Bubble-up, America’s favorite also-ran version of the perpetually underwhelming Seven-Up. It’s like being “the second most popular indistinguishable copy of Velveeta.”

Be Alive! it says, suggesting somehow that the act of drinking Bubble-Up was a proof of one’s existence. I burp therefore I am. Note also the fine print: “the original, reg. U.S. Pat. Off 1921.” The original what? Well, perhaps the original Lemon-Lime carbonated beverage. Seven-up didn’t come around until 1929, and by then there were 600 lemon-lime sodas on the market. Seven-Up eventually won, Bubble-Up sank into obscurity, and Sprite emerged.

In some parallel universe Bubble-Up is the top seller, Sprite was never invented, Madge is more popular than Barbie, and everyone is doing the Bubble-Up Cha Cha Cha.

(Yes, that was a dance. Just not a dance craze. I learned of it from a site that collects old album covers, and the link is now dead because he's redoing the site. But don't worry - the page says he'll be done by 2007. So any day now.)