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The Pony Express

TAB®: A Beautiful Drink for Beautiful People™

Grant Peeler, Web Team

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2012 brings many concerns: the Iranian nuclear program, global climate change, peak oil, Mayan doomsday prophecies, and the return of TaB®. While TaB® soft drink may seem inconsequential by comparison; its return from the dark days of the 1960’s acts as a harbinger of death no less threatening.

Perhaps I should explain: unlike the Mayan Prophecies or Iranian nukes, TaB ® has killed people. Introduced in the 1963, TaB® was declared illegal in 1969 when it was proven that its sweetener, Cyclamate, caused bladder cancer. Reintroduced in 1977, TaB® was again embroiled in a legal battle over its new sweetener, Saccharin. (Saccharin was also featured as the sugar substitute of choice in the critically acclaimed novel ‘1984’.) The FDA decided that mandatory warning labels, akin to those on tobacco products, were an acceptable compromise. Sales of TaB waned over the years over concerns that saccharin may cause cancer. Saccharine does cause cancer –in rodents –however the incorruptible bastion of regulatory integrity, the FDA, overturned the rulings in 2000, and in 2010 saccharin was removed from a list of hazardous substances by the EPA. And as of 2012, TaB® is back TM!

As a student of the public school system, I’m no stranger to carcinogens in our food, but the question remains: is it up to snuff? TaB® upon first impression is indistinct from other diet sodas. What sets it apart is a subtle nagging wrongness, much like the superficially jubilant but clinically sterile façade of a children’s hospital. Simply put, TaB® wants you to die. But unlike a children’s hospital, TaB® has no reservations about quickening the process.

The initial sensation of TaB® is pleasantly inoffensive, yielding a wave of smooth sweetness potentially superior to other diet colas. This is the high point of the TaB® experience. The downward spiral is sudden and jarring. A wave of fizzling agony sweeps across the palette, slowly crawling to the back of your throat and tainting any fiber of your being thought chaste or virtuous. Then, like a prowler in the night, it absconds, leaving only a feeling of emptiness.
Now, you may be asking ‘Where can I purchase such a drink?” Fortunately for you, the coca cola company has ensured that “A Beautiful Drink for Beautiful People TM” (Actual 1974 TaB® motto) can be found at supermarkets near you. However, an experience with TaB® has an unexpected positive result: other foods taste better, colors are more vibrant, and the overwhelming urge to spend time with friends and family becomes your highest priority.

Was the TaB® experience worth it? Perhaps. Like many of life’s experiences it was a catalyst of change and introspection. While some wounds will never heal, even with time, we emerge stronger from the mere act of survival. I have stared into oblivion and did not flinch.

Try TaB® today!

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The Student-Led Newspaper of Gaither High School.
TAB®: A Beautiful Drink for Beautiful People™