My dream is to quit my day job and wander the earth in search of soda, sampling every variety along the way. I mean I’d fight crime with karate and save the occasional town from the local ruthless businessman by transforming my old soda delivery truck into a cabbage-shooting war machine, but mostly I’d be looking for soda.
Ok, twist my arm why don’t you! Here’s the tentative synopsis for the pilot I may or may not be developing. The sun shines down on me as I stand in a babbling brook, stripped to the waist, practicing my midday karate moves. A scared woman comes running out of the woods. She is stumbling because she is wearing a tattered fuzzy mascot costume. The costume’s head is missing. She takes a few striding steps into the stream before she falls forward into the water.
I dash over and help her up. I look around just as two jogging-suit-clad thugs (Italians, obviously) come crashing out of the tree line. They shout threats and charge toward us, but I easily beat the crap out of them with karate.
There’s a cut and the woman and I are drying ourselves by the fire I’ve built next to my soda delivery truck. I learn that she works for the local children’s entertainment restaurant (think Chuck E. Cheese’s), and that morning, she discovered a dead body in the ball pit in what she assumes to be a drug-related murder. She has noticed shady goings-on in the restaurant’s backroom, and she believes the new owner of Dapper Dannigan’s Pizza Promenade is a bit crooked.
She thinks he is putting cocaine in the soda fountains to hook kids while they’re young. Pressure is being put on the local business council to look the other way. Whistleblowers start turning up with game machine prize tickets stuffed in their mouths.
The rest plays out like you think it would. I get involved due to my outrage that soda is being used for evil and because of my love of franchised children’s entertainment restaurants (there are flashback sequences to happy childhood memories before my parents died).
I use a lot of karate, and there is eventually a showdown in a darkened costume storage room in which I have to contend with many furry costumes, not quite sure which one the evil boss is hiding in. A lot of henchmen are thrown into cardboard boxes along the way, someone is beaten into submission with a Whack-a-Mole mallet, and ultimately I knock out the bad guy by hurling him headfirst into the token machine causing a small avalanche of tokens to cascade down upon him. “Game over.” That’s what I say, all cool like. “Game over.” Because of all the games. It’s pretty great.
I’m already attached to play myself.
You guys got me all sidetracked. We’re here today to review soda. A soda that I have never heard of or seen anywhere other than the sandwich and soda shop in which I purchased it. I can’t even find out much about it on the internet. Very mysterious. (Note to self, episode idea, mysterious soda company, little web presence, family-owned roller rink, evil Yakuza, real estate development scheme?)
Hippo Sized Soda was founded in the late 1920s in Texas, and apparently it was gone for a while, but has been resurrected by Orca Beverage which now offers six flavors. That’s really all I know. And that info was mostly gleaned from bottle collecting websites. Even a Google image search for “hippo size soda” only reveals more bottle collecting images and a lot of Melissa McCarthy photos (seriously), which is both weird and unfortunate.
I love the two-color aesthetic of the bottle label. Hippos are awesome and haven’t really been utilized to their full potential since their binge eating days of the 1980s.
This Hippo Huckleberry soda is flavored with huckleberry and elderberry extract. I have never seen either of these berries in person, much less eaten them, so I cannot speak to aroma or flavor accuracy.
The nosegrope is a really nice mix of grape soda and blueberries. Mostly blueberries.
The soda is finely carbonated. Lots of small bubbles. I was hoping for one hippo-sized bubble of CO2 that just exploded in my face when I opened it. It’s also pink, which doesn’t really come across in the photo.
Its flavor is also a mélange. Grape and blueberry with notes of raspberry. It’s not overly sweet and has a pleasantly tart finish. It’s an interesting mix that I haven’t encountered before. If that’s what huckleberry tastes like, then I’ve been missing out!
This soda is great. I highly recommend it. I can’t wait to truck out to the other end of the neighboring city to pick up some more flavors. Though I hear there is a watermelon distributor on the way who’s been lacing his wares with LCD! That cannot stand! (Note to self: avalanche of drug-infused watermelon that knocks out villain.)