Day 068: Bev of the Week – Arizona CAUTION

When I first moved to New York, it wasn’t all sunshine and adventures. Actually, it was sunny an awful lot and every day felt like an adventure, but that’s beside the point. I was broke and miserable. I had comically low-balled my desired pay, thinking that I could get by on it. I was also responsible for my own rent for the first time. There were other minor expenses that I never had to worry about before, like laundry, overtaxed cigarettes, lost metrocards and aggressive hobos. I was living a mildly uncomfortable destitute life and I did so for quite a while.

It took a lot of getting used to. The lifestyle I lived in Grand Rapids wasn’t conductive to being financially secure. Cable was never an option. I would have to rely on the great pirates of the world to get my entertainment. I sold all my video games. I had to start making my own smokes. I started being really picky with my food. I convinced myself that I don’t like bacon so I wouldn’t pay the extra dollar on my breakfast sandwich. Most of my meals came from expired food at work. My birthday dinner was sardines. That’s not to say it was all bad. I had a roof over my head, only student loan debt and I could still afford to maintain my unhealthy smoking and Coors Banquet habit.

I didn’t go out dancing anymore. Much like bowling, dancing in New York seemed to be an activity reserved for the elite. In fact, I could hardly ever afford to go out. I went from being at the bar 5 nights a week to 2. And even 2 nights was grossly irresponsible. I would get one beer and drink it slowly. Stare at the TV or spend some hard-earned quarters on an arcade machine and imagine what it’d be like to have money. I would kill as much time as possible, as the last place I wanted to be was home. I’d stay out way too late, wandering around, making phone calls. After 4 hours of sleep, I’d be ready to do it all over again.

But that’s not to say I didn’t have a little help to start my day. Every morning, I’d do a zombie walk to the bodega to get my fix. It was a suspicious can for a suspicious price. I’m talking about the good ol’ Arizona CAUTION Extreme Performance Energy Drink, baybeeeeeee! It always woke me up and it was always 99 cents. In a city full of hustles and ripoffs, one bev was easily attainable and even more easily afforded. Frankly, I don’t know what I would’ve done without it.

The taste is unlike other energy bevs. It’s not sour like Red Bull or bitter like Monster. It goes down so easily, you’d wonder if you were even drinking an energy bev. It doesn’t have a chemically smell and it comes in two flavors: original and red. I’d always go for the red, because it made me nostalgic for when I drank Code Red every day. Caffeine-wise, it has just as much as the competitors, but at a fraction of the price. There was something so empowering about grabbing a cold bev from the case, slamming a dollar on the counter and being on my merry way. It was the perfect start to all of my days.

Shit’s a lot better now, in case you were wondering. I have cable now, along with way too many video games. I quit smoking and I eat whatever the fuck I want, both of which has had an adverse effect on my weight. My metrocard is always in my pocket and there’s tons of money on my laundry card. But at least once a week, I’ll still take a walk to the bodega to get my CAUTION fix. The only difference is that instead of slamming a dollar down, I’m breaking bills. But the bev tastes just as sweet as it did 10 years ago. Just as it will 10 years from now. That’s the beauty of bevs. They’ll always be there for you, no matter where you are in life.

– TeeCoZee