WHAT IT IS: Corporate America’s latest attempt to co-opt black youth culture. Those crazy rappers love the extreme calm they feel when they mix their drugs into generic purple cough syrup—why shouldn’t children and housewives across the country be allowed to experience the closest legal approximation? Utilizing melatonin, valerian root, and rose hips, Drank will zone little Timmy and Suzie out just like their diamond-grilled hero Lil’ Jon!
WHO MAKES IT: The Innovative Beverage Group out of Houston, TX. What a name, huh? About one step away from the Really Awesome And Super Cool Beverage Group.
HOW IT TASTES: Like carbonated bubble gum mixed with dry ice.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: For starters, Drank is an “anti-energy” drink, bucking the popular adrenaline-pumping trend started by brands like Jolt, Rockstar, and Monster. Translation: you’re buying a carbonated herbal tea here. Then there’s the official Drank slogan – “Slow your roll.” I heard they bought it dirt cheap at one of Dr. Dre’s garage sales. They also picked up Eazy E’s Compton hat and the distribution rights to Above The Rim.
NOTES: Drank succeeded in slowing my basic jittery and cynical roll, but it did not provide the hazy cocoon of warmth and love I was anticipating. Instead, it just made me feel like I was overdosing on Sudafed. This had to be the ground level of whatever euphoric malaise Three 6 Mafia made famous in their “Sippin’ On Some Syrup” song; on top of that, the “high” only lasted about twenty minutes. The disappointment was as bright and undeniable as the crisp candy taste.
Come on, Suits, I know you can do better than this. Drop some morphine in that Drank, for the love of Young Jeezy. I wanna get laid out already.
Early yesterday morn I awoke to read two sentences on the Internet that let me know a path of confusion, sadness, aggravation, and utter skulduggery lay before me for the next twenty-four hours. Sentence the first proclaimed “History will prove that [Let The Dominoes Fall] is another great Rancid album.” Blargh. As if images of Patrick Henry and Abraham Lincoln slam-dancing to “Ruby Soho” didn’t upset me enough, Sentence #2 had to go and tell me in blunt, uncaring fashion that David Carradine was dead.
Immediately, the whole suicide thing struck me as fishy. Wasn’t this guy all about zen and confidence? Yeah, that dog won’t hunt. Today, the news is all about how Dave’s hands were tied behind his back, suggesting foul play. An equal amount of media coverage is being devoted to how Caine’s death may have been a kinky sex thing gone terribly wrong. Either way, it’s pretty disturbing. Who would want to kill David Carradine? Why would David Carradine need to tie a rope around his ‘nads to get off? Read more about this in my new book, Questions I Never Thought I’d Be Asking Myself Ever, by James Greene, Jr.
Any pontification about an elderly actor’s boner-inducing proclivities took a back seat yesterday to a quest of a more personal nature: I and my intrepid Hungro-Italian pal John Piacquadio had plans to travel across the Hudson River in search of Drank. The Internet told us this latest attempt to co-opt black youth culture was available throughout the Garden State at all 7-11 convenience stores. Hence, we drew up a plan to visit a 7-11 in Fort Lee, NJ, a town that rests in the looming shadow of the George Washington Bridge.
With no boat, no goat, no motor car—not a single luxury!—how were John and I going to reach Fort Lee? On foot, of course. We walked across the GWB, which would have been much more pleasant were it not for the overcast weather, the plethora of honking cars, and the obscene number of professional bicyclists racing past us on the pedestrian walkway. At least there were plenty of barges and small boats in the Hudson to marvel at as we crossed. Nautical junk is cool. Also, the forestation on the Jersey side of the bridge is so much greener and more lush than on the NY side. I guess that Garden State nickname isn’t just some bullshit created by the liberal media.
As John and I turned the corner of Bruce Reynolds Boulevard onto Lemoine Avenue (the main drag of Fort Lee), we couldn’t help but notice a group of three protesters outside the main branch(?) of the town’s Citibank. Their signs were fairly legible—something about using money for homes, not war – but I had to question the location these rabble rousers chose for their lazy rage against the machine. If their intent was to rally support from motorists turning on to the GWB, they were a little too far away from the on ramp to make an impact. As it was, these people sort of looked like they were advertising a nearby charity car wash (sans excitable teenage girls in bikinis).
The thrilling prospect of sampling Drank, the thrill that had propelled us over Manhattan’s dorkiest bridge, deflated faster than, uh, something that deflates really fast when we stepped inside the Lemoine Avenue 7-11. There was no purple cough syrup substitute to be found. The gentleman behind the counter had absolutely no idea what I was talking about when I vocalized my demand for Drank. A phone call to the next nearest 7-11 location yielded similar results. No Drank? You have lied to us once again, Internet. Prepare to suffer the consequences (me and John telling all the other girls in ninth grade that you stuff your bra and you’ve never even seen a real penis!).
Crestfallen, John and I sought refuge in the Plaza Diner, a Fort Lee institution – or so I’m guessing, based on the average age of their clientele (most of the people sipping coffee in there probably remember voting for Taft). After stuffing our gullets over talk of “The Golden Girls” and lovers past (one in the same, really), John and I reversed our trail of tears back to Harlem. On the way, I double dog dared my friend to throw an errant orange traffic cone over the side of the George Washington so’s we could watch it make a killer splash. PQuads was having none of this.
“Everything changes when you’re on a bridge in New York,” he muttered knowingly.
That night, I met my girlfriend at a jazz club in Harlem. Exhausted and deprived of Drank, my cozy bebop experience was sullied by some Virginia-born over-the-hill yahoo who insisted on asking us such pointed, booze-fueled questions as “Are you in love?” and “Do you have grandkids?” I don’t know about that one, Skip. I’m barely thirty. Do you have grandkids, and if so, do you wanna talk about them? I’d love to hear how little Aesop made an “uh-oh” in church and you had to use Holy Water to clean it up.
The day was capped off by the most intense migraine I’ve ever experienced. I came very close to just bashing my head against the wall next to my bed, praying I’d lose consciousness before I threw up from the pain. I eventually fell into slumber, where I envisioned a seven foot tall middle school basketball player doing Tai Chi in my grocery store to the muted horror of all around him.
On the tiny plus side of yesterday, I finally made the time to visit Grant’s Tomb. It really flipped my biscuit when I walked in and saw his big shiny coffin sittin’ there, like, Yeah, I’m Ulysses S. Grant – who the hell are you, starin’ at my dead wife and me? I forgot to look for the nearby grave of the Amiable Child, but I guess neither he nor General Grant are going anywhere anytime soon.
The visit to our former President’s final resting place was preceded by a nice duck lunch at an Asian chain restaurant in the city known as Ollie’s (good, cheap, but the service there don’t exactly rub your balls, if you get what I’m sayin’). I could still taste that greasy, delicious duck as the migraine pounded my sinuses into corn meal several hours later. I don’t know why duck lingers so, but it was nice to have that memory as death seemed to be creeping in on me.
Looking to the future, they sell Drank in Florida and, as luck would have it, I’m going to be in the Sunshine State next week. I will track some down at that juncture (I’ll have a car) and immediately report to the readers of JG2Land what it feels like specifically to have your roll slowed by a mass-produced carbonated beverage.
You know, it’s been a few months, and I still haven’t gone into a McDonald’s and ordered a McGangBang. I’m worse than Tonya Harding when it comes to food-related hi-jinks.