Soda Speak


Attention men! Did you know that it is embarrassing for you to drink diet soda? Well, it is. Diet soda is for women. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is for a man to do something that a woman also does? It is super embarrassing. In the Old Testament days, they’d have put you to death for that. “And a man shall not drink of the same reduced-calorie beverage which the woman drinketh, for this is abomination,” that’s what the Old Testament says.

So if you are a man who has been drinking diet soda without feeling ashamed, you need to start. You need to feel emasculated and inferior. Let that humiliation penetrate deep into your soul. And then, when you are at your lowest point, cast your eyes upward and find your redemption: Dr Pepper Ten.

This is a new version of Dr Pepper made exclusively for men. You see, some men are health-conscious and don’t want to drink regular Dr Pepper, but they can’t drink Diet Dr Pepper, either, because they know that drinking diet soda is the same as being a big old homo. It’s socially acceptable for men to reduce their caloric intake for the purpose of being healthier; they just aren’t supposed to broadcast that fact. The scientists at Dr Pepper laboratories pondered this paradox for many years before arriving at the ingenious solution of selling a diet soda that simply doesn’t have the word “diet” in its name.

Thus we have Dr Pepper Ten, which has the same flavor as regular Dr Pepper but only ten calories. Yes, yes, Diet Dr Pepper has ZERO calories, but it also says “diet,” so men won’t drink it. (Note: for now we are ignoring the fact that many men do drink it.) As you can see from the commercial, which I’ve posted below, Dr Pepper Ten is a manly soda for rugged men who are covered in hair and sweat and gunpowder. It is NOT for women.

(For the visually impaired or people who can’t watch videos at work, here is a transcript. It’s meant to look like a typical action scene in a typical “guy” movie, with a man running through a jungle blowing things up and hopping into jeeps. He says: “Hey, ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is OUR movie! And Dr Pepper Ten is our soda. It’s only ten manly calories, but with all 23 flavors of Dr Pepper. It’s what guys want — like this! [more explosions, etc.] Catchphrase! So you can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good. Dr Pepper Ten: It’s not for women.”)

Even though “It’s not for women” sounds like a parody slogan that you would make up for a fictional product, it is in fact the actual slogan for this actual product. “Dr Pepper Ten: It’s Not for Women!” Is this the first time a product has been marketed with a tagline that tells consumers who it’s NOT for? That seems risky. You’re counting on viewers to use process of elimination to determine whether they are the intended audience. “OK, it’s not for women. I am not a woman. Ergo, it is for me?” It seems counterintuitive to make people do logic problems just to figure out whether you even WANT them to buy your product. Because now I’m thinking, man, is drinking it gonna be this complicated?

To help untangle this thorny situation, I went right to the source: Dr. Francis J. Pepper, the medical doctor and research scientist who invented the soft drink, and who still makes the occasional batch himself in an old bathtub.

Q: Dr Pepper, thank you for taking the time to explain the new product. First of all, let me ask you this: If a man is already drinking Diet Dr Pepper, may he continue to do so? Or must he switch over to Dr Pepper Ten?
A: Well, as you know, men generally don’t drink any kind of diet soda. However, we’re aware that there does exist a small minority of men who do drink it; primarily transsexuals, men who have undergone castration, men whose wives boss them around, pedophiles, and men who don’t like sports. If these, uh, individuals — I hesitate to call them “men” — are satisfied with Diet Dr Pepper, they may continue to drink it with my blessing.

Q: And of course, if men are drinking the regular Dr Pepper, that’s OK, too?
A: Yes, yes, even better. Honestly, we’d rather everyone drink the regular stuff because it’s easier to make, and the profit margin is higher. It’s literally just sugar and prune juice. Dr Pepper Ten is for men who are currently not drinking anything with “Dr Pepper” in the name.

Q: Are women allowed to buy Dr Pepper Ten?
A: Well, of course they are! It is a free country. They just aren’t allowed to drink it.

Q: How will this be enforced?
A: Dr Pepper Ten is infused with an undetectable chemical that is harmless to men but will cause spontaneous nosebleeds in women.

Q: Do most men refuse to drink Diet Dr Pepper because they don’t like the taste?
A: Not at all. As you know from hearing it repeated constantly over the last ten years, Diet Dr Pepper tastes more like regular Dr Pepper. And everyone loves regular Dr Pepper! Men just don’t like the connotation of “diet” sodas.

Q: So why go to the trouble of producing a new formula when all you had to do was give Diet Dr Pepper a new name?
A: How do you know that’s not what we did?

Q: Well, the new stuff has ten calories, whereas Diet Dr Pepper has zero.
A: Ah, yes, of course. That’s what the labels say, don’t they? Yes. Yes, that’s undoubtedly correct, then. We certainly wouldn’t release the exact same product under two, or even three, different names! Goodness no! Why, if we did that, the only thing keeping us out of trouble would be the fact that the average consumer has neither the means nor the inclination to verify the information on the label!

Q: Is it true that it’s called “Dr Pepper” because when it first came out, you could only buy it with a prescription?
A: Yes. The thirst-quenching properties were too powerful for over-the-counter use.

Q: Do you know Mr. Pibb?
A: Tom Pibb? Sure! We were in med school together. Nice guy. Never graduated.

Q: Why not?
A: He had a bad Coke habit.


[ LATE BREAKING JOKE: You can tell Dr Pepper isn’t for women because it doesn’t have a period. ]