Everything and everyone has a birth date. In the case of products, an invention date. Some things are recent; others have been around a surprisingly long time. Like in the age-old cliché of which one coming first, like the proverbial chicken and egg, I thought I’d lighten things up with a fun little game of which came first. Try to guess which one was born or invented first among the different choices without consulting the internet. Some of them you might know, others may surprise you.
1. Let’s start with a couple of national restaurant chains. Since I’ve worked at both of these at one time or another, which came first, Wendy’s or Cracker Barrel?
2. Now, let’s look at popular snack foods. Oreo cookies and Twinkies have been around seemingly forever. Which one made its debut first?
3. Let’s move on to some drinks. Energy drinks seem ubiquitous today, with new ones coming out all the time, despite the health concerns raised due to the elevated caffeine levels (for example, some Rockstar energy drinks contain upwards of 300 mg caffeine per 16 oz can). Which has been around longer, Red Bull or Rockstar?
4. You probably remember the “Cola Wars” of the 1980s, with Coke trying to outdo Pepsi, and vice versa, that New Coke crap, Michael Jackson singeing his hair in a Pepsi commercial shoot, and all that nonsense. Which big soda came first, Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Dr Pepper?
5. We know the US has been a sovereign nation since 1776, many others much longer, and some not that old. Two examples from the last 70 years are Israel and Jamaica. Which became sovereign first?
6. You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression “the greatest thing since sliced bread”. But, does that include everything? When did sliced bread originate? Which is older, sliced bread or Betty White?
7. Speaking of birthdays, three famous men are Nicolas Cage, Keanu Reeves (new internet meme thing, also appearing the new SpongeBob movie in 2020) and Jeff Bezos (and his extreme wealth). Which of these three guys was born first?
8. Let’s look at technology for a second. Google and Netflix are globally-known internet companies. Which one got to the starting gate before the other?
9. Social media is as ubiquitous as the cell phone anymore. At one point, Facebook and MySpace were competitors on the same level (imagine that🤯). Albeit a comparison not unlike David and Goliath, which of these two social media websites was created prior to the other?
Have you given up? Okay, here are the answers to these burning questions.
1. Cracker Barrel. Though both were founded in 1969, Cracker Barrel beat Dave Thomas to the punch by roughly two months. Dan Evins created his “old country store” chain in Tennessee on 19 Sept 1969, while Dave Thomas started his chain named for his daughter’s nickname up in Ohio on 15 Nov 1969.
Here’s a little trivia for you. Dave Thomas at one time was a KFC franchisee. There are even pictures out on the internet of Thomas and Colonel Sanders together.
2. Oreos. Invented by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) in 1912, they were actually a rip-off of a cookie called Hydrox, which arose in 1908. Obviously we know who the winner of that competition was (like getting away with murder, so to speak). Twinkies didn’t see the light of day until April of 1930. Many World War I soldiers were able to get their Oreo treats in the midst of all the chaos.
3. Red Bull. Though it was created in Austria in 1987, it wouldn’t see shelves in the US until 1997. But that still outdates Rockstar by roughly four years. Rockstar (in my opinion, the better of the two, and definitely less expensive) was founded in 2001, and is based out of Las Vegas NV.
4. It might surprise you but Dr Pepper was actually first, even though it’s not quite as popular today (but close). All three were invented by pharmacists and sold in their pharmacy soda fountains at one time. Dr Pepper began in 1885, Coca-Cola in 1892 and Pepsi in 1893. Interesting little trivia notes: in 2011, Coke and Pepsi had to change the ingredient that makes them the brown they are. The stuff they used previously was discovered by California to be carcinogenic. Way to go California, ruin all the fun! Let all the soda drinkers kill themselves with cancer. That way sounds like the “’Murican” thing to do🤣.
By the way, Dr Pepper shows in their current logo that it is made of 23 flavors. You could google them, but I saved you the trouble. Here’s the list, from what I’ve found: cola, cherry, licorice, amaretto, almond, vanilla, blackberry, apricot, caramel, pepper, anise, sarsaparilla, ginger, molasses, lemon, plum, orange, nutmeg, cardamon, all spice, coriander juniper, birch and prickly ash. Probably more than you ever wanted to know, but there it is.
5. Israel. It came around in 1948. Jamaica didn’t get its independence from the UK until 1962.
6. Sliced bread was invented in 1928, as bakers until then didn’t trust sliced bread wouldn’t go stale quickly. Betty White was born 27 Jan 1922. So, I guess it’s safe to say that sliced bread is the greatest thing since Betty White🤔.
Did you know that Betty White once appeared in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants? Well, so did Bob Barker, Dee Snider, and a slew of other actors. I guess it’s a high honor to be included in an episode of SpongeBob.
7. All three men were born in 1964 and therefore are 55 years old. However, Nic Cage celebrates his birthday first, on 07 Jan. Followed by uber-rich dude Jeff Bezos (12 Jan)—by the way, his $100 billion+ fortune makes me fucking sick. Why can’t dude like gift me with a million or so? He’d never miss it. Hell, if he dropped $100 bill on the ground, he’d lose money picking it up. And Keanu Reeves rounds out the three, born on 02 Sept of that year.
8. Netflix actually debuted before Google. Google launched in September 1998, while Netflix, at the time strictly a DVD-by-mail service, started on 08/29/97. Though it’s mainly a streaming video service, Netflix still offers a DVD subscription.
9. Rounding out the quiz, MySpace did precede Facebook, but not by much. MySpace was launched in August 2003, initially to employees of the company eUniverse. It was more popular to high school students, and at one time was the most popular social media website. Facebook was launched on 04 Feb 2004, initially to Harvard students, eventually to most colleges, and ultimately in 2006, to everyone 13 and over. It eventually steamrolled over MySpace (leaving it as a shadow of its former self, leaving many to be surprised that it actually still exists) to become to behemoth it is today, now owning Instagram, WhatsApp and others.
Hopefully you enjoyed my light-hearted post this week. Time to begin a new week, as we trudge toward the end of the year, and the end of the decade (now that’s a horrifying thought). People tend to ask me what I see myself doing 3½ weeks from now, and I tell them I don’t have 2020 vision! Actually, I really don’t. I wear glasses. My vision is far from 20/20🤣.
Have a pleasant and successful week. May you have much peace, and be safe and be well.