You may remember a recent review we did at the Lab--the gibbering cyclopean soda-horror which is Biotta Digestive Drink. Well, just this morning we had a visitor at the Labs. You may remember Punctilius; she was part of the team of visiting Weird Soda Technicians who helped in the review of Vignette Chardonnay soda, along with Long Rod McBean.
Well, Punctilius likes sauerkraut. When she heard the tales we told around the campfire about the horror we had all recently experienced, she expressed a desire to try the Biotta herself. Amazingly enough, we still had some--nobody in the Lab had been willing to drink any more (or even to open the bottle to pour it out). So we donned our hazmat gear and poured her a glass.
She sniffed it. We noticed something odd; she wasn't grimacing in horror. What was she made of, this woman named Punctilius?
She took a sip.
She took another sip.
Let me repeat that: after smelling it and tasting it, she voluntarily drank it again.
I reeled in astonishment. How could this woman stomach the stuff? She smacked her lips.
Now, let me assure you: she is neither an alien, nor a supernatural horror, nor a highly-trained Weird Soda Commando from the ancient monastery rumored to exist amongst the remotest peaks of Nepal. She didn't actually like the stuff, exactly.
Punctilius: "It's half bad."
By this she meant that one could not correctly describe it as "not half bad"; it was precisely half bad. However, she had a plan.
Punctilius: "Get me some honey."
She proceeded to add a substantial amount of honey to the Biotta; the final ratio was probably about 4:1 Biotta:honey, by volume. After stirring, she tasted it, and pronounced it much improved. She then insisted on passing it around.
Have you ever had that kind of nightmare where there is something you really don't want to do--something which fills you with mortal dread--but you have to do it anyway? One of those dreams where for some reason you have to crawl through a spider-filled cave, or something like that?
I am the Quaffmaster, and this is my place. I voluntarily tasted the Biotta-honey solution.
My mind is intact, as is my soul. My taste buds are slightly abraded. It was, in fact, improved, but in the same way that the pits of Hell would be improved by the addition of a vase of daffodils. In other words--it's still awful, but now there's something pleasant mixed in. The honey did make it more drinkable, at first; the intense sweet taste masked the most jagged, filth-encrusted edges of the taste.
The aftertaste was, unfortunately, unblunted.
Still, I feel that it is only fitting that we recognize Punctilius for her indomitable courage. Seeing one of the smoking abysses of the Weird Soda world, she strode boldly into the breach and left it better than when she came. Huzzah! Huzzah! Let her name be added the the roll of Weird Soda explorers, to be honored in the fizzy world yet to come.
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