were.Report

      • Avatar mark boggs in reply to b-psycho says:

        Ask me about my first, and only, rollercoaster ride.Report

        • Avatar b-psycho in reply to mark boggs says:

          Point made.

          I never got the concept.  Whizzing around at high speeds with no control and the possibility of malfunction and plunging to your death, then puking up every bit of overpriced junk food you ate since you got to the damn amusement park…and that’s supposed to be fun?

           Report

          • Avatar mark boggs in reply to b-psycho says:

            From what I’ve allowed myself to remember, I screamed this the entire way around: “I DON’T WANNA DIE!!!!”Report

          • Avatar Meaghan in reply to b-psycho says:

            “Whizzing around at high speeds with no control and the possibility of malfunction and plunging to your death, then puking up every bit of overpriced junk food you ate since you got to the damn amusement park…and that’s supposed to be fun?”

            Oh my yes. Of course that is fun! What an amazing adrenaline rush. 🙂 After such an experience your body craves that feeling again.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to mark boggs says:

      Your Surge is probably what my Marlboros and 88 Sunbird convertibles and hanging out in the Memorial Union at Iowa State are: Vastly glorified and revised to near perfection memories of a time looked back upon with a possible sense of longing but more likely a “those were the days” type of sentiment..

      Yeah, absolutely. It strikes me as humorous that I feel a bit of nostalgia related to an over-caffeinated citrus pop. You forget the bad parts and remember the pleasurable moments. It’s sort of the same in Proust- madeleines are really nothing special at all, which I think is sort of the point.Report

  9. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    My first drink of any carbonated beverage was a bottle of Fanta Orange at the Mallam Aminu airport in Kano, Nigeria.   We’d driven from Dungas, Niger to Kano, sold our beloved Jeep and most of our worldly possessions, heading back to Paris and from thence to the USA.

    From our house at the end of the road in Dungas, we’d watched the contrail of an Air France flight every Thursday afternoon for four years, arriving from Paris.   That Thursday, I watched it put out landing gear and touch down in Kano. The door to the 707 opened, the passengers came down the steps into the thick humid night.

    Just us and our suitcases.   My father got each of us a bottle of Fanta Orange, ice cold.   I sniffed it, sneezed at the carbonation, almost spit out my first sip.  How it fizzed in my mouth!

    Nabokov once said nothing brings an old memory back so well as a smell.   Taste isn’t far removed, I suppose.   The taste of Orange Fanta puts me instantly in Kano, between all I’d ever known and all I’d ever be.Report

  10. Avatar Plinko says:

    Surge came out my freshman year of college. Back then my roommate (best friend from high school) and I were obsessed with Sun-Drop, which could not be obtained at easily at the time in Minneapolis(the occasional service station would have the 20oz ‘Intimidator’ bottles endorsed by Dale Earnhardt). We would bring back 12-packs with us from home whenever we visited our families back home.

    I remember someone trying to sell us on Surge because it was rather similar to Sun-Drop. It was, in fact, vile swill and thus Surge became a catchphrase for any crappy substitute offered.Report

  11. Avatar Meaghan says:

    Ahhh, Surge… the memories; although, I was about 11 at the time. I was always health conscious so I would never touch the stuff (even at that age), but I had a girlfriend who loved it. Coincidentally we just got back in touch through Facebook so kudos on the timing 🙂Report

  12. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Jolt.Report

    • Quite! Back when I was in college, Jolt had a whole arsenal of flavors. I couldn’t get enough of the stuff and would drive off-campus (in a very shady part of town) to get some.

      When Mountain Dew started to diversify, it became the closest thing to the flavored Jolt that I have had since.Report

    • Jolt apparently went bankrupt, but someone else is making an energy drink with the Jolt name and some of the same flavoring. When I was 14, I drank enough Jolt to power Minneapolis.Report

  13. Avatar b-psycho says:

    While we’re reminiscing on carbonated HFCS-water: I used to get those giant fountain cups at the 7-11 up the street and mix several pop kinds in one.  Near the end me & my friends practically had our preferred taste blends down to a science.Report