Was that close or what? Upon hearing this morning that one of my friends in Louisiana was hung over after getting royally effed up on something called “Four Loko,” aka “Blackout in a Can,” I said to myself, “Hallucinations!!??!! Only legal in California and Louisiana!!??!! Sign me up!!”
I mean, those are the only two states I’ve ever lived in, and let me tell you, both locations remain a little fuzzy. California voters just refused to legalize pot, and for a significant portion of them, it’s not because they don’t approve of it; it’s because they don’t want to place a tax burden on their own revenue stream. Plus, here in Cali there are Jamba Juices on every corner, just in case you’re both health-conscious and need 140 grams of sugar to get going in the morning after a long hard night of laughing your ass off at the Diff’Rent Strokes marathon on Nick at Nite.
As for those cats in Louisiana? They believe freedom comes from the paper twist atop the straw of a Mango-Chocolate Mint Wedding Cake drive-through daquiri, with a Protein Boost.
Intoxicants? Tasty beverages? We gots dem.
Well, Four Loko is custom-made to happify residents of both states, provided they can get high enough to ever buy this crap in the first place. But believe me, if you can choke down a case or two of blue raspberry Loko, you will have a hell of a time, citizens. Not only will you get “smoothed out” by the 12% alcohol (courtesy of malt, as in malt liquor), but the caffeine will make you jittery, as one 16-year old told the NY Daily News.
Now on my fourth latte of the morning, I’m thrilled to have today’s well-informed teens to set me straight on such matters.
Oh, and it causes hallucinations. Did I mention that part? As Business Insider mentions, one woman told CBS news that after her husband started flipping out on Four Loko, “It was like he was stuck inside a horror movie and he couldn’t get out and I couldn’t get him out.”
I mean, extreme drunkenness, the jitters, terrifying hallucinations, hangovers, can’t get out, your friends can’t get you out…is this stuff tailor-made for today’s party circuit, or what?
But it turns out I was, as usual, huffing the zeitgeist a little on the downswing. This was about 8am; it’s now 9:30-ish, so by the time you read it Four Loko is far past its sell-by date, and probably no longer trendy.
In any event, what’s the big deal in the first place? According to Business Insider, Four Loko is only actually banned in four states: Wshington, Michigan, Utah, and Oklahoma — and what the hell do those tightasses know? A fifth state, New York, reached a deal with Four Loko’s distributor, Phusion Projects LLC, to stop shipping the beverage there by December 10. Whether or not this stuff makes you breathe green smoke, it’s clearly a danger to us all, even if the distributor does have a helpful poster outlining your “four responsibilities” as a retailer.
But speaking of New York, just yesterday Chuck Schumer, the senior senator from that fine tight-assed state informed the public that the FDA will issue an order banning Four Loko, establishing a precedent that you can’t pour caffeine down your gullet alongside any beverage that’s more than a zillion percent alcohol.
Does this worry me, as an occasional consumer of the Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista?
Schumer has had the shakes over Four Loko at least since July, when he held a photo-op at a Manhattan deli that sold the stuff. He then claimed that the brightly-colored cans, the sweet taste and the $2 price tag are intended to get teens slurping the delicious concoction, presumably so they can spend the day both smooth and jittery enough to succeed in today’s ever-more-treacherous Facebook Wars.
Schumer also thinks the misspelled name (Loko = “Loco,” get it?) is designed to appeal to teens, hoo seem 2 b speekin dis weerd kind ov pidgin nowadais — when they’re not busy “hacking” our bank accounts with their mysterious “killer aps.”
Clearly, Schumer doesn’t spend much time online; it’s not just the teens who misspell things.
Regardless, the hold of Four Loko on the smooth, jittery, hung-over teens of the nation may soon be at an end. As the FDA saddled up its mutant army to come raid your fridge, Slate reported just a few sad hours ago that soon Four Loko will no longer have caffeine in it. Psych!
Oh, but enough about how illegal it is; I’m sure I had you drooling at “Only legal in California and Lousiana” and “Blackout in a Can,” right? Am I right? You wanna know what Four Loko tastes like, right?
Well, since we at Techyum believe that freedom, aka blessed old age, comes from not having to drink things that taste like holy hell, we’ll leave that to the highly-paid experts at Urban Dictionary. Their page is very helpful; after being told that Four Loko is:
“Legalized cocaine in a can. If you consume Four Loko you can expect to encounter the same results typically associated with snorting a small mountain of cocaine.”
…and being informed that the delicious beverage is:
“Perfect for pregaming, but can easily result in blackouts and various kinds of embarrassing behavior…”
(…which doesn’t sound “perfect for pregaming” to me, but whatever…)
…and reading a bunch of really helpful information about how it is primarily marketed to and imbibed by “illegal Mexican immigrants,” we’re informed by George Lincoln Rockwell that it comes in “a variety of different delicious flavors such as orange, fruit-punch, grape, watermelon, and blue raspberry.”
I might have found that out from the distributor’s website, but they’re too busy telling me how to be a responsible retailer.
Well, Four Loko has had the caffeine taken out; it is no longer the scourge of the nation. This week’s moral panic abated, courtesy of half a Xanax.
Now, wasn’t that easy?