Artificially Generating Energy

I used to hate coffee. Used to.

I’m not exactly sure why, all those years ago, I had such a distaste for the stuff. I remember going on trips with the Boy Scouts and marveling as some of my fellow Scouts woke every morning to a fresh cup of brew. They seemed so sophisticated, these middle-schoolers with steaming mugs or Styrofoam cups in hand, slowly slipping at the black brew. Me? I couldn’t do it. Each bitter drink burned the throat and sent the taste buds screaming for mercy. Sophistication be damned, I wouldn’t have it.

But then, my lovely wife began working at a coffee shop, and as if I had made a deal with devil himself my soul slowly began shifting into blackness. It started with a cup here or there, one or two every other day or so while I sat at the coffee bar and dutifully distracted her from actual work. Slowly and imperceptible as the climb into old age, I eventually became a full-blown coffeeholic.

Upon first waking every morning, I drink a cup or two. Then, sure as clockwork, I partake of the full pot Gaynell brews here at the office every morning. That’s three down. Come mid-afternoon, Charlotte starts getting restless and decides to brew another pot for herself. Well, can’t let that go to waste, time for a fourth cup, or fifth. Sometimes a sixth.

I can stop. I just know it. I don’t want to, though. Don’t talk to me about it.

I’m not claiming java expertise or anything, but I do feel my little habit of drinking half a dozen cups of the stuff every single day of the week gives me the right to defend it like a knight would his king. So, when I see some little Johnny-Come-Latelys like this Five Hour Energy crap bashing my favorite vice, I tend to bristle. For those who don’t know, Five Hour Energy is one of these new-fangled energy drinks that purportedly help get you through that “2:30 feeling.” Apparently, if the drink’s advertising department is to be believed, 2:30 p.m. is the time of day in which we all just drop over dead asleep. I’m surprised there aren’t more mid-afternoon vehicular accidents.

Well, now they have this line of commercials directly attacking my beverage of choice. Take a look at what these bastards have done:

Now, if this commercial is to be believed, drinking a cup of coffee is apparently akin to working the most complex of algorithms or operating heavy machinery while drunk, a surefire way to make your head explode and destroy the world around you. The very act of trying to pour sugar into a cup leads to more of a powdery mess than a baker with a cold. Walking while holding a cup in your hand is nigh impossible. Also, apparently brewing a cup of coffee — something I normally do while dressing or, if I’m feeling especially clever, by setting the coffeemaker to do it for me before I even wake up — is the most time-consuming thing in the entire world.

Ah, but Five Hour Energy is here to save us from the problem we didn’t even know we had. Look at that guy at the end, so smug and content to have slurped down his disgusting beverage with such speed that he has time to sit and read his newspaper instead of sitting and reading his newspaper while reading his newspaper like everybody else. Never mind that one little drink cost $3 whereas a cup of homebrewed coffee costs around four cents. That kind of thinking won’t give you the extra time you need to read that newspaper before heading to work. Just think about how miserable you’ll be dragging around work without the knowledge of yesterday’s events, while everybody else will be full of information and hopped up on Five Hour Energy. You’ll be so jealous.

I realize, of course, that I’m putting too much into this. The advertising department’s job is to make a product as appealing as possible, destroying all enemies in the process. They target those individuals they feel are gullible enough to bite the hook they’ve dipped in the water, I’m just pissed they think it’s me.

God, I need another cup.

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