This swill known as Four Loko is the latest thing that will destroy the youth of America. An “energy drink” spiked with alcohol, my very own state was the first in the country to ban it outright, and was swiftly followed by others. This USA Today story is typical of the journalism surrounding the drink:
Mixing a stimulant like caffeine with a depressant like alcohol can be a deadly combination.
People who combine the two may mistakenly believe they are more in control, as caffeine can diminish only the perception of being drunk, not the actual impairment. This sober feeling can also lead to binge drinking.
“People have multiples in one night and now they’re wired and wasted,” Tabatha Haskins says while walking on the Rutgers-Camden campus. “It’s kind of scary.”
Yes, it is kind of scary. It’s exactly the feeling I get after three Irish coffees.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Red Bull and vodka the sub-25 cocktail of choice? Isn’t this the same thing? And if Mitch Albom thinks it’s wrong — and he does — isn’t that prima facie evidence that this is the latest thing for adults to fret over and lecture about? Let’s see just what Mitch has to say:
A yellow or purple can with kiwi or grape flavoring that also promises to — and this is critical — keep you awake is a dangerously tempting product.
That settles it. If Mitch calls it dangerously tempting, I’m in.
I’m so old — how old are you? — I’m so old that I remember a time when, if a caffeinated alcoholic drink were all the rage, a city editor would look out over his bullpen and choose a young, dumb rookie, maybe an intern, peel a double sawbuck off the wad in his pocket, and send the kid out with a photographer to score a couple of these things, consume them, and then write a story about it.
“Crack this miracle and bring me back the pieces,” he might say, at least if James Thurber were writing the dialogue for this scene. (As always when I use that line — from Thurber’s essay on his first city editor, Gus Kuehner — I Google it to see if the essay it came from, long out of print, is available online anywhere. It isn’t. In fact, every citation of “crack this miracle and bring me back the pieces” takes you to this blog. Which makes me wonder if I’m remembering it correctly.)
Fortunately, all the decent editors aren’t dead. One works for the New York Observer, who commissioned a Four Loko piece that actually requires boots on the ground, not just a baby boomer with an opinion and a bad memory. Story’s here. My favorite passage:
“Get our Loko on!” said one man near the doorway. “Let’s fuck shit up! I’m ready to ride a mechanical bull motherfucker!”
I see a marketing campaign: Four Loko — the best friend the mechanical bull ever had.
By the way, have you ever had an energy drink? I consumed half a Monster once. That’s how worried I was about this alleged rocket fuel — I only drank half. Verdict: Tasted awful, and the promised energy did not arrive. I’ll stick to treble espressos. In fact, I ordered one last night. The clerk in Caribou actually tsked me.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
Do I have a big, stupid face? Is there something about it that tells people I am incapable of making decisions for myself? (Don’t answer that.) The second time this week I’ve been disrespected by a service worker. I could feel the glower building like a headache.
“No, on second thought, make it quadruple.” And I drank it down, and it barely kept me up until midnight. It could have used a shot of something.
OK, then. Any bloggage? Some, I guess:
Get ready for 2012: How the tea party is gaming “Dancing With the Stars.” I wouldn’t watch this show for $50 an hour, but the clips I’ve seen online reveal that young Miss Palin dances about as well as I do, and furthermore, is taking out her frustration at the judges by eating all the red velvet cupcakes in the green room. (Size isn’t a valid basis for judging any dancer — Jackie Gleason was famously light on his feet — but in a dance competition featuring hours of practice a day, you expect contestants to lose weight over the course of a season, and she’s definitely going in the opposite direction.)
Brown is the new black, orange is the new brown and pie is the new cupcake. Allegedly. I personally believe black will always be black, and for a damn good reason.
One of my favorite things about living in Detroit: Concept cars. Equal parts busywork for designers and fanciful flights to ensure the companies have something to reveal at car shows, every so often something amusing turns up. Today, the Cadillac subcompact.
Off to the shower. Have a good day, all.