March 24 – Red Alert

Border Jumpers

About 75% of the Canadian population lives along the Canada-U.S. border. This is a tease for these Canadians, as the United States gets products that just can’t be found up here and what you CAN find in both countries usually comes in at a much lower price point south of the border.

For example, Cherry Dr. Pepper, used in today’s bevvy, has been available in the U.S. for a couple years now. In Canada, it is still advertised as a new product, having just hit store shelves in 2012. Cherry Coke, despite existing for decades has never popped across the border to say hi and same goes for Vanilla Coke (previously available in Canada), Mello Yellow, and unique spin-off flavours of Fanta, Mountain Dew, Snapple, etc.

If Gene Simmons is okay with it, why did Canada take so long?

If Gene Simmons is okay with Cherry Dr. Pepper, why did Canada take so long?

Pop (or soda as the Yanks prefer to call it) isn’t the only thing us Canadians have to chase down on trips to the States. There are a number of chocolate bars that can’t be picked up at the local Canadian convenient store. Pay Days (a Sip Advisor favourite), Coconut M&Ms, Butterfingers, and Heath Bars, form the bulk of this list. Although we do try to make up for Butterfingers by substituting Crispy Crunch and Heath by having Skor. And apparently, up north, we do have the market cornered on Coffee Crisp, Smarties, and Aero (all Nestle products)… even Kinder Surprise (eff the chocolate, I love getting little toys!). And I’ll never figure out why it’s two Reese Peanut Butter Cups in each American package and three in Canada… but I’m not complaining.

Recently I compiled a couple blogs about cereals and their slogans. For example, don’t bother looking for Trix in Canada… although perhaps the Trix Rabbit should take refuge in this country to avoid all the loser kids rubbing it in his face that the breakfast is not meant for him. I’m surprised the poor guy hasn’t gone on a breakfast-stealing rampage through an elementary school. Similarly, Apple Jacks cereal was once sold in Canada, but no longer share store shelf space. Cookie Crisp was apparently banned in Canada, which really pisses me off. How can a country ban Cookie Crisp, when its most famous culinary dish is the curd- and gravy-heavy poutine?

Poutine

Books, dairy (particularly cheese), meat, fruits and vegetables, cigarettes, gas, tires, and most junk food top the list of items that are way cheaper in the U.S. than Canada. Here are some other cross border notes:

  • Seagram’s Gin, despite once being a Canadian-owned company, is no longer sold in Canada
  • Canadian Netflix sucks compared to the U.S. version, causing many subscribers to manipulate their systems allowing access to the American subscription
  • Hulu and other TV and movie streaming services will not work in Canada, where we are told they are not available in our region… despite us sharing the same region as the U.S.
  • Stores you can’t find in Canada: Barnes & Nobles, Trader Joes, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, and Nordstrom’s (although rumour has it that at least one Nordstrom’s is crossing the border to downtown Vancouver and apparently the International terminal of Vancouver airport now hosts a Vicky’s)
  • Restaurants exclusively serving the U.S.: White Castle, Cheesecake Factory, In-N-Out Burgers, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box
victorias-secret-fashion-show

Yowza, we really need Victoria Secret in Canada!

Perhaps some of these items will finally be available in Canada with Target stores coming to the Great White North, but if not, I have no issues taking a trip down to the States to load up on Pay Days, Cookie Crisp, Victoria’s Secret lingerie (for Mrs. Sip, of course) and a meal or two at Jack in the Box.

At least we have Tim Horton’s, White Spot (in Western Canada), Ketchup Chips, Kraft Dinner, Swiss Chalet, and Hickory Sticks. I don’t really see Americans coming to our fair country for any of these items (although they should, especially for the White Spot Legendary Burger, Mmmmmm). Americans will probably just order most of these items online and have them shipped for free, while us suckers in Canada always have to pay extreme taxes and fees for the same service.

Drink #83: Red Alert

Red Alert Drink

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey (I used Crown Royal)
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Cherry Dr. Pepper

To my Canadian brethren, I ask, what do you like to grab on trips to the States? To my friends from the south, is there anything you like in Canada that you can’t get from home? Do you even travel to our little country? Hit me back!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m a big fan of the Cherry Dr. Pepper pop and it probably saved this cocktail It was neat to see the Orange Juice and Dr. Pepper mix together and luckily we were able to snap some good quick photos of the effect.

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March 9 – Breakfast of Champions

Slogan-O’s

Cereal and advertising slogans go hand-in-hand. All of us remember them from our childhood, when breakfast mascots seemed to rule the world. Today, many of these jingles and mascots have gone the way of the dodo, so let’s give them one more chance in the sun. Thanks for the memories!

“The cereal shot from guns” – Quaker Puffed Rice

The officially-licensed breakfast of the NRA. Why not have a bowl, thus justifying the need for firearms in every home.

