What We’ll Really Miss When TaB Goes Away
After 60 years Coca-Cola has decided that it's the end of the road for their first diet drink, Tab. It's not surprising either. While some folks have sworn by the diet soda for years, most of us moved on to Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi or Coke Zero Sugar. I mean Tab isn't even available in Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, and you can get Mellow Yellow Zero Orange in the Freestyle. So that should tell us just how unpopular Tab is. That said, I think seeing a can or bottle of Tab conjures up memories for many of us.
Maybe it was the soda your mom or sister always seemed to drink. Maybe a teacher of yours always had a can of it on her desk. Maybe there was always a six pack of it in the fridge when you were growing up.
What I remember about Tab mainly was not liking the taste of it. Until I reached an age where sucking down lots of sugared soda wasn't a good idea I never bothered to even try to like diet soda. Give me a Big Gulp full of Coca-Cola and I was good. That said, even after diet soda became my soda of choice Tab still tasted bad to me.
Whenever I see a can of Tab I'm immediately taken back to 1978. I remember living in a newly constructed apartment building down the street from my Grandma's condominium. We had just moved into the apartment over that summer. You could still smell the newness of the wood or plaster board or whatever when you went up and down the stairs.
This was the era of returnable sixteen ounce bottles and bottle caps. While my Mom usually bought two litter bottles, occasionally she'd get the returnable bottles. Usually when my folks were having people over or we were hosting a family party. The sixteen ounce returnable glass bottles were pretty popular.
I know because I had a short lived bottle cap collection. You could find bottle caps in the gutter, in the dirt at the park. It wasn't that hard to find them. I think I collected thirty or so fairly quickly just from people littering. Dad's Root Beer, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, 7-Up, Bubble Up, Orange Crush, Canfield's 50/50 even Tab.I remember lining them up on the window sill in the hallway of our third floor apartment.
For many of us it's not the loss of the beverage we'll miss. It's the random memory our brain serves us when we see the logo, or happen to see the soda on a store shelf.
I have lot's of memories of the year we spent living in that apartment. How it seemed to take forever to have our furniture delivered there from Philadelphia. How my father built a great model railroad for me that Christmas in the dining room. Looking out my room's window at the back of the Jewel supermarket and watching the trucks come and go.
Yet it took me writing about Tab to remember my short lived bottle cap collection. That's what I think many of us are afraid we'll miss. The random memory our brain serves us when we see a can or bottle of Tab.