Rumors that Hans Blix is headed south to the Lone Star state to investigate reports of a large cache of a sinister substance known as ‘Dr Pepper’ will come as no surprise to many, but should he stop there? Recent postings on the Corner discussing this questionable mess from Texas have produced a response that includes reports of other mysterious concoctions including ‘Mr. Pibb’ and ‘Dr Thunder’. Up in chilly Maine, meanwhile, any criticism of Moxie, a cold ‘drink’ beloved by the really frozen (Ted Williams was a spokesman), is (I have discovered) poorly received.
What’s Moxie? Well, claims made on some of its early labels included the following:
“Contains not a drop of Medicine, Poison, Stimulant or Alcohol. But is a simple sugarcane-like plant grown near the Equator and farther south, was lately accidentally discovered by Lieut. Moxie and has proved itself to be the only harmless nerve food known that can recover brain and nervous exhaustion, loss of manhood, imbecility and helplessness. It has recovered paralysis, softening of the brain, locomotor ataxia, and insanity when caused by nervous exhaustion. It gives a durable solid strength, makes you eat voraciously, takes away the tired, sleepy, listless feeling like magic, removes fatigue from mental and physical over work at once, will not interfere with action of vegetable medicines. ”
You may laugh, but Calvin Coolidge was (reportedly) a fan – and did he?