Frequently, we Dillos bask in the glory that is nighttime at Future World in EPCOT. What we don’t get into that often is a highlight for any daytime trip just North of the World Showcase Lagoon. You find yourself hot. Hot & Thirsty. Hot, Thirsty, and probably dehydrated from the 90 degree temperatures in April. So, you go someplace to cool off… And drink for free… You head on over to Club Cool at Innoventions West.
But, not so fast…
It sounds to good to be true – free samples of Coca-Cola products from all over the world. You taste of the fruity Lift Apple from Mexico and Smart Watermelon from China. The Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica is sweet cherry goodness. The VegitaBeta from Japan piques your curiousity.
And yet, you look around and see that the former Ice Station Cool is not dancing in the aisles of sugary goodness. Some people look downright distressed. Like they swallowed a canary. I see this every single time that I am there. It doesn’t matter, however, as I will soon join them in their misery… by choice.
For I will taste, and recoil, and Italy’s Beverly – the very bitter aperitif that is non-alcoholic.
If you fancy the Wikipedia, there is an unnamed citation claiming that at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, only 5 out of 2,000 people on average enjoy the Beverly (hence the needed citation). I’m telling you that it’s so bad that I will not even consider naming a child Beverly or staying at The Beverly.
What I do wonder is — how many people are like me? How many people are repeat offenders? How many are repeat offender torturing themselves with this sample because it transports them back to a traumatizing part of childhood?
You see, when Brother Dillo was a wee nipperkin, he had some pretty bad asthma – asthma that subsided considerably at adulthood (we don’t know the real reason but suspect it coordinates with the ceasing of cigarette smoke hovering like an early morning fog in our house – only the nicotine caked walls know). And when the asthma got really bad, I would have to ingest this syrup. A syrup that is no longer available on the market since the mid-1980’s probably due to some crippling ingredient. This medicine was called Bronticon.
I swear on the Power of the Mouse that devilish liquid was and is the Beverly.
The taste of this medicine would always make me cry. I mean, I’m sure I was crying before taking it, but the sobbing intensified with the taking of it. My mother tried every which way to get me to take it – the most famous one being laced in applesauce (I know some of you are now thinking this is how you trick your dog into taking medicine, but that’s neither here nor there). I, to this very day, shutter with a chill at the mere thought of it.
But, for the last several years, I haven’t had to think of it. I only had to go to EPCOT and sip of the Beverly.
I didn’t know how it would taste the first time I sampled the bitterness on that sunny day in Lake Buena Vista.
I started crying. I started crying and did not know why I was crying. I recoiled. I shuttered. It all came back to me in the moment.
The Beverly was Bronticon.
A bitter drink for bitter childhood memories.
Brother Dillo (a glutton for punishment)