Civilizations rise and fall, such is the cycle of human history. There are many things attributing to the downfall of a civilization, such as disease, wars or societal collapse. However, I realized recently that there will be only one thing to bring down modern Western civilization. Dear readers, I have seen the harbinger of the end of time, and it exists among us in startling quantity. Of course, I refer to Four Loko.
Four Loko, as you may or may not know, is an alcoholic beverage masquerading as crappy soda. The idea behind it isn’t new or revolutionary: frat boys have been mixing booze with soda since Coca-Cola was invented.
But Four Loko isn’t just any carbonated alcoholic beverage with added caffeine. Unlike the 5-6 percent ABV of beer, Four Loko weighs in at a liver-quivering 12 percent ABV (“The Liver Quiverer” would probably be an awesome drink name). It isn’t so much a drink as it is an elixir, very much like the one that transformed the quiet Dr. Jekyll into the violent Mr. Hyde (if Mr. Hyde spent 35 percent of his time vomiting). The minds behind this drink used to be those kids with appetites for destruction: the ones who would load up toy trains with M-80s and send them careening at one another until they collide with a pile of lizards and more explosives (Note: I never did that when I was a kid. Although I kind of wish I had now.)
There is no other excuse for drinking Four Loko than “I want to risk my well-being without even remembering it.” There is nothing pleasurable about the taste of Four Loko. However, that won’t stop people from discussing what their favorite flavor is. It’s really a process of elimination: someone’s “favorite” flavor is the only one they can even stand to drink.
Four Loko’s awful taste is the only thing keeping it from destroying the world as we know it. What if they can make it taste better? I shudder to consider the possibility. If they could make Four Loko taste like Dr. Pepper (heck, even Diet Dr. Pepper), I’d be on the streets within a week. This column would be less about me trying to be funny, and more about how I really want some pizza, and yeah, we should get Five Star and oh man, you guys are my best friends HEY WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT SCREW YOU MAN I’LL BEAT YOUR-[vomits] oh god I’m so sorry you’re my best friend [coma].
Dear readers, I’ve done all I can to warn you of the threat that lurks in the refrigerators of gas stations and convenience stores all over the country.
Unfortunately, there’s not much any of us can do. Four Loko, as we know it, is just the beginning. There will always be someone loading up their toy trains with more explosives, sending them ever faster toward a fiery catastrophe. There will be stronger, better tasting caffeinated alcoholic beverages in the future, and we will be powerless to resist.
At least it’s cheap.