Saturday, July 14, 2007


In the late 90s, when I watched television on a regular basis, we were often treated to commercials for a soft drink called Surge. It was Coca-Cola's answer to Mountain Dew, a beverage which in my childhood was purchased only by the elderly but which by 1995 or so, on the strength of its near-lethal caffeine content, had penetrated the lucrative market of marginally-employed slacker dudes.

Surge had an uphill battle in its quest to catch up with Mountain Dew, both because of its late arrival in the marketplace and because it apparently tasted something like, as The [Cherry] Ride recently wrote of a different soft drink, "someone drank a pepsi, ate a sno-cone and a handful of smarties and threw it up all into [one's] mouth." So Surge advertisements came thick and fast. They all followed the same basic plot line:

  • Group of marginally-employed slacker dudes set up vaguely Xtreme-sportsy obstacle course.
  • Bottle of Surge is placed at finish line.
  • Lead slacker dude bellows "Surge!!!" in a tone that suggests that he is extremely stoned, suffering an aneurism, or both.
  • Slacker dudes rush towards Surge bottle, pell-mell, to a lite speed-metal soundtrack.
  • Lucky winning slacker guzzles the Surge beverage in a fashion that, in the real world, would rupture his stomach from the Xtreme carbonation.

Here's an example that someone, presumbly for very good reasons of his or her own, posted on YouTube:

Now, you probably see where I am going with this. I can't hear Mr. Bush and his cronies discuss the "surge" policy in Iraq without immediately thinking of this ad campaign.

You can imagine a line of American soldiers -- whom I certainly wouldn't call "underemployed slacker dudes," but who by this time I imagine look and feel similarly bedraggled -- lining up at the border. "General Petraeus" (whose name, one notes, it appears to be administration policy to utter as often as humanly possible) can be the guy who shouts "Surge!!!!!" Then the wacky misadventures begin.

Well, you hope for a peaceful resolution. But you fear they'll get stuck guzzling the heinous overcaffeinated beverage. So to speak.



Jenny! said...

I remember Surge! Did that stuff also lower sperm count like Mt. Dew does???

Anonymous said...

I remember Surge too. It was disgusting.

As for General Petruauous (or however you spell it)--I don't think a morning is complete without hearing his name on NPR at least 15 times. Usually coming from Dubya's mouth, and usually in the context of something like, "I trust General Petruaououououos with not just my life but those of millions of young men and women in the armed forces and I look forward to hearing his very optimistic report regarding the surge come September." In fewer words and with a Texas accent.

Michael5000 said...

@Jenny!: Depends on how you use it.

@MDIC: Thank you! I'm NOT just imagining it!

I, too, am expecting further SUUUUURGE!!! reports to be optimistic in nature. I wonder if any of the other readers would care to wager against this? I'll give ya odds!