Tag Archives: pepsi

Kevin McAllister’s Brand Loyalty

The next time you watch Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York pay attention to what soda the McAllisters drink. In the first one Pepsi is the brand shown on screen. They even mention it by name: “Fuller, go easy on the Pepsi!” It’s pretty obvious product placement. But in the sequel the McAllisters are drinking Coca-Cola. I question Kevin McAllister’s brand loyalty. You are either a Coke person or a Pepsi person. You don’t switch between the two all nimbly-bimbly. Maybe it’s symbolic of his character growing and maturing, going from a lesser cola to a better one, but I doubt it. My guess is Coke was willing to pay more money to the studio.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Reflections on Minnesota

I was recently in Bloomington, Minnesota for three weeks on a work trip. My restaurant was opening up a new location in the Mall of America and I was chosen to help the train the serving staff. I stayed at hotel that was a ten-minute walk away from the mall. I was there for twenty-two nights. I practically lived at the Mall of America. And that place is strange. The Mall of America is huge. It has an amusement park, movie theaters, a ropes course and zip line, aquarium, bowling alley and arcade, mini golf, multiple food courts, and more stores than you could ever shop at. It’s almost like a city. All the employees are residents and all the shoppers are tourists. And they get 40 million visitors a year. That’s a lot. A shit ton, I believe.

The Mall Security take their jobs very seriously. Each employee of the mall is required to wear an ID badge, and mall security is quick to jump on you if you’re not wearing yours. I didn’t see any riding around on Segways, but I saw quite a few with bomb/drug sniffing dogs. It’s impossible not to see them strutting around without thinking of Paul Blart. I know what you’re wondering, and yes, there is a Hot Topic, Claire’s, and Orange Julius. It wouldn’t be a mall without those staple stores.

One weird thing about the Mall of America is that it’s dominated by Pepsi. Every single restaurant is required to sell Pepsi products, even McDonald’s which is traditionally Coca-Cola. It’s pretty terrible. Even the roller coasters have giant ads for Pepsi on the backs of the cars. I only found two stores in the entire mall that sold Coke in plastic bottles. Oh yeah, and don’t forget that they don’t call it soda there, it’s pop. It’s very 1950s. Quaint is the word for it.

While we are on the topic of drinks, it’s also important to note that Minnesota is one of those weird states that doesn’t sell alcohol on Sundays. And liquor stores close super early, like 9:00 or 10:00 p.m., so you have to start preparing for football by Saturday night. I went to a few bars in the mall and they are really strict about kicking people out at closing time. As soon as 2:00 a.m. hits you have to put your drink down and get out or feel the wrath of the mall cops. They have a lot of microbreweries in Minnesota, but none of them are amazing. Craft beer is just so much better in Colorado, Oregon, and California. The West Coast really dominates quality craft beers. I’m not being biased; I’m just being honest.

I didn’t just stay around the Mall of America. I also ventured into Minneapolis a few times. I went uptown, I went downtown, I went to Minnehaha Falls, and I even managed to go to a Twins game (spoiler alert: they lost spectacularly). All I can say about the Twins is that they have an awesome stadium and lousy fans. A lot of them were wearing jerseys, but all the jerseys were of Joe Mauer, as if he was the only Twins player worth mentioning. I didn’t see anybody rocking jerseys of any other active players and I also didn’t see any Killebrew or Puckett jerseys. It’s like they don’t know or don’t appreciate the rich history of their team. And they also did the wave. Real fans don’t do the wave. That’s amateur shit right there. Keep that stuff in LA Stadium with all the other fair weather fans.

They are called the Twins because they are from Minneapolis, which is one of the famous Twin Cities along with St. Paul. People from St. Paul make fun of people from Minneapolis and people from Minneapolis make fun of people from St. Paul. They have a friendly rivalry and each consider the other to be a fake city. In reality they are both fake cities because their nightlife is a joke. The streets will be busy and active around 10:30 p.m., you’ll stop in a bar for a drink or two, and the streets will be deserted when you leave an hour later. It turns into a ghost town after 11:00. It’s eerie.

