Friday, April 26, 2013

The Life-Blood that Fuels the Dreams of N3rds

Although coffee is the trendy drink of the current generation, I’m talking about Mountain Dew. Unless you’re deathly allergic to citrus (and maybe even once or twice then) if you’re a nerd, you’ve had a mountain dew at least once in your life. This typically green carbonated beverage has become the drink of choice for nerds throughout the country even at times being specifically marketed to gamer communities (gamer fuel promotions for W.o.W. and Halo come to mind). Don’t think this trend has gone unnoticed by the soda companies; Mountain Dew currently accounts for 80% of the citrus drink sales in the United States and has become a cultural icon for the nerd community.


History
Mountain Dew found its initial inception in 1940; the original formula being created by Barney and Ally Hartman. Originally only available in Marion, Virginia and Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee this drink didn’t find its wide spread distribution until the formula was purchased by Pepsi-Cola in 1964.

The original version of Mountain Dew (excluding a modification of the formula by Bill Bridgforth in 1958) remained the only available version for its first 40 years of existence. This long stretch of solitude finally came to an end in 1988 with the introduction of the diet version of the soda (my drink of choice) and the short lived Mountain Dew Red which was discontinued the very same year. This however kicked off a trend of flavor variation creation that saw renewed interest with the release of a cherry flavored version called Code Red and has continued producing variations to this day.

Varieties
Mountain Dew is like the wine of the nerd world. With so many different variations, many of which are time limited or retailer specific the options are seemingly endless and I’m not ashamed to admit that I very much hope to one day have a whole rack filled with the different varieties to choose, from which I might select the appropriate flavor for every occasion. The different varieties of the soda include:

A Scene from the Chuck Norris Mountain Dew Commercial
Mountain Dew
Caffeine-Free Mountain Dew
Diet Mountain
Mountain Dew
Caffeine-Free Diet Mountain
Mountain Dew
Diet Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew Code Red
Diet Mountain Dew Code Red
Mountain Dew Live Wire
Mountain Dew Pitch Black
Mountain Dew Baja Blast
Mountain Dew Pitch Black II
Mountain Dew Game Fuel (Halo 3 Edition)
Mountain Dew Revolution
Mountain Dew Supernova
Mountain Dew Voltage
Mountain Dew Game Fuel (World of Warcraft “Horde Red” Edition
Mountain Dew Game Fuel (World of Warcraft “Alliance Blue” Edition
Mountain Dew Throwback
Mountain Dew Cherry Fusion
Mountain Dew Distortion
Mountain Dew Typhoon
Mountain Dew White Out
Diet Mountain Dew Flare
Diet Mountain Dew Crave
Diet Mountain Dew Supernova
Mountain Dew Game Fuel Cherry-Citrus (Call of Duty: MW3 Edition)
Mountain Dew Game Fuel Tropical (Call of Duty: MW3 Edition)
Mountain Dew Dark Berry
Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold
Mountain Dew Game Fuel Cherry Citrus (Halo 4 Edition)
Mountain Dew Kickstart Orange Citrus
Mountain Dew Kickstart Fruit Punch
While these are not all the varieties of mountain dew available in any form, it is the complete list of those that are considered sodas. For more complete information on each flavor you can check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_Dew.
Popular Media
It’s a fact that Mountain Dew has had a huge impact on our culture, a point made all the more prevalent by its inclusion in a number of popular media sources including:


The song “D&D” by Stephen Lynch
The song “Diet Mountain Dew” by Lana Del Rey
The South Park episode “I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining”
The Simpsons episode “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson”
The song “Gimme Dat” by KJ-52
The song “Code Monkey” by Jonathan Coulton
The movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
The film Idiocracy
Not to mention a number of minor appearances and references throughout other nerd media including the Big Bang Theory episode “The Vengeance Formulation,” among others.
Alternative Uses
While Mountain Dew is obviously best for drinking, there are some other fun ways to enjoy this product that might surprise you.
Glow-in-the-Dark Mountain Dew
      Glow Stick – That’s right. You can turn that last 1/4th of your original flavor Mountain dew into a glow stick by adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda and three caps of hydrogen peroxide. Once added just seal the cap and shake it up for a glow in the dark masterpiece. If you want to have even more fun with it, the bottle can be opened and used as a glow in the dark paint.
            Rodent Dissolver – Believe it or not, a study done by the people at Pepsi Cola in response to a lawsuit has confirmed that long term submersion in Mountain dew (over the course of years) will dissolve a rodent into a “jelly-like substance.” So if you’ve been trying to come up with a way to dispose of all those dead rats, this could be an option (though your plans for a mountain dew based fish tank environment might be out)
      Fuel Booster System – If you’re looking for a way to boost your cars fuel efficiency and significantly reduce pollution you can use Mountain Dew as a fuel additive in conjunction with the Geet system invented by Paul Pantone. If you’d like more information on the system or its inventor a simply web search will yield a number of results.
Conclusions
Mountain Dew is not only a delicious beverage, but a cultural staple for nerds nationwide. The drink has continued to evolve as has the community it targets and I believe wholeheartedly that the fates of both are at this point inexorably intertwined. Regardless of what flavors you favor and whatever you use your Dew for, let us know how you “do the Dew” and know that as a Mountain Dew drinker, you’ll always be welcome in my N3rd C0rn3r.