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The Boy Who Cried SPIKE

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Some people just don’t listen. A few weeks ago, I wrote about a combustible little energy drink that goes by the name of SPIKE. In that column, I pointed out how kids have been going to the hospital for drinking too much SPIKE, and I then proceeded to drink the product in excess to prove a point: I’m a fucking jackass. Ignoring the “only drink half a can” warning, as well as the warning not to imbibe on an empty stomach, I sucked back two cans of the crack – put out by a Colorado Springs bodybuilding-supplement company called Biotest - and wrote about what happened. And what did happen? I felt awful. It was the single-most tweaked-out experience of my life, and something that I never want to repeat. Any beverage that makes your heart sore just ain’t good for you. It was Gandhi who said that. I concluded the column by warning readers not to drink the stuff.

Ever.

But just like I’m a fucking jackass, so, too, is my loyal following. Last week I got a letter from a 23-year-old fella who goes by the name of Jay. After Jay read my column for “whatever stupid man reason,” as he puts it, he decided to do his own experiments with SPIKE.

The first time he experimented, Jay drank two cans and went to work and survived. “I felt pretty buzzed,” he says. “But otherwise I was good to go.”

So a couple of days later, Jay bought a four-pack of SPIKE and took down three of them little suckers, one at 9:30 a.m., one at 11:30 a.m. and one at around 1:30 p.m. At 2 p.m., when Jay was heading home from work, he noticed that his heart was racing. When he got home, he complained of his symptoms to his girlfriend. They took his pulse and determined it to be 150. One hundred and fucking fifty! The normal pulse for somebody Jay’s age is 72 -- as in your heart beats 72 times in one minute -- but Jay’s heart was beating more than twice that fast because he had sucked backed three cans of the devil’s bile. He tried to calm down by laying in a cool bathtub of water, but then he and his girlfriend noticed that they could see Jay’s heart beating – THROUGH HIS FUCKING CHEST - and they decided it was time for a little medical help.

They went to an immediate care facility where Jay was given a Valium and hooked up to an EKG machine until he chilled out. The doctor told him that a kid had come in two days before complaining of similar symptoms. The doctor had asked that kid if he’d ingested anything out of the ordinary recently. The kid had: two cans of SPIKE.

Jay returned to work the next day, all better and presumably not too worse for the wear, but he still had one can of SPIKE left from his four- pack. So he offered the remaining can to a buddy of his, a Mexican cook who barely speaks any English and works in the kitchen of the restaurant where Jay works. Jay always saw the guy drinking Red Bull through his shift, so he figured why not spread the joy and magic of SPIKE around. Homeboy in the kitchen didn’t experience any medical problems from the beverage, but he definitely wasn’t a fan. The next morning, the guy greeted Jay while drinking a Red Bull. He smiled at Jay, then wagged a disapproving finger.

“No SPIKE,” he said.

Shit, Jay. I thought I told you that three weeks ago.

--Adam Cayton-Holland

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