Day 004: Bev Of The Week – Coca Cola Energy
13 was a magical age. I could officially watch and listen to whatever I wanted, the Dreamcast was churning out AAA titles left & right, The Rock was WWF champion and life was essentially perfect. Or at least, looking back it was. I was probably miserable about some girl the whole time. But although my friends and I were teenagers, we were too young for “teenage drinking”. That wouldn’t come for another couple of years. Back then, our beverage of choice was the one that had the most caffeine.
This basically limited us to Mountain Dew. And we drank a metric fuckton of it. We were convinced that the more Mountain Dew we drank, the better we’d be at Tony Hawk. And then, as an added bonus, we’d be too keyed up to go to bed early. So we could stay up super late to catch the SECOND Skinemax movie of the night and then play more Tony Hawk when things got weird or they decided to air Caligula or Emmanuelle again. But after a while, Mountain Dew didn’t dew the trick. We had built up a tolerance and needed more. Naturally, the next step would be coffee, but I was always afraid of burning my tongue and iced coffee was still a couple of years away from being normalized. In gas stations far away from town was a small can called “Whoop Ass”, but our parents would never waste their money on it. X-Pac endorsed something called “Hansen’s Energy Drink”, but it was non-existent in Mid-Michigan and when it did exist, I wished it hadn’t.
We thought we had lost our hunt for the ultimate caffeinated bev. That was, until one fateful day when my mom randomly stopped at D’s Party Store in Oakley. There it was, nestled innocuously next to a bottle of Mr Pibb: Jolt Cola. I didn’t think the stuff actually existed. I had only seen it on TV and even that was rare. It has more caffeine than coffee, something called “Taurine”, which I’m sure was totally badass and the lightning bolt on the bottle told me that I was in for a good time. And boy, I was. It went down smooth like Dr Pepper and made me spazz out like Ken Shamrock. It was everything I ever wanted in a bev and its only source was close enough to coax my sister into driving us to on a weekly basis. Life was good, but Jolt Cola made it gooder.
Fast forward to today and the bev landscape has been flipped upside down. These days, you have to go out of your way to avoid excessive amounts of caffeine. Monster gets sucked down like water and if that’s not your bag, there’s a seltzer water that has even more caffeine. This is why I scoffed when I saw a Coca Cola energy drink at the grocery store. “Energy cola?!? That sounds disgusting! I’m gonna this watermelon Red Bull instead!” The next week, I scoffed at it again. And again. And again. Until one day, it was on sale and suddenly it looked great.
As soon as the cola hit my lips, I was back at D’s Party Store. All of the flavors and sensations were still there. Those slippery sons of bitches did it. Coca Cola rebranded Jolt Cola! Suddenly, it’s become my energy bev of choice, as it brings me back to simpler times. It also helps that my discovery of this bev coincided with the re-release of Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2. It’s effectively turned the summer of 2020 to the summer of 2000. I’ve got the AC blasting, I’m sipping my Jolt Cola, playing my Tony Hawk and I’ve got Attitude Era Wrestling streaming on the laptop. Without much effort, life has become instantly better. And I owe it all to Coca Cola Energy for tying it all together.
Try it! Or don’t! But either way, buy it and send me the cans. We need to trick Coca Cola into thinking that it’s popular! Because they’re definitely going to discontinue it soon if the sales don’t pick up.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I can cram in a quick Hawk sesh before work.