REVIEW: Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper

Like a young woman who does not understand why she got so excited while watching Brooke Shields in the movie “Blue Lagoon,” I am confused about my feelings towards the Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper. Half of me thinks that this unusual tasting soda is good, but the other half of me thinks that if you drink too much of this shit it gets kind of fucking nasty.

Some of the best diet sodas I’ve poured down my gullet have been concocted by Dr. Pepper, like Berries & Cream Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, and of course, regular Diet Dr. Pepper.

I may not truly know how I feel about this chocolatey variation, but just like any post-Ricky Martin Menudo lineup, I do know that it is not as good as any of its predecessors.

Just like the living arrangements in the TV show “Three’s Company,” the combination of cherry, chocolate, and Diet Dr. Pepper seemed like it would make for a good threesome, but as I wrote earlier, the Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper has an unusual taste.

The chocolate flavor stands out, but it is a weird chocolate flavor that doesn’t bring back my memories of Yoo-Hoo, Chocolate Soldier, or that night with Hershey’s syrup and plastic sheets. Overall, I think it tastes like a maraschino cherry, which I enjoy and are usually found on ice cream sundaes, milkshakes, or in my mouth as I try to impress the ladies with my ability to tie its stem with my proficient tongue.

I thought it had a very sweet and syrupy taste, despite not having any sugar in it. It was a little too sweet for my liking and I couldn’t drink an entire bottle in one sitting without getting a little sick, but I liked the initial sips I took, which are the reasons why I’m torn about the Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper. I don’t know whether I should love it, leave it, or wait until it goes away since it is a limited edition soda.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbs, 0 grams of protein, 28 milligrams of caffeine, and limited nutritional facts)

Item: Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper
Price: 99 cents (20 ounces)
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Unusual taste. I like it in small doses. Zero calories. Zero grams of fat. Zero carbs. Threesomes.
Cons: Not a significant source of any other nutrients. Unusual chocolate flavor. Too sweet and syrupy for my tastes. Too much of it made me a little sick. Not as good as other Diet Dr. Pepper variations. Post-Ricky Martin Menudo.

Sanrio Hello Kitty PEZ Dispensers

I approached the checkout line at Target with caution. As a painfully neurotic and self-conscious person, I can get pretty freaked out about my shopping choices.

“Sir? I can help you over here,” a pleasant voice said, coming from the express line.

Damn it, stuck with the young, cute cashier again. Always the least attentive and most judgmental cashier available − too attractive to have a filter and too curious to leave me alone. The worst combination possible.

I tiptoed over slowly, put my hands in my pockets and said, “Uhh…yeah, I’ll just take everything in the basket. If you could just look to the left and blindly scan as quickly as possible, that’d be awesome.”

She laughed, “Sir, we can’t do that.”

As I was busy shifting my eyes side to side and fidgeting, she said, “Hey, what’s this?”

“IT’S FOR MY GIRLFRIEND!” I exclaimed, not knowing what she picked up.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I guess it’s a little personal,” she remarked, picking up a bottle of KY warming jelly.

Thank God. I wiped my forehead and casually quipped, “Oh, that? It’s just lube. I’m really sorry, I get a little defensive this time of year.”

She raised her eyebrows and went back to the basket to pick up a few more items. “Three bottles?”

I squinted my eyes and nodded, “Yeah. In addition to a little defensive, I get a lot of other emotions as well.”

Then her hand went for the last item in the basket. My heart raced. Holy shit, she was really going to see it. I braced myself as she looked at it.

Her eyes lit up. “Wow, this is cute! What is it?”

I slowly shook my head and pretended to look puzzled, saying, “Wow. That’s…that’s crazy, how did that get in there? Oh wait, I think I got that for my…my…valentine?”

“Is your valentine a ten year old girl?” she asked.

I sighed. The jig was up. I explained, “Look, it’s a collection of Hello Kitty PEZ dispensers, okay? Not only does it have three Hello Kitty designs, it also has a bunny thing confusingly named My Melody. Her ears kind of look like one of those giant foam fingers that you get at baseball games and Phoenix Wright conventions, so I thought it was pretty cool. I was just buying the other stuff so that maybe you wouldn’t notice the box.”

