Congratulations, internet. You’ve managed to resurrect Surge, the slightly less off-brand-than-Mello Yello version of Mountain Dew.
This revival was spearheaded by the SURGE Movement, which, amazingly, is a thing that exists dedicated to two missions. First is to bring back Surge Soda, and second is to ensure its long-term success. While I’m no stranger to fetishizing discontinued foodstuffs (Bring back the PB Max, you Mars Company fuckers!), I find the dedication to Surge particularly vexing.
Why? Because Surge is objectively fucking terrible.
Do you remember this shit? First off, it’s basically a Mountain Dew clone with added maltodextrin (Ahh, maltodextrin – just like Mom used to put in our sodas) “for a longer lasting blast of energy.” I think Mountain Dew is best summarized by this clip from The Simpsons. Yes, Homer, I think we’d all prefer the crab juice. And the fact that a whole weird group of people is fetishizing a clone of an inferior product that differentiates itself with an additive used “to lessen costs and improve volume” is just too fucking bizarre for words. We’re essentially talking about carbonated Lemon Pledge marketed exclusively to adrenaline-junkie douche hoses.
Which brings me to my second point, the marketing. Remember these commericals? Of course you don’t. So here’s a refresher:
Even the commercials are off-brand. Who the hell sets up a makeshift couch obstacle course in the middle of the city, or gets their buddies together to have a barrel roll downhill race where the winner is awarded a cool bottle of pure citrus adrenaline? NO ONE, that’s who. At least the assclowns who market Mountain Dew have the good sense to demonstrate your local bro collective participating in honest-to-God bro activities like wind surfing and street luging and skydiving on a mountain bike and errrr….. fruitbooting.
I’m amazed at this stupid brand’s longevity and the associated nostalgia for it. But hey, if you’ve got a huge Surge boner that will only be relieved by pouring this acidic, fully-loaded, yellow-green swill (with carbos!) into your maw, do so with impunity, my friends. I’m not one to stand in the way of people and their odd enjoyment.
And with that in mind, here’s a bunch of other dumb shit I think we should bring back while we’re at it.
1. PB Max – I mean, obviously. This was the greatest peanut butter, caramel, cookie, chocolate treat ever known to mankind, so it’s well past due for a reboot.
2. OK Soda – Since Coca-Cola seems willing to rejuvenate brands the marketplace rejected a decade a half ago, let’s do this one too.
Sidenote: In the summer of 1994, this was available in the vending machine at my community pool. (Side-sidenote: Apparently, Denver was one of the only test markets where it was. Weird.) As part of their marketing, you could call 1-800-IFEELOK and listen to off-kilter messages or take quizzes. Sample question: True or false – If salt tastes salty, cantaloupe tastes cantaloupy. As a bored 12 year-old, I took this quiz somewhere between 50 and 700 times that summer.
If memory serves, this soda had a zesty, almost spicy, bite to it that I loved and tasted reminiscent of a soda fountain “suicide.” And the cans had weird pop art and an avant garde strangeness to them. It was a hipster soda before hipsters were really a thing. It’d be perfect now.
3. Those carts that brought the wrestlers to the ring at WrestleMania 3 and 6.
4. Un-complicated Nerf guns. Seriously have you strolled through the toy aisle recently? There’s clips, and weirdo firing mechanisms and all sorts of shit. It’s like actual war now. If war were fought in Day-Glo, iridescent, foam padded hell.
5. Fierce Lime Gatorade – The BEST flavor of Gatorade. I drink Grape G2 now like a boring adult, but I always miss the Fierce Lime, which tasted like melted Sir Isaac Lime Otter Pop.
6. Cinnamon Mini-Buns cereal.
8. 3rd Wave ska fashion sense – I need more checkerboard patterns in my life. In fact, I need more checkerboard patterns in everyone’s lives.
9. Movies like RAD, which, this one sort of is… If you watch that trailer, I love the Bill Allen cameo in the Talia Shire role. “Have you made even one dollar from riding?” Ha! Cru Jones has lost his way!
10. And most importantly, let’s bring back the days when my metabolism was better, I could process more than 2 beers in a night without feeling at least mildly hungover the next day, a sense that anything was possible, a lack of crushing obligation that lurks behind every corner, and a lack of existential dread from working crazy hours for a corporate monstrosity.
Because that’s what this is really about, isn’t it? The feeling of Surge, and not the actual product. You remember your life when Surge was in it, and now that it’s gone, you remember fondly what it was like when it was, so you seek to capture that feeling again. So, drink up and enjoy the memories.