“Brings out the tiger in you, in you!” – Frosted Flakes

So does hockey, naked women, Texas hold’em poker (because I always lose the allowance Mrs. Sip provides me), go-kart racing, and afternoon naps! Tony the Tiger, I am not, however.

Frosted Flakes

“Stays crunchy, even in milk!” – Cap’n Crunch

This is the cereal equivalent to McDonald’s food not decomposing months after being served…

“Can’t get enough of that Sugar Crisp.” – Sugar Crisp

Yeah, actually I can. I never liked Sugar Crisp. It just tasted funny to me. Sugar Bear was pretty cool, though. He seemed like a total junkie, always needing his fix!

“A is for Apple. J is for Jacks.” – Apple Jacks

Thanks for teaching me how to spell Monsieur Apple Jacks (sounds like it could be a French name, although I guess it would be Apple Jacques)… especially when cereals like Quisp have a catchphrase like “Quisp for Quazy energy.” At least one company isn’t dropping the education ball.

“Snap! Crackle! Pop!” – Rice Krispies

It’s like the cereal is talking to me, man. Seriously, Rice Krispies must be responsible for a number of mental patient and drug-induced freakouts.

rice_krispies_crazy_cat

“Follow my nose. It always knows.” – Froot Loops

Unfortunately, Toucan Sam isn’t the same tracking bird he once was. A combination of old age and a terrible cocaine addiction have left the poor guy without the ability to sniff out Froot Loops. His nephews (Puey, Susey and Louis – what a rip-off of Huey, Dewey and Louie) have taken over in his absence, but as with most other things, this new generation of cereal hunters just don’t have the drive, passion or respect to live up to Sam’s legacy.

“I’m coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs!” – Cocoa Puffs

Sonny Cuckoo is a fiend for Cocoa Puffs. He is the high-strung opposite of Sugar Bear’s laidback stoner ways. The kind of bird that commits violent crimes to procure the money he needs for his habit.

“They’re Magically Delicious!” & “They’re Always After Me Lucky Charms!” – Lucky Charms

Pissing-off Irish and leprechaun-looking people for years, the fine folks at Lucky Charms are now being forced to pay reparations to the Emerald Isle; its angry, drunken citizens; and the United Union of Leprechauns. These are people you really don’t want to mess with.

“Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!” – Trix

You know the Trix Rabbit actually got to eat the cereal once. There was a write-in vote cast (one that I paid more attention to than any government election I’ve ever had to suffer through) that saw kids get to choose whether or not the “Silly Rabbit” would finally get his hands on the fruity breakfast. He won the vote, restoring my faith that all kids aren’t dicks and got to eat one bowl of Trix before going back to being a perennial loser.

“Gotta have my pops!” – Corn Pops

To a generation of obese kids today(most likely thanks to foods just like Corn Pops), this slogan just means they want another Diet Coke (worse for you than normal Coke, of course). I can’t help but notice Corn Pop’s grammar sucks, too… what do you expect when all kids can do nowadays is text short-form words and barely have the attention span to get through an episode of some Japanimation garbage on their tablet.

“The Breakfast of Champions” – Wheaties

This slogan will remain false until my picture is plastered on the box, as I am a reigning four-time liquor champion of the world. Our sport just isn’t given the respect it deserves.

“I vant to eat your cereal!” – Count Chocula

How in the world is Count Chocula still more of a badass than those losers from Twilight?

Vampires

“It tastes like a chocolate milkshake, only crunchy!” – Cocoa Krispies

What’s wrong with a crunchy chocolate shake, I ask? Are you saying that I don’t make good milkshakes just because they’re a little crunchy? Well, my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, so suck it! And how come Snap, Crackle and Pop weren’t African-American for these Cocoa Krispies ads?

“They’re A-B-C-Delicious.” – Alpha-Bits

It was Alpha-Bits that first stoked the fires for me to become a writer. A very young Sip Advisor used to take his bowl of cereal and write prize-winning blogs for Mama and Papa Sip. I was paid in chocolate chip cookies… that and stock options.

“We eat what we like.” – Apple Jacks

Oh man, this could get dirty. You know what, I’m going to take the high road and let sleeping dogs lie. The Sip Advisor is growing up!

“How do they cram in all that graham?” – Golden Grahams

It’s simple arithmetic: you calculate the square root of the graham, divided by the hypotenuse of the golden and then you know how much you can cram. Don’t need a Nobel Prize in Mathematics to figure that out.

Drink #68: Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions Shot

I finally got to try the Loopy (Froot Loops-flavoured) Vodka, thanks to Cousin Sip bringing it around to The Sip Advisor employee retreat. Next year’s team building event will be for everyone to stay home and spend the weekend in their pajamas. I’m the best boss in the world!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
My only regret with this shot is that the Froot Loops, when crushed, lose their wonderful colour and kind of become a normal brownish cereal colour. Still, the whole appearance looks great and the shooter is delicious.