July 07, 2004



You know how it is. No matter how exciting the workplace, there always happen to be slack moments that need to be filled with something other than work.

That's what happened six years ago when my friend Mark and I tried to amuse ourselves by drinking Mountain Dew in excessive quantities.

It wasn't the Dew, really. The company had a game tied to the NCAA Final Four in which you could either win a prize by drinking a bottle that had the name of the eventual national champion under it's cap, or you could win some swag by accumulating points for each Dew you drank.

Between the two of us, we figured we could do both.

We were half right.

I lost count, but I think he and I drank damn near 300 combined gallons of the stuff. We got so nauseated by the caffeine avalanches and the sugary sweetness that we switched to Diet Dew. That tasted even worse. To this day, I shudder when I accidentally brush against the Dew button on a vending machine.

A mountain of caps eventually were accrued. It didn't hurt that some of the caps actually gave you additional free Dews. And, by quirk, we nailed three of the Final Four teams. But not the one that won.

After it was all done, we had enough to get two T-shirts and two Dew do-rags, neither of which either of us wears to this day.

But we felt like we had accomplished a goal. We also had the rotted teeth and kidney problems to show for it.

Mark and I still e-mail each other whenever we see something Dew related in the news. He sent me this item yesterday:

An 18-year-old man survived but was in critical condition after losing at a variation of Russian roulette (six open cans of Mountain Dew, one spiked with antifreeze) at a party in Princeton, W. Va., in May.

Mark's question to me: "Is there a difference between Dew and antifreeze, and is the Dew worse?"

Mark, you and I know the answer to that.

As a follow-up, I can say that I think the Dew contest is a phenomenon that is particularly effective in the OCD world of newspapering. Rommie just did the same thing with a Dew promotion and accumulated almost 60 caps before the bottles with the points caps started disappearing.

Problem was, you needed a minimum of 60 caps to win even the smallest trinket.

Posted by Jeff at July 7, 2004 08:08 AM

Personally, I try to stay away from any drink that lists "brominated vegetable oil" as one of it's ingredients... although I'm sure that could help out the constipated.

Posted by: blunted at July 8, 2004 12:41 PM

Like you said, the smallest trinket available in the current Dew promotion requires 60 points. Each cap is worth 1 point, and the caps are only available on 2-Liter and 20-oz. bottles. So, at the bare minimum, one must consume roughly 9.4 gallons of Dew to qualify for any booty. (Keeping in mind that at $1 per 20-oz. bottle, that "Tickle Yore Innards" T-shirt is far from free.)

For the biggest prize (an NBA basketball signed by Tracy McGrady, available for a mere 1,000 Dew points), one must consume at least 156 gallons of Dew. Considering the promotion started in April and ends in August (about 4 months), that means anyone eyeing the T-Mac ball would have to drink about 2-1/2 2-liter bottles of Dew EVERY DAY FOR FOUR MONTHS.

That's gonna do a little more than tickle, friends.

Anyone think the American Dental Association sponsored this promotion?

Posted by: Rommie at July 15, 2004 12:47 PM