Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ode to Vault Soda

Yesterday I took a jaunt down to Connecticut to interview novelist Wally Lamb, which was pretty inspiring.  It was a great interview and I really appreciate his candid comments and approachability.

Because of my blatant lack of planning, I forgot to gas up before I crossed the state line into Connecticut, whose nickname is "The Expensive Gas State."  Idiot.  Two things made it worthwhile, however.  One, I stopped at a Sunoco, so I was able to use my Price Chopper AdvantEdge gas card for the first time (you get a discount on gas at Sunoco stations depending on how much you shop at Price Chopper supermarkets).

Second, I found that in Brooklyn, Conn., they still sell Vault soda.  Vault was the answer to my prayers when it came out in 2005.  It was touted as an artificially flavored energy soda.  It's like the old 1990s soft drink Surge, which I had a similar addiction to.  I can't really describe the taste.  It was Mountain Dew without the weird aftertaste.  Sprite without the overfruitiness.  Coke without the syrupy flavor.  In other words, really good.

But apparently Coca-Cola, which makes Vault, had a change of heart.  (Or I was the only person drinking it.)  Recently it's disappeared from store shelves in my neck of the woods.  It stayed a little longer up in the Fitchburg area, but it's disappeared there too.  One of the guys who works at a convenience store near my place, who apparently began to recognize me after I came in every day to purchase a bottle, said his Coca-Cola distributor told him they were ditching Vault in favor or resurrecting Mello Yello.  Sigh.  Mello Yello which tastes like bad Mountain Dew, and since even good Mountain Dew tastes like bad soda, that's not a good tradeoff.

I don't know why Vault is still kicking around in Connecticut.  (When I was at residency in July, I noticed it was still being sold in  Mystic, too.)  Maybe it's more popular with Nutmeggers.  But I imagine it's only a matter of time before they pull it from Connecticut shelves as well.  As for me, I bought eight bottles of Vault yesterday on my way back from the Wally Lamb interview. 

Maybe I'll sneak back down there next week sometime to stock up some more.                   

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