Astronauts Drink Tang

socs-badge-2015I know, I know, it may not be “exactly” what Linda, mistress of the writing dungeon, had in mind, but she’s sweet and she always gives us that “if you’re not really up to the full-blown challenge, just do this.” Yeah, I’m doing this.

But, I’m not doing this because I couldn’t comply with the Prime Directive. I could, really. OK, before I explain, let’s get the Linda thing out of the way. She said:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “ta.”  The word, “ta,” is British slang for thank you: use it this way, or find any other word that starts with those two letters. Enjoy!

I could do the British “ta” thing, because my best friend on the other side of the Atlantic, David Pennington, often puts “TA” at the end of his emails. It took a while for me to figure out what it meant. Yes, it actually took me asking him, but that took a while, so my statement wasn’t a lie. But “TA”, David aside, doesn’t make me think of thanks. It might when I look at “ta” – I’ll give you (and Linda) that, but, in my head, you know where the voices live, I hear the sound of “ta” when I read those two letters. For me and those voices, that’s like hearing “a little bit” – see, when I hear that, the voices in my head go straight to “softer now” because that’s how the song goes.

How about that? Two weeks in a row the SoCS prompt lead me to an Isley Brothers’ song. See, those voices, they remember this song. If they didn’t remember the actual song by the Isley Brothers, they would certainly remember the one by Otis Day and the Knights in Animal House, ‘cuz the voices remember just about the entire dialog and musical score from that movie, and The Blues Brothers and Caddyshack and a few other movies.

So, “ta”, if you pronounce it with a short ‘a’ sound, in my mind, it moves straight to “Tang.”

Tang is the stuff astronauts drink. It really is. We saw commercials in the 60’s that had astronauts, or actors who play astronauts on TV, mix the stuff up, drink it an basically say “mmm mmm good.” If it had been in the 90s, it would have been some play on “mmm, that’s some good…” but it wasn’t.

Tang was invented in 1957. It wasn’t invented for the space program. It was probably invented for the post-war-everything-instant-craze thing. I don’t know about things in other countries, but in the US, if you had something that was easy to prepare, instant, quick, ready-to-eat, or something like that, people were lining up to buy it. Well, they weren’t really lining up to buy Tang, I mean, it wasn’t that good. But, when NASA force-fed some Tang to John Glenn, the people who owned Tang started telling us that it was the stuff astronauts drank and we (kids) couldn’t get enough of it.

It was kinda bad.

We weren’t in space.

We could buy orange juice.

We could buy oranges.

We could buy Kool-Aid which didn’t offer any nutritional benefits whatsoever, but it tasted great!

After convincing my mother to buy it, even though it was probably more expensive than any of the actual real fruit and fruit by-product orange things, I became just like John Glenn. I scooped it out of the jar, stirred it into some cold water and voila, I had a glass of flat-tasting, orange looking, watery blah bitter juicy-like drink stuff. I might as well have been in that capsule riding a rocket out of the atmosphere. And, it was fun! And Linda always wants us to have fun.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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74 Responses to Astronauts Drink Tang

  1. Fabulous, Dan. I remember the Tang commercials… to a little kid, they were downright inspiring. ;) And I remember drinking Tang, though a little less fondly than the commercials. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nato says:

    Oh ta for bringing back memories of drinking that stuff. Like you, I found it just as you described: a flat-tasting, orange looking, watery blah bitter juicy-like drink. Oh, the good old days. Blah hahah.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. joannesisco says:

    This certainly brought back memories!! I drank gallons of the stuff as a kid, and if I remember correctly, I actually liked it …. or at least didn’t know any better. I can’t imagine what I would think of it now. I’d probably gag. Do they even make the stuff anymore?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bee Halton says:

    Another great history lesson about the US you don’t get anywhere else ;-) Thanks! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved this Dan. What a great use of the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bikerchick57 says:

    Tang, the drink of champions and kids who didn’t know any better. I used to drink it, but I can’t say I ever loved it. Funny, when I was reading this sans glasses, I thought you wrote vodka instead of voila. Vodka might make for a better Tang experience, don’t you think? Have a great Saturday. Ta!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Almost Iowa says:

    “and voila, I had a glass of flat-tasting, orange looking, watery blah bitter juicy-like drink stuff”

    Have you considered a career in marketing?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. loisajay says:

    Oh, I am right there with you, Dan. My mom kept a jar of Tang in the cabinet and yes, I drank it, too. I think part of the fun was mixing it up myself. I have no memory of what it tasted like, but I think your description must be accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dweezer19 says:

