Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Shot at Upshot

Okay, so school is starting and that means lots of people who aren't students descending on campus. I go to school in a city so it is easy to get in and get things to students. We are a group of people, largely foolish, with a lot of either cash or plastic on hand so promoters of all types want to get us hooked on their products. Even living in the dorms I have menus and postcards for promised wild parties slid under my door. it irritates me because they are getting paid to litter.

Anyway, many times people hand out small promotional samples of their products. It is never for anything useful, such as wine, cheese, or gasoline. Usually it is for a drink of some kind because everyone who goes to NYU is on a strictly liquid diet, except for Ramen, which is of course cooked in a quid with flavoring. I enjoy a hearty meal (just ask anyone who runs a buffet in a thirty minute radius of Washington Square Park) but most of my peers live off of coffee, juice, and energy drinks. Consequently, this is what I usually see samples given out of.

Turning the corner, I saw people with stacks of little bottles. My first thought was that I had hit pay day, they resembled the small bottles you get on airplanes or in hotels, small containers of scotch and whiskey, vodka and gin. The liquid diet I enjoy involves these and clamato or orange juice. However I saw they were not handing out liquor, of course, but samples of an energy drink. A promoter saw me standing, trying to gaze at the labels looking for a proof. She handed me two samples of an energy drink.

It is called Upshot, One bottle was magenta colored and is considered to be "fruit" flavored. The other was brown, a light brown, and is "mocha" flavored. One sees the problem here and I should have seen the fruit flavor as a magenta flag. An orange, a grape, a melon, a kiwi, and a tomato are all 'fruit" something that tries to resemble all of them is doomed to distateful failure. No doubt about it. Unfortunately I had faith in modern science and chemistry and took the two bottles, drinking them on a street corner in front of a garbage can, so I could dispose of them if I found them horrible.

Since I was sure teh mocha tasted better than the fruit, I started with the fruit flavored concotion. Opening it up, i saw that it was bubbly and sticky, like a bottle filled with soap for blowing bubbles. I had a drink. it was disgusting. It tasted like window cleaner. Something trying to hide its being sanitary with a color adn a smell. I finished the bottle and grasped for air, hoping the stale scent of cigarettes and piss would give my mouth something better to grasp.

Failing that, i tried the mocha instead. it tasted like mocha, but with a shot of bleach in it. I thought I was drink something collected off the floor of a Starbucks. Examining the labels on the bottles I saw that they claim to have "More Power. Less Liquid" I think this is precisely the problem. They need less power and more liquid. They need to be diluted. I can say though, they do provide one with energy, as I am able to write this whole article rather lucidly despite it being mid day and time for my usual dozing off.

I guess it is a trade off. there is no good tasting energy drink, except for coffee itself, the original energy drink, the one fortunes, empires, and the rise of the industrial society are dependent on. today's energy drinks have nothing on coffee. Coffee brings people together for intellectual stimulation. Energy drinks keep one awake at bars or at work. They make one bluntly awake, providing no sharpness of vision.