Sunday, September 4, 2016

That feeling when your favorite soda goes extinct

If public outcry could save the Twinkie, why not my beloved, discontinued Moose Wheeze? I do not want to be accused of advertising, or of using this platform to lobby for a pallet of my favorite now-extinct soda to be delivered to my house (cough cough.) 

Let's just say a beverage company which rhymes with Pistol Miser has suddenly stopped manufacturing my favorite carbonated fruity drink, which rhymes with Moose Wheeze. They announced that their sales could not keep up with their costs. (That never stops the government, does it?)

My attachment is partly sentimental. I first encountered the drink 20 years ago when it was handed to me from a frosty ice chest in the hatchback of my boss' car after a brutal hike. Even disregarding the "team-bulding" aspect, it was delicious. Moose Wheeze has been in my fridge ever since. 

My boss, an irreverent and hilarious New Yorker with a deep, inexplicable hippie streak, died unexpectedly a couple of years ago. Being Jewish, he would be amused at my Communion-like remembrance of him whenever I open a bottle of Wheeze. 

When you reach a certain age, almost everything reminds you of something or somebody else. Moose Wheeze to me is Jack. Grape Crush is my Uncle Paul. There are those retro soft drink and candy stores around, but what they really sell is nostalgia. Moose Wheeze will never make the shelves, though. Although it was a favorite of mine, it evidently only ever attracted a small, discerning cadre of admirers, like "Eraserhead" does for film buffs.

Remember "Seinfeld" when Elaine began to hoard contraceptive sponges because the company stopped making them? Once a commodity becomes finite, be it an artist's work or a case of wine, each unit of it becomes instantly valuable. Unless, of course, the commodity is VHS copies of "Dr. Doolittle." 

I am aware that Moose Wheeze is not exactly the iconic Twinkie, and will rally no hordes online for reinstatement. Pistol Miser is owned by a Japanese corporation best known for, I kid you not, a sports drink and an anti-psychotic drug. I do not think these are people to whom you make sentimental pleas.

Ah well. My daughter miraculously found some Moose Wheeze for me on a recent road trip to Northern California. I may well own the last two bottles on Earth. That girl is SO getting a car for Christmas.

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