The people in Minnesota are really nice. Almost annoyingly so. There’s a joke that the state is abbreviated as MN because they are Minnesota Nice. It’s corny but it’s true. The people are genuine and real and have a great work ethic. They go out of their way to help you out and they treat tourists as if they were guests in their own home. They all have diabetes for some reason. Some of them have noticeable accents, but they aren’t as embellished as the ones you hear on TV and in the movies.

Weather-wise, it was muggy and humid most of the time. It was usually around seventy-five Fahrenheit during the day and sixty-five or so at night. It rained a lot, but the downpour would only last for a few minutes. I saw a couple of lightening storms, something you don’t see too often back home in San Francisco. This was the peak of August so I got to experience a Minnesota summer. It was quite enjoyable. Winter is a different beast though. I’m not sure I can handle all the snow.

Minnesota was cool. At least the parts that I experienced were cool. But I basically lived in the mall and that became a little too much after three weeks. I don’t ever want to step foot in a mall again. Mall of America is worth checking out if you’re ever in Minnesota, but it doesn’t need to be on your bucket list. One thing I regret was not getting the chance to go to the Minnesota State Fair, which is the biggest event of the year. I heard stories of pigs, cows, all sorts of meat on a stick, buckets of cookies, and butter sculptures of beauty queens. At least that gives me an excuse to go back. I never planned on going to Minnesota nor did I ever want to, but I would definitely go back to visit again. I met some amazing people and did some amazing things (like finally going to White Castle), and there still so many things left to see and experience.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Mall-of-America

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Suicide (drink)

When I was a kid, my favorite soda was all the sodas mixed together. You get your cup, you go to the soda fountain, and you take a little bit of each soda until your cup is full. We used to call it a Suicide. Other people call it different things, but it’s still the same thing. A Suicide has no set recipe and it will taste different every single time. Sometimes it will taste horrible, sometimes it will taste great. It all depends which sodas they have on tap. Some sodas don’t mesh well with others. A diet soda will always taint the Suicide with a weird aftertaste, so you should avoid that. And Pepsi contaminates it immediately. Dr Pepper is one of the best sodas to use. Some people consider Dr Pepper to be a Suicide soda by itself because it already has 23 different flavors. Adding it to a Suicide will make your mouth happy. You should make a Suicide if you’ve never had one before. Have fun, experiment a little, and be creative.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Pepsi

Pepsi is an American cola that tries (and fails) to compete with Coca-Cola. It’s sweeter and less bitter than Coke, and you can tell the difference between the two if you ever do a blind taste test. It’s not a bad cola, it’s just not Coke. It tries to be hip and cool and more youth-orientated, but it’s been around since 1893 so they can’t keep pretending to be the new guy on the block. Anyway, there are two types of people in the world: Coke people and Pepsi people. Coca-Cola is the number one soda for a reason: it’s better. Pepsi just kind of exists as an alternative. It’s an inferior product for people who want to rebel against the status quo. Hipsters drink Pepsi and nobody wants to be a hipster. I’m not going to judge you if you prefer Pepsi over Coke, but I’ll know that I don’t want to be your friend.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Is Pepsi Ok?

I work at a restaurant where we have Pepsi products. And I’m a Coke guy. So if someone orders a Coke, I feel obligated to ask, “Is Pepsi Ok?”. More than half the time they will change their order to an iced tea, Dr Pepper, root beer or a water. I think brand loyalty is awesome. “No, I will not settle for a Pepsi. I would rather have  glass of the semen-killing Mountain Dew.” If someone orders a Coke and you don’t have it, you have to tell them that you have an inferior product. Coke and Pepsi are similar, but they aren’t the same. One of the most important questions in life is if “Pepsi’s ok?”… And no, Pepsi is not ok.

Critically Rated at 10/17

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Pepsi Wild Cherry

Have you ever wanted to try a Pepsi with cherry flavor added to it? Try a Pepsi Wild Cherry soda-pop. Pepsi is a little more extreme than Coke. Coke’s cherry cola just has regular, boring cherries. Pepsi uses Wild Cherries. That’s too much excitement for me. The cherry flavor is a little muted compared to most cherry colas, maybe wild cherries aren’t as sweet. It’s decent, but it is still a Pepsi. Pepsi lost the cola wars for a reason… Coke is better. There are a million sodas out there, try this once, and move on with your life.

Critically Rated at 11/17

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