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Coca-Cola Blak Carbonated Fusion Beverage 

Approximate retail price $1.00
(retrieved from a picnic site)

Cracking open a Coca-Cola Blak Carbonated Fusion Beverage is sort of like peeling the lid off an airtight steel box that holds Schrdinger's cat. I can sense the dark-brown liquid's sickening sweetness. I can hear its carbonation hiss and smell its vanilla-scented nose. Still, the question remains: Could this possibly represent the best beverage the bright minds at Coca-Cola could come up with?

For starters, the bottle's contents are obscured by a solid label. You can't see what you're going to drink, and the label — rendered in somber black and gold — doesn't give you much to work with. Coca-Cola Blak Carbonated Fusion Beverage has none of the hallmarks of today's sugary soft drinks, no bright colors, no clear glass. Will it taste like cough syrup? Like tobacco spit?

If only.

Coca-Cola Blak Carbonated Fusion Beverage invades the mouth with all the subtlety of eight ounces of vomit. I can taste a hint of "Classic" Coca-Cola, but it's buried under so many layers of coffee perfume that it might as well be a carbonated shot of sweetened Tia Maria. (Those who've never had the pleasure should consider themselves warned.)

But it'll take more than that to make me give up on Coca-Cola. Sure, the company took a wrong turn at the corner of Nescafé and Mello Yello, but this is also the company that brings us Mr. PiBB, Hi-C, and, of course, Coca-Cola.

So I'm not willing to lose faith precipitously. What's more, I take heart in the fact that when I opened my eight-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola Blak Carbonated Fusion Beverage (purchased last summer), its contents had shrunk by half.

Perhaps my Coca-Cola Blak Carbonated Fusion Beverage suffered from an excess of shelf time. Or perhaps transporting the bottle from the altitudinous reaches of Colorado to the floodplain of eastern Missouri laid this Blak flat.

For the moment, Schrdinger's cat has my bottle of Coca-Cola Blak Carbonated Fusion Beverage's tongue.

My tongue, on the other hand, doesn't care for fusion-beverage mysteries. Like a cat, it wants only to drown its woes with a bowl of palate-cleansing milk.

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September 23, 2020

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