As a teenager, I spent a week at Boy Scout Camp and it left quite an impression on me. There were silly campfire songs and boating and fire-making. None of which I practice today. But I did learn the art of suicide which I still
The canteen on the grounds was a classic convenience store done in timber. It carried the usual suspects in Twinkie genre crap. But along the back wall there was a self serve fountain pop machine. It carried a respectable number of syrupy concoctions. No more than 6, I believe. Each had a different flavor profile. I don’t remember the exact makeup, but it was typical for the late 1970s.
Boy Scouts aren’t well known for their feats of derring-do. Oh there is excitement but it’s tempered with wise planning and no spontaneity. But the Canteen was different. There, a Boy Scout could interact with urban scouts and learn about checkers. It was there I was taught the art of suicide.
Suicide is a mixing of all the fountain drinks into one cup. I don’t know why it was called suicide because no one I know died from drinking it. It was sort of daring. I mean gastronomically speaking. If done correctly, a suicide is a mishmash of flavors swirling the tongue and prompting a adverse reaction followed shortly by a , “Bluck.”
Sure swimming in a germ-infested lake, jumping off cliffs, or peeing on a rock were all available danger dots, but we chose mixing together carbonated drinks as the most dangerous thing we did.
To this day, if given the chance, I will always mix together a couple — sometimes four — carbonated beverages. I’m looking more for a unique taste than attempting a suicide. Here are some general guidelines for those who want to live on the wild side of the soda fountain.
- Root Beer can completely overshadow any other flavors. It must be used sparingly.
- Non-carbonated drinks are verboten, especially raspberry flavored tea.
- The new lineup of Mountain Dew drinks are pretty awful and can ruin the taste of any beverage.
- Orange Soda is one of my favorites. Mixed with Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke, it is heavenly.
- People get mad at you for mixing drinks. It’s a sort of discrimination against mixing sodas. Like I’m inviting illegal aliens into the country for turning my drink cup into a melting pot. Sometimes I get self conscious and skip the mixing if there are several people around.
Perhaps in this era of political correctness and increased awareness of bombers and terrorists, suicide is a classless term, but it’s how I remember it. In fact, I remember it fondly. Maybe that’s why I do it some 35 years later.