Reefour Madness

« November 2010 »

Memo to the Four Loko Hysterics: YOU ARE DUMB.

Liquid crack! Blackout in a can! Those are just two of the common nicknames* used to describe Four Loko, the beverage that will ruin your life and kill your children. Or something.

What is Four Loko? Four Loko is booze and caffeine. Now, booze and caffeine have a long, sordid history together, from the Irish coffee, to Buzz Beer from the Drew Carey show, to the Red Bull and vodka combination loved the world over by people with even fewer taste buds than remaining brain cells.

So what makes Four Loko different? One part quantity, two parts mystique. One can of Four Loko the size of a plastic bottle of soda has the alcohol of four beers, the caffeine of two cups of coffee, and some of that other shit they put in energy drinks that probably doesn't do anything. And it's $2-$2.50 a can.

In other words, it's cheaper than beer, four times as alcoholic, and it's led to an outbreak of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning amongst college students? STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES. This is what young people do. They find a legal mind-altering substance, then they try to drink as much of it as they can for as little as they can. The creators of Four Loko know this, which is why they fermented some Mountain Dew and poured it into colorful cans.

But it's an entirely new alcohol delivery method, with nicknames, and thus we have the mystique. Adults flip out and ban it, and kids believe the hype that Four Loko will fuck you up more than other combinations of booze and energy drinks, and the placebo effect takes care of the rest. The urban legends are already taking hold. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"It's really bad... both caffeine and alcohol speed up your heart rate. My best friend's best friend from home died from mixing vodka with Red Bull." - " Boston University senior Jennifer Ferreira.

Holy shit! A third-hand anecdotal account of a death from a related, but completely different product, based largely on complete ignorance of the difference between a stimulant and a depressant? We should definitely do something RIGHT AWAY. At least, that's what Marc Bachmann (no relation), another one of the young, budding geniuses being educated at Boston University, thinks.

""I think it should be illegal. It's way more dangerous than beer… it's a mixture of caffeine and alcohol… I personally know people who've gotten sick from it, woken up with jitters. I mean, it's called ‘cocaine in a can.'"

Yes, it's CALLED "cocaine in a can". And last week's election was called a stunning repudiation of the Obama liberal agenda, but at the end of the day, it was just a bunch of assholes lashing out blindly. And so it is with Four Loko. People have gotten sick from drinking too much alcohol. People have woken up with jitters after drinking too many energy drinks. Most of them learn from that and moderate. OK, some of them. OK, a few of them. But Four Loko's only crime is how easy it makes overindulging.

Not that I want to give those guys a pass, mind. Four Loko does represent the ultimate, free-market capitalist take on drug consumption, and it exemplifies the one reason I'm glad pot's not legal. Because if it were, within a few years, some enterprising company would figure out how to mix THC, alcohol, one of those caffeinated breath mints, and Axe body spray into one mega-product that will do for instant douchery what spray-on tan did for, well, instant douchery.

I mean, I'm not a weed guy myself, but I'd still hate for corporate America to do to marijuana what McDonald's did to cheeseburgers. They have enough of a symbiotic relationship as it is.

*According to news reports, which, as we all know, are always 100% accurate when it comes to street lingo.