Love at First Tweak

As I sit down to write, I pop open a glistening blue-and-silver can of Red Bull and sip in the sweet, sweet nectar. It's delicious, like liquid Smarties, only crackier. As the magic elixir forces energy down my esophagus and settles warmly into my belly, I'm overcome by nostalgia -- hyper, spastic nostalgia -- and feel like somehow, in some way, this is home.

Do you remember the first time we danced, Red Bull? I certainly do. The year was 2000, the place was Madrid. I was so much younger then, a simple twenty-year-old American studying abroad on the Iberian Peninsula, eager to live life to the fullest, to see all I could see, and to engage in countless midnight trysts with Spanish women. Which is what brought me to Kapital. Well-versed backpackers are no doubt familiar with the establishment. It's a mammoth super-club that just oozes sex, filthy Euro sex, the kind that doesn't shave its armpits. Seven floors, strippers dancing in cages, deafening house music, smoke machines and a roughly ten-dollar cover charge bluntly demanded at the door by thick-necked Spanish brutes. But the entrance fee included a free drink. And as I walked into that den of sin for the first time, my eyes widening at the pool of writhing flesh before me, I wondered what, exactly, that drink should be. The answer was everywhere I looked: thin, cylindrical glasses of some yellow-hued cocktail. In Spanish, I asked the bartender what the drink was.

"Red Bull y vodka," he told me.


Red Bull

I ordered one just to blend in, and was surprised at how good it tasted. Up to that point, every alcoholic drink I'd tried had had some sort of bitter flavor. But now, here in my hand was a magic formula that actually tasted good and got me drunk at the same time. Savvy Europeans. Within no time, I was seized by a surge of energy and took to the dance floor with appalling fervor, showcasing for the assorted Euro-trash my take on the drunken, white-boy freak. All of a sudden, I was flying. This drink is amazing, I thought. Like cocaine, but without all that pesky snorting. I drank several more Red Bull-and-vodkas that night, and when I finally exited the club, I was shocked to realize that the sun had risen. Busy Madrid commuters were making their way to work, birds were chirping, and I was still flying high on wings of taurine. A friend and I ran all the way home, knocking over trash cans and giggling like fools.

That sure was a fun night we had together in Madrid, wasn't it, Red Bull? And after that, there were so many more. I crack open another can as I continue tripping down memory lane. I certainly have a lot of energy right now. Christ, I'm not so much typing as domestic-assaulting the keyboard, but what the hell, you're only 8.3 ounces, right? What will another hurt? Ha, ha, that's the spirit!

Hey, do you remember what happened when I got back to college, Red Bull? That's right, I started adding you to 40s of malt liquor! Everybody thought I was crazy, but once I gave them a sip of that magic combination, they were silenced. The trick is, you drink the 40 down to the top of the label on the bottle, then pour in an entire Red Bull. People used to do the same thing with orange juice -- a Brass Monkey, I believe that was called -- but orange juice is so twentieth-century. Red Bull for the new millennium! And this combo worked beautifully, because, let's face it: Malt liquor tastes like shit. No one likes it; they just drink it in memory of that pseudo-thuggish phase everyone dabbled in in high school. Red Bull masked that shitty taste, turning it into a fruity 40 extravaganza. I can't say I wouldn't have vandalized as much in college without Red Bull 40s -- we started calling the combination Night Rage -- but it certainly was easier with you coursing through my veins, I can tell you that much. Remember the dean of the university's office window? Smashy, smashy! Man, that was fucking awesome!

And speaking of awesome, look how fast that third can of you is flowing inside me right now, Red Bull. My pulse must be off the charts. You're making my stomach bubble and fizz, and if I try to, I can go entire minutes without blinking! And look at me crack my knuckles over and over again, and bounce my knees at my desk like a compulsive neurotic nutcase. Geez, it's kind of hard just sitting here, sitting still, isn't it, Red Bull? What's that you say? You want to go dancing? Man, that's a great idea! And I don't even like dancing! You think any clubs are open yet? It's only four in the afternoon. Wait, I know! We'll go the gym first and throw some weights around for a little bit. Just toss the iron around for a spell. Doesn't that sound like fun? Then maybe like thirty minutes or so of cardio, because I feel like sprinting today. Put the old iPod on my pump-up mix, "Hickenlooper, Pass That Blunt," and just run. After that, I'll stop and get another can of you, make a few calls and see who feels like going out. I know a good DJ spinning tonight. I don't even like that kind of thing, but right now it seems like the best idea in the world.

Man, it's true what they say, Red Bull: You really do give people wings. Now let's climb up to the roof and see if these fuckers work.


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