defective yeti has long been on the forefront of linguistic innovation, bringing you such indispensable neologisms as stuplimity, petable, and misfortunation. And whenever there is a void in the public vernacular, this website shall boldly stride forth to … okay, blah blah blah, you get the picture.
Anyway, you know what I’m sick of saying? “Dr-Pepper-or-Mr-Pibb.”
That’s my drink of choice, but I’m not particular enough to distinguish between the two. So when ordering one, in a restaurant or at the drive-thru, I have to tack the two already overly-long names together with a conjunction and cough them both up at once.
Of course I could just order one or the other. But since I invariably choose the one the eatery doesn’t carry (I just can’t seem to remember which multi-national soft drink corporation owns which multi-national fast food chain) the cashier then has to ask “Is [the other one] okay?” and I have no choice but to give a long, exasperated sigh and say “Yes, [the other one] is okay — duh! Jesus. And you’d better not put any pickles on my Barbarque California Falafel because I said NO pickles and that shit is nasty.”
You don’t have this problem with other drinks, because they all have generic names. Coke and Pepsi are “cola”; Cherry Coke and Wild Cherry Pepsi are “cherry cola”; Barq’s and Hires and A&W and Mug are all “root beer.” Orange drinks are “orange drinks” and iced tea is “iced tea.” I could even get a 7-Up or Sprite by saying “lemon-lime drink,” though I’d sooner drink ink right from the squid than order either one. But at least they have a generic.
I guess it’s up to me to come up with a word that encompasses this distinct subgenre of soft drink. So I asked myself, what characteristic do all these drinks have in common? A vaguely prune / bubble-gumish flavor, sure — but what really sets them apart? Answer: they all have titles. Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, Dr. Becker, Mr. Ahhh, and all the rest — they have all earned a doctorate, or at least the right to be called by an honorific. They are all, in fact, “titled colas” — or, as we shall be calling them henceforth — “tytolas.”
But this paradigm shift in soft drink nomenclature will only occur if everyone participates. So the next time you’re shouting at a speaker at the Taco Barn’s drive-thru, ask for a tytola. They may not understand what you want right away, but just keep repeating it — they’ll catch on after you’ve said it a dozen or two times. The tytola revolution will take time, yes. But if we all work together, we can build a better place, a world where, god willing, my son will never have to utter the phrase “Dr-Pepper-or-Mr-Pibb.” And isn’t that the most any parent could hope for?