This article originally appeared in the Sponsored Issue.

Dear customer (although probably not our customer),

Everyone in the soda industry is rebranding themselves these days: Mountain Dew is now “Game Fuel,” because apparently the preadolescent market still has money after making their Fortnite characters hot. La Croix is the soda, or rather, the natural essenced sparkling water of upper-middle-class white people; people rich enough to own a boat, but not a boat, you know? Diet Coke is for moms trying to cut out wine, and Monster is for moms trying to cut out meth. Maybe craziest of all, Sprite has become the black soda all of a sudden. We would have gladly been the black soda, but instead we had to rebrand as “Pibb Xtra,” like some sort of fucked-up energy drink for children. Didn’t notice? That’s okay: neither did 98% of America and 95% of our employees.

Quick question: have you ever even seen a can of Mr. Pibb? We honestly have no idea what they look like—we’ve only ever seen our product in Taco Bell soda fountains, and we have no idea who put it there. Maybe we exist only to give consumers the illusion of variety, when in reality, our spigot is empty. Maybe we’re integral to every ten year old’s 8-soda cocktail.  We sure as hell don’t sell any of our product. It just shows up somehow.

This is not an ad for Mr. Pibb. We are just genuinely curious: who the fuck is drinking Mr. Pibb? Are you on drugs? Are you a hostage? Is it being used as a torture device? (because if so, not cool). If you have ever drank or seen anyone drink Mr. Pibb, please report to our headquarters immediately. We don’t want to thank you—we want to study you. Please donate your bodies to us after you die (or before you die, if you aren’t planning on dying soon). In exchange for your service, you will receive a lifetime supply of Mr. Pibb; that is, if we can get Taco Bell to tell us where they’re getting it from.


Mr. Pibb


—D. McCowin