When I first moved to Indiana, I ordered my usual Dr. Pepper at a restaurant. The waitress asked “Is Mr. Pibb okay?” I was taken completely by surprise by this horrifying question, but I muttered, “I guess so” anyway.
Let me explain. Where I come from, the Heartland of America, the Buckle of the Bible Belt, where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plains, good ol’ O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A, Dr. Pepper IS what we drink. Sure, there are people like my parents, transplants from Yankee Kansas, who prefer Coke, but Dr. Pepper still reigns supreme.
All restaurants in Oklahoma City and Stillwater, where I spent the first 31 years of my life, serve Dr. Pepper. Even though DP is distributed by Coca-Cola there, restaurants who serve Pepsi drinks also serve Dr. Pepper. Why? Imagine this little scenario.
The Good Ol’ Boy family sits down at their local chain restaurant, and their chipper waitress asks, “What would ya’ll like to drink?”
“Dr. Pepper all around, please!”
“Is Mr. Pibb okay?”
“Um… I’m sorry, but we’ll have to eat somewhere else”. Billy Bob Good Ol’ Boy whispers under his breath to his wife, “We’ve got to get out of here! We can’t expose Junior to these infidels!”
Yes, it’s true. If Pepsi serving restaurants didn’t serve Dr. Pepper, they would lose business, probably LOTS of business. My people are a God fearing people and the thought of Mr. Pibb passing their lips is akin to blasphemy. So, imagine my surprise and disdain when I was offered the unmentionable Mr. Pibb in my lovely new hometown of Practically-Kentucky, Indiana.
In the past 6 years since moving here, I’ve pretty much given up caffeinated soft drinks. I went in search of my beloved caffeine-free Dr Pepper one day and was unable to find it. When we visited Oklahoma, it was nowhere to be found. You must go to Texas, the birthplace of my beloved DP, to find it (though I imagine it might be found in Utah as well…). So, when my husband went to last year’s Alamo Bowl to see the Oklahoma State Cowboys (GO POKES!!) play, I gave him my wish list of 24 golden cans of caffeine-free Dr Pepper.
And all God’s children say, “AMEN!”