    The only time Tang tasted palatable was straight odd the spoon!😱

    Like

  10. marianallen says:

    In your list of Tang’s drawbacks, you forgot: Makes you break out in hives. Maybe that was only my personal genetic line. Makes me itchy just to think about it! :D

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wendy Brydge says:

    TBH, I find these old commercials from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s are actually more entertaining to watch than a lot of current TV shows are! I was never a big fan of the chemical-mix drinks growing up (I don’t ever remember my mom buying Kool-Aid even — I was never allowed to drink anything but milk at dinner time) but I do recall trying Tang once or twice. It was one of those things where initially it seemed pretty good, but within 10 or 15 seconds, you’re like, “BLECH!” … but turn around and drink it anyway. Like eating Nerds or Gobstoppers. Or being compelled to look at an accident. You know it’s not good and you shouldn’t, but you just can’t stop yourself.

    Also kind of like me just now with that last video. I knew not to click it, Dan. I knew better. I knew I would regret it.

    But I did it anyway.

    SHOUT! WOOOOooooooo!

    Now look what you’ve done. O_O

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Blech. The best word for Tang. Ta-ta!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. joey says:

    Tang and vodka was quite popular in college. I wasn’t a fan. Did you know you can still buy Tang?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. In Australia, “ta” is only used as “thank you” by two-year-olds.
    The secret to Tang was to drink it hot. Nothing better out in the wilds on a day of cross-country skiing. (Well, when you’re under 18 and can’t pack a thermos of whiskey.)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You know what? We also had Tang in France. My mom never bought anything besides water and wine (for the grown-ups) but for some reason we tried Tang. Ta for the memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Ahhhh …. walking down memory lane with this one, Dan. Thank you for the music which yes I remember. And I do remember Tang as well. Do they even sell the stuff anymore? If they did you can bet I won’t drink it now. Is there any real nutritional benefit to drinking Tang? I doubt it. Loved the way your mind turned ta into Tang. Fascinating mind yours is. Ya never know. :) <3

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Amy. “Fascinating” is one of the nicest words for describing how my mind works. They do still sell Tang. It’s very high in calcium and vitamin-c, but the original version also contained a ton of sugar. I’m guessing it’s artificially sweetened today. I picture you walking through your park – a little bit softer now – as you sneak up on another great photo.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        The chances of me getting to my park are not as frequent as once was. When I do get there I feel like kissing the ground itself. We are still waiting for rains to get everything to pop so there is just still so much bareness here. The weathermen keep predicting rain, and well gee, it doesn’t rain. I hope the next time I get there everywhere I look will be green. I also want to get a good pair of hiking boots to hit the trails. Yippee!!!
        Forget the Tang. I’ll pass thank you.
        And for this coming week, may we both pace ourselves and know when to call it quits so that we don’t run ourselves into the ground. I’ll see you when I do. I’ve already been in my gardens and here I am on a break. LOL Ten more minutes and out the door I go. :) <3

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I remember those commercials for Tang! We used have Tang on camping trips when I was a girl. I didn’t like it that much mixed with water, but did like it straight out of the jar on my finger or a spoon. It was candy that way.

    Loved the song at the end. Heyayeay! Shout a little bit louder now! :) I’m going hiking in a bit and that will be what I’m singing up the mountain. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I remember Tang, and it was bad. :D

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It’s a good thing we didn’t have tang in my growing up years! It sounds like bad tasting medicine and my mind just went to Mary Poppins…just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, la la. Well, I’m having fun as Linda would like :-) When I read “ta”, I immediately thought of “ta ta” which is a fun way to say “bye”. I remember moms teaching their babies to wave and say “ta ta”. I always thought we learned in from the British, but having read that “ta” means thanks, I’ll have to ask my parents how “ta ta” came about. Have a great week, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Elaine. Tang, at least the stuff back in my childhood days, had more than a spoonful of sugar in each glass. It didn’t taste “bad” but it didn’t taste “good” either.

      Like

  20. dalecooper57 says:

    Never heard of that stuff, but it looks worse than awful.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Quite a memory you triggered there Dan. I had totally forgotten about the existence of Tang until now. It really wasn’t that memorable after all!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Aunt Beulah says:

    Ah the sixties. My college roommates and I drank quarts of tang, hot, instead of coffee because we lived in Mormon land and coffee wasn’t allowed in the dorms. I sure the sugary Tang was worse for our health than coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      You’re the second person to mention hot Tang. I guess in that dorm, you weren’t drinking the other suggestion (Tang and vodka). I’m sure the sugar was worse for you.