“Aww…you didn’t have to do that. You shouldn’t be embarrassed to like a kid’s candy,” she replied.

I felt the need to further incriminate myself by saying, “Well, that’s the thing. I don’t really like PEZ. It’s basically colored sugar in brick form and the bonus candy bracelet is just about the most unsanitary method of eating I can think of. The box is really cool, though. I bet it’ll sell for a lot on eBay.”

She was beginning to look tired of feigning interest, saying, “Yeah…I mean, yeah, I guess it is. Well, I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day.”

I got over the embarrassment of my purchase and found the courage to ask, “Hey…if you’re not doing anything that day, maybe I pick you up at around 7:30?”

She stared at me blankly for few moments and began to crack a smile. The smile turned into giggle which turned into a cacophony of laughter. She shook her head and tore out the receipt, saying, “You’re hilarious, have a nice day!”

I took my bag and made a beeline for the exit. I whispered under my breath, “God…this is just as humiliating as Christmas shopping at the 99 Cent Store, just with higher prices and fewer rapists.”

Despite my troubles, I left Target with my head held up high. I didn’t have my manhood, dignity, or a Valentine’s Day date, but I had something that money can’t buy. The pride of having a lunchbox full of glass Hello Kitty PEZ dispensers, and really, that’s at least one more thing than I had last Valentine’s Day.

Item: Sanrio Hello Kitty PEZ Dispensers
Price: $9.99
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Fun design and shapes that kids and nerds can appreciate. Comes in an adorable tin box. Well made glass material. Might be worth something to a socially awkward collector on eBay.
Cons: PEZ is pretty plain and doesn’t taste very interesting. PEZ candy can probably destroy your fillings. Attractive cashiers who question the things that you buy.

Cafe Latte Slurpuccino

Consider the Slurpuccino the closest thing Slurpologists at 7-Eleven could come up with that might be considered an adult Slurpee without adding alcohol. By its name you can figure out that this here Slurpee has a coffee flavor to it, much like the sweat that comes out of pores of Britney Spears’ cigarette and Starbucks-addicted body after jiggling her pudgy frame through a dance routine for “…Baby One More Time.”

I wish that 7-Eleven came up with this idea sooner, because I will admit, it seems a little weird for a 32-year-old quasi-product review blogger man to be walking out of a convenience store with a strawberry, banana, or Coke Slurpee in his hand. Sure it is even weirder because I suck on the straw a little too provocatively and because of that parents usually pull their children a little closer to them to protect them from the grown man who loves Slurpees — apparently a little too much. However, a coffee-flavored Slurpee would help with this awkwardness.

Unfortunately, the coffee flavor of the Slurpuccino was like Madonna’s British accent — it was extremely artificial. Just like actual coffee, there was a slight bitterness to it, but that bitterness was overcome by the excessive fake creme flavor. Sweet, sweet caffeine might’ve made up for its flavor, but I couldn’t find anything about caffeine content on the Slurpee website.

You would think that a national convenience store chain that serves millions of gallons of coffee every year to truck drivers, office workers, college students, and people who did not want to wait in line at Starbucks and will settle for something less could make a pretty good coffee Slurpee, but it seems those years of coffee experience were not used well or at all.

Fortunately, it is a limited edition Slurpee that will be available only throughout February and March. This timeframe makes it a great Valentine’s Day gift for the one you want to break up with. Just buy one right before the break up and stick on it a card that says, “This Slurpuccino was very artificial, just like your personality. This Slurpee will quickly melt away, just like my love for you has.”

Item: Cafe Latte Slurpuccino
Price: $1.49 (32-ounces)
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: It is cold. Being a Slurpologist. Not having to wait in line at Starbucks. Adult Slurpees. Adult diapers.
Cons: Extremely artificial latte flavor. Horrible fake cream flavor. Headache from brain freeze. Headache from caffeine withdrawals. Great tool to use to break up with someone. Madonna’s British accent. Britney Spears’ coffee-smelling bodily fluids. Sucking on a straw in a provocative manner.

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