Today I went to take a Pepsi from my mum’s fridge and was instead completely duped by a can of Compliment’s brand club soda.
I’ll tell you – nothing messes with your mind more than expecting a VERY distinct cola flavour, and you are instead gifted with vaguely salty-tasting carbonated water.
It’s amazing that I didn’t keel over with shock.
But how was I to know?
Take a look at these cans from behind – they are practically mirror images.
It’s not until you turn them around (or in my unfortunate case, open one up) that you can clearly see that they are two different products.
As we were laughing about my mistake – and I was thanking my mum for taking one for the team and drinking the club soda – I got to thinking about some of the other times in my life where I have either witnessed someone drinking something they were not expecting, or experienced a jarring episode myself.
For instance, the first year of Marc’s and my courtship I was drinking vanilla steamed milks on the regular.
(I was about ninety years old.)
Because of this, Marc just began to assume that anytime I purchased a drink it would be some iteration of this hot beverage.
One morning, after a raucous night of cheap booze and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, we dragged our bedraggled bums out of his apartment and shuffled our way to the (now long gone) Bread Garden down on Broadway and Ash.
Since it was early April and the weather had recently shifted from winter’s cold perma-drizzle to the soft, cherry-scented winds of spring, I decided to change things up.
Instead of my usual, I ordered a lemon smoothie.
As we were taking our seats outside on the patio, I asked Marc if he wanted a sip.
He said yes.
And even though I passed him a cold cup with a straw, the dude still expecting the warm, sweet, liquid of a vanilla steamer.
Honestly, I thought he was going to die of a massive coronary right then and there.
He coughed and hacked, trying to both keep in the smoothie and spit it out across the table.
His faced reddened; his eyeballs bulged.
After a good pounding on the back, he turned to me and said, “Holy crap, that’s the shittiest vanilla steamed milk I’ve ever tasted.”
We both laughed so hard I thought we were going to topple over in our chairs.
The other great memory I have of acquiring the wrong drink is a doozy from when I was fourteen years old.
I was participating in a theatre camp down at Granville Island with about five or six other high school students. We were all between fourteen and seventeen, and we are all actors.
(This makes me laugh just typing out these words.)
One day after class, one of the guys asked me if I wanted to get a coffee with him.
Nearly toppling over in shock that a boy would ask me to do something as grownup as purchase and drink caffeine with him, I excitedly accepted.
We walked over to the market’s JJBean, yammering on about the different plays that we had done, and what we liked most about the class, and what we wanted to be when we grew up (ie. very famous and very serious thespians.)
When we got to the café, Aiden ordered a large coffee, and I, deciding that it was time to either go big or go home, ordered a double espresso.
A double espresso!
Other than a sip of regular brewed light roast when I was eleven and opening my first bank account, I had never drank any kind of coffee, espresso or otherwise.
To this day I can only handle lattes, and only because they are mostly milk and I am ridiculously liberal with the sugar.
“Wow!” remarked Aiden. “I thought espresso was a dessert drink.”
“Nah,” I responded. “I drink them all of the time.”
His eyebrows jumped to the top of his forehead, a mixture of both disbelief and incredulity.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know what a double espresso was, so when the barista placed a cup of coffee on the counter, I reached out to grab it.
“Umm, you ordered a double espresso?” Asked Aiden.
“Oh yeah!” I laughed, nervous as hell. “I forget.”
His eyebrows now reflected the type of confusion that only teenage boys can convey so well.
“Double espresso!” shouted the barista.
“There it is,” I said, eager to try and get Aiden back.
My success – if there was any to be had – was completely short lived because the moment I took a sip of that java I thought I was going to die.
That double espresso was literally (LITERALLY) the most disgusting, overwhelming, and completely horrifying drink I had ever encountered in my fourteen years of life.
Trying so hard to keep up my mask of maturity, I just shot the entire drink.
Aiden just stood and watched, bewildered.
“You don’t like to, you know, sip it?” he asked.
“Nnnn – ope!” I sputtered. “I like t-to drink it fff – ast.”
I could feel my heart pounding like crazy and my eyes watering.
“Riiiiiiight,” said Aiden. “Soooooo, see you next week?”
We never got coffee ever again.
But honestly, I can’t really say who was more relieved.
What about you guys? Have you ever done anything like this?
In the meantime, I’m going to go searching for another blue can.
And hope against hope that this time, it’s the right one.