      Like

  23. reocochran says:

    My Mom and Dad bought Tang for our trips and camping. WE would use big tablespoons of the Tang and it tasted delicious and very strong. Sorry, you need to follow your tastebuds and add more if it is watery. Another wise thing happened, we used to go through two cans of OJ with 5 people, three teens and my Mom and Dad. My Mom used one can after Tang was purchased more often, some kind of light bulb had gone off to supplement the OJ with two cans extra of water and four tablespoons of Tang. I remember thinking that now it was like the Sunny Delight my friend’s parents bought while we had frozen concentrated OJ. Well, I always say, “Ta ta, for now!” which I heard this said by a character in Winnie the Pooh. Are they just saying thank you twice, Dan? I thought it was a sweeter message than that. Oh well, I will continue to say this sometimes when I am ready to say “Good bye,” since my Mom does not like us to ever say “Goodbye” but like the Spanish and Mexican people do (and Spanish teachers do) they say, Until we meet again, “Hasta, Lluego.” (“Hasta la Vista,” means Until we see each other again.) Have a great rest of the week, I will try to keep in touch but last Wednesday, if I didn’t whine here I whined everywhere else, we went in at 7:00 am and left work after 6:30 pm. Yawn!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. John Holton says:

    I’ve started taking fiber every night, and the taste reminds me of Tang. Evidently it’s still around…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. The word and the photos just made me smile because they brought back the same memories. We were poor, and a jar of that could last forever on the shelf. And, it tasted like it had been there forever. Isn’t it interesting the various food products we encounter along life’s journey. This one I’ll leave in the past. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I was smiling while reading this post. To be honest, I never knew about Tang until 2008 when a supermarket opened up. I tried it few times, but I felt a regular orange juice is comparatively tastier than Tang. However, during my childhood, there was this local orange powder drink called Glucon-C and the ad would show a boy dunking a basketball and that basketball would turn into orange as it dunks in the basket. I was like, I wanna do that. Unfortunately, till now I haven’t played basketball. Funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      It’s funny how different ads relate to different people. Tang does NOT compare favorably to real orange juice.

      Like

      • Yeah. Back then, I wanted to have BMX bikes and skateboards. I literally harassed my mother to get me a skateboard. She was pissed off because there was no store selling skateboard then. Finally, she found one and the store guy told me that look kid skateboarding requires a flat road, it won’t work on wobbly rocky roads like we had and that I would fall off and smash my face. Finally, I agreed and walked out without a skateboard.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          I had a skateboard in the 60s. BAck then, we made our own, nothing fancy like the late 70s forward. I lived on that and my bike.

          Like

          • I had no skateboard, no bicycle, no roller skates. However, I had this passion for figurines. So, I collected G.I. Joe toys, cars, tanks and ammunition along with Cobra figurines. Then I would go dig up the dustbin for all the crap my mother would throw away, and convert them into props. Card boxes would turn into buildings, ramps, I would create my own elevators and then create stories. A great action rescue story. For sound effects, I had my mouth. So I can make all kinds of sounds, bombs exploding, cars screeching, guns firing, punches, kicks, somersaults, glass shattering and even foot sounds when the main villain enters the scene. It was my own little action-filled Inception-land. I am the Christopher Nolan in my family.

            Liked by 1 person

  27. LindaGHill says:

    Bleh! Tang put me off anything orangy that wasn’t made from actual oranges. Even lollipops and Jello. :P
    But glad you had fun!!! :D

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Prior-01 says:

    nice flashback – and I really enjoyed the old school marketing in the commercial.
    tang is for space travel beaus they needed it – which is kind of what some people say about canned food today – that it should be a war time food or for emergency – and not to be consumed so frequently – hmmmm
    anyhow, never liked Tang…. but did have it

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Paul says:

    Oddly enough, Tang makes me think about being sick. Not being sick because of the drink, but having a cold or flu. And all for what is actually a nice memory: Whenever my brother and I got sick when we were kids, my father was emphatic that we drink plenty of liquids. I guess he figured we wouldn’t down much plain water, and sodas were obviously out of the question, so … Tang.

    I don’t have Tang very often these days, but I can’t help but smile when I see it. I can picture Dad now, bringing me a tall glass of it and telling me he’d be back soon to get the glass — and it had better be empty! #GoodTimes

    Liked by 1 person

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