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Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Only Bought the Lychee Drink for the Marble Inside

While we're on the subject of lychees... We are? Have you so quickly forgotten? So while, lychees are still on top of your mind, look what I saw during a recent visit to the San Gabriel Superstore.

The $.79 mangosteen drink will not replace real mangosteens, or offer any of its health benefits. It didn't even taste like mangosteens. No wonder since it only had 10% mangosteen juice. :(

But the $1.19 lychee carbonated drink does taste like lychee and it's fun! There's a marble resting at the top of the drink, where the blue cap is, and you push the marble down into the bottle with the pink top to open it.

The marble then drops down inside.

Later, I unscrewed the cap, removed the rubber seal, and took the marble out. Not sure what I'm going to do with a cleary marble, but I didn't want to waste it. After all, I was quite the marble player back in the day.

Oh? You want to hear the story?

OK, marbles were all the craze during the 1984 to 1985 school year at Gaffney Lane Elementary School in Oregon City, Oregon. (The year before it was stickers.) Well, being a poor refugee kid (We had only been in America for 4 years.), I knew I couldn't ask my parents to buy me any marbles. So one of my friends gave me a marble, I think I found the other, and I challenged my way to accumulating a total of 148 marbles. Yes, I still remember the number, even if I can't recall all the rules of the game.

I do remember we played for keepsies and I won a nice collection of clearies, cat-eyes (the purple/green combos were my favorites), a few highly prized speckled eggs, aggies (agates), alleys (alabaster/marble), steelies, and even a few boulders. Maybe it was because everyone was doing it, maybe it was because I thought they were pretty, because I have to admit I'm a girly-girl and digging little holes in the dirt, getting down on the ground, and making little fists to shoot off marbles from my thumb doesn't sound terribly exciting now.

Umm, yeah, so obviously you can tell I'm not a sequential thinker because I just jumped from lychees to marbles. Insert bad pun about losing my marbles here. :P

San Gabriel Superstore
1635 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776


  1. Awesome story! Sure, your thoughts were jumping around, but a little history about our blogger was enjoyable. A little late now, but congratulations for winning so many marbles. I, myself (a guy), didn't play, but I imagine it would have been a cool sight seeing a pretty girly-girl shooting marbles.

  2. Nobody,
    Heh, oops, thanks for catching that. I didn't mean to sound vain and imply I was a pretty girly-girl, I meant to say I was pretty MUCH a girly-girl. ;) And it was a school-wide craze so even the girls were playing, not just me.

  3. So is there an actual purpose to the marble? Or is it just there as a branding gimmick?

  4. i seen another drink like this before. but i dont know if there was a lychee flavor. cant remember the name of the drink either. but it is a japanese soda that starts with an R. i didnt know u could take the marble out though.

  5. Hi WC - I enjoyed the story....the Missus bought one of drinks for the novelty too.

  6. Ramune. The marble-drink is ubiquitous in Japan and found in basically any international market in the US.

  7. I was never a marble player, but your post reminded me of this awesome episode of "DuckTales" where Huey uses a pearl for one of his marbles and he shoots it at a torpedo and saves the day and...

    Uh, sorry. I watched a lot of cartoons as a kid.

  8. Wandering Chopsticks, Great story. I've had one of the Japanese marble sodas, but lychee sounds a lot tastier. I like that you saved the marble. Who knows, maybe you can start some wayward 3rd grader with a marble of her own, and she can beat the pants off all her classmates. I'll have to keep my out for lychee flavor, and try out Pinkberry next time I'm in Pasadena. Thanks!

  9. My bf loves these sodas. And wow thats a lot of marbles!

  10. Tom,
    Branding gimmick and I totally bought into it. :P

    There's lots of flavors, I just didn't much care for the others. It was easy enough to just unscrew the top and take the marble.

    Ha! The missus fell for the marketing gimmick huh? Must be a woman thing. :)

    Thanks. I know the Japanese brand is popular, this is just a knock-off I think. I couldn't find a Ramune anywhere on the bottle.

    You know, I watched "Duck Tales" and I vaguely remember that scene but can't really recall any of the episodes.

    I don't think kids play with marbles much these days. Not high tech enough. :(

    Heh, yes, but I've lost all my marbles. ;)

  11. Probably too late (five years!) but the people in the Marshall Islands occupied by the Japanese used the marbles from ramune to play the game. Someone I know who speaks Japanese visited there and discovered kids playing 'ramune' (I think it was Truk)

  12. Dave,
    I love comments on old posts! Let's me know people are still reading. And such a cool factoid. I love that even more. :)


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