Yeah, I see you, Dr. Pop. Don't try to hide, Dr. Thunder. Wake me up before you go-go, Dr. Wham. You are infringing on the good name of Dr. Pepper, and those mincing pansies at the Patent and Trademark Office won't save you from my righteous wrath.
Colas have an inglorious history, from silently trafficking narcotics to making polar bears look gay. They are the target of scapegoat-searching school boards, codeine-popping cougars and a Federal Communications Commission with delusions of relevance. All but one have no complexity, no subtlety, no joie de vivre.
All but Dr. Pepper.
When it comes to the Doc, it's a lock. Invented by a German pharmacist in 1885, debuted nationally at the frickin' World's Fair in 1904, Dr. Pepper has thrilled and challenged soft-drinkers since America's rise on the world stage. But it didn't need Joseph Hearst to fire the first shot. In the realm of marketing gimmicks, the Doc's perfect interplay of 23 mouth-orgasming flavors lays waste to the Colonel's 17 herbs and spices or Cheerios' promise to cut your cholesterol by 4 percent in 6 weeks. Why is there no home-brewing cola movement, as there is for beer, you may wonder? The King of Beers has long served a shell kingdom of Scantily-Cladians and Fraternitites. But by the Doc's maroon-and-white stripes we are healed.
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Yet several have abused the good doctor's name in recent years, slapping on senseless monikers to lure us into imbibing, like the whore of Babylon or Georgina on "Gossip Girl." Dr. IGA, Dr. K, Dr. Topper, Dr. Publix, Dr. Bob, Dr. Chill, Dr. Chek, Dr. Lynn and Dr. Perky - like unlicensed software, these criminals pose as our favorite fizzician but download malicious cola and "pop"-ups into our stomachs. They take the green away from Dr. Pepper when his Medicare payments are falling and peddle their quackery to the 45 million Americans without health insurance or modest brand-recognition abilities.
Sure, these Doctorgängers are cheap enough for practically any budget, and mix just as well with plastic-bottle vodka. They will keep you awake to finish that legal brief or extended foreplay. But this foreign parade of Dr. Nick Riviera knockoffs will leave you morally bankrupt, and practically a traitor to your country. Dr. Pepper has hit the spot for nearly 125 years and dared us to dream big. It deserves your intimacy - until you pop your first Cherry Coke.