Despite recent appearances to the contrary, the ongoing Gross-Off series has not been abandoned here at jefitoblog; it’s just that between getting caught up on music reviews and changing poopy diapers, I haven’t had as much time to plumb the depths of American junk food. Never fear — I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting taste-icular experiences.

Which is why I bought the new Mountain Dew “energy soda,” A.K.A. MDX, at the local Nob Hill this week:

I want you to know two things up front. First of all, I’m not a soda man, which is why this is our first soda Gross-Off since last October’s Pepsi Holiday Spice incident.

Second, I haven’t had a Mountain Dew since I was in high school and heard about its wang-shrinking power (which those grumps at Snopes dispute, but why take chances?).

Actually, there are several things I’d like you to know, and most of them have to do with MDX’s terrible magnitude of green. These photos have not been doctored in any way. In fact, what the photos don’t tell you is that MDX actually stains ice cubes green. Bright green. I don’t understand soda these days — a few weeks ago, I bought a case of something called Mountain Dew Pitch Black II to write about here, but after I poured a glass and saw the fluorescent purple foam, I chickened out. Isn’t it enough for stuff to be fizzy and sweet anymore?

Apparently not. In fact, it’s no longer enough for it to be fizzy, sweet, and painful to look at. Our soda must now also pack a little something extra. MDX, specifically, is “fueled by Power Pack.”

What’s Power Pack? Well, take a look:

I have never even heard of D-Ribose or Maltodextrin. Why would anybody want to drink a glass of this? It glows with evil green power, like Homer’s coffee after he accidentally drops a nuclear rod in it at the Springfield power plant.

Naturally, I wrangled The Boy into this experiment, which wasn’t too hard, since he’s forever asking me questions like “CAN I HAVE SODA FOR LUNCH?” — apparently, seven-year-old boys aren’t as put off by neon food as their wimpy, grown-up uncles. Oh, chill out; I only poured him a small glass. And after all the buildup, his only reaction was a big grin, followed by, “THIS TASTES LIKE MOUNTAIN DEW.”

Kids, man. They see through everything.

As for me, my wife, and my mother-in-law, we all agreed that it tastes like a melted popsicle, but none of us are avid Mountain Dew drinkers, so maybe that’s just what the stuff tastes like these days.