I just read an article about Coca-Cola's plans to roll out a new drink additive: Flavored drops to add to a bottle of plain water. After seeing the success of other drink drops, this company is jumping on the speeding train of cash crops in the form of useless, flavored additives that give consumers the ability to customize water.
And why not? The consumer has been trained to believe that customizing is a reflection of his or her independence and uniqueness. In the meantime, we're dumping more chemicals down our gullets and spending more money on something that...that...oh, come on! Really? Buy a bottle of water for a buck at the grocery store - water is nearly free from the tap at home - and pay even more money for an additive to make the act of drinking water an experience. Everything is an experience these days; a flavor experience, a driving experience, a purchasing experience. Has life gotten so safe, predictable and boring that even the simple act of taking a drink of water has to be an experience?
But I'm not above making money. I'd like to develop a nostalgia line of water enhancers aimed at people who remember a childhood full of risk taking and blissful ignorance.
Here's my line of Nostalgia Drinks:
Hot Rubbery Water - Just three drops in a 16 oz. bottle water will recreate those hot summer days of drinking out of the garden hose rather than going in the house and risking mom noticing that it is time to come in and take a bath before dinner.
Tag After Dark - Just three drops in a 16 oz. bottle of water will recreate that delicious taste of hot sidewalks radiating heat long after the sun goes down, mosquitoes bites peppering one's arms and legs with red welts, and stubbed, bloody toes leaving half-moon trails on the cement as a bunch of ten-year-olds race in figure eights around the neighborhood trying to get back to home base before that one kid who is always "It" catches up.
Clothes Catalog Cathouse - Just three drops in a 16 oz. bottle of water is enough to take you back to the days when the Sears catalog underwear or lingerie section was hot hot hot!
Smoke in Your Hair - Without all the nasty chemical side effects, just three drops in a 16 oz. bottle of water will bring back the days of mom and dad smoking in the car - with the windows rolled up - on cross country trips to visit relatives that nobody liked in the first place. But they let your family sleep on old Army cots in the basement for free.
Ride Free and Die Young - As a bonus, when you buy Smoke in Your Hair you will also receive a sample of our newest water enhancer meant to invoke the long-gone days of driving on two lane highways without the encumberance of that annoying seatbelt cutting into your neck and shoulder. Those were the days when kids slept on the floor between the front and back seats or hopped over the back seat and slept in the back of the station wagon with the back window cranked all the way down for cool air on a hot day.
Heel Blisters - Remember when new shoes were stiff and hard to walk in during that first week of school? Just three drops in a 16 oz. bottle of water will bring back the scorching pain of new shoes rubbing blisters, and sometimes even actual holes, in your ankles as you hobble to and from the cafeteria, playground and bus stop. One extra drop of flavor enhancer will bring a pleasant Mercurochrome-like aftertaste that will linger on your tongue long after the water is finished.
Orange Baby Aspirin - There's nothing like that fake orange flavor mixed in with the astringent taste of chewable baby aspirin! Just three drops in a 16 oz. bottle of water and you, too, can relive the days of handing out baby aspirin to children whenever they had a cold or fever. But without the danger of developing irreversable brain or liver damage associated with Reye's Syndrome!
Raw Milk Barnyard - Just three drops in a 16 oz. bottle of water will transform your drinking experience into a trip to the local dairy where mom bought glass bottles of raw, whole milk for drinking and for skimming cream to put into her coffee. Nothing beats that combination of creamy milk and dairy cow manure enhanced with the early spring feedings of silage.