Fanfare for the Common Man

  • Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I am a sedentary sort.
I am one who has adopted the deadly sin “Sloth” as a lifestyle choice, but I need to remain active.
I don’t mind being horizontal. Energy or the lack thereof has been an issue with me for years. I used to get paid to exercise. Do you think I’m going to now do it for free?
I tried Ritalin once, thinking my lack of focus and lack of energy was somehow tied in to my ADD. But Ritalin is a fickle mistress. You don’t know how it’s going to affect you.
Taking Ritalin was like sticking my fingers into a light socket and leaving them there, like sawing through a live wire with a steak knife. I’ve done both before. Only this wasn’t a kinetic energy. It was more an alertness like what you would feel right before the tornado appeared in the distance.
You know something’s coming but you don’t know when. Not a good feeling.
Ritalin made me antsy, like I’d just chewed on coffee grounds.
If you really want to get all jacked-up try sucking on some fresh coffee grounds. Use it like Skoal or Copenhagen. That’s what the troops did during Desert Storm to remain alert.
Taster’s Choice works even better. The freeze-dried stuff will eventually dissolve and doesn’t leave behind all that gritty black crud that will never come out of your teeth.
Talk about the sweet rush of pure caffeine.
After my brush with Ritalin I tried the holistic approach, what I like to call the Twisted Sisters - Gingko Biloba and Ginseng. Gingko Biloba is an herb that improves memory function and Ginseng helps provide energy and stimulates cerebral circulation. 
I took Ginseng and Gingko to increase my energy and improve my memory function, but I was too amped up to ever remember to take it. 
The current energy drink craze began a couple years ago, but its predecessor was a wicked Mountain Dew knockoff called “JOLT!” which boasted “twice the sugar and all the caffeine.”
I was never impressed with these so-called energy drinks. They just jack you up on caffeine and a little ginseng is all.
Not until I got my hands on this stuff called “SPARK!”
Capital letters and an exclamation point on the label, “SPARK!” implies the ignition of an incendiary device, which in this case would be the lack of my resolve that keeps me pasted to the sofa.
This was the good stuff because I’d never heard of it before. Just mix it with water and enjoy, it says. So I did.
I felt like Alice after she took the blue pill.
I heard something… a tiny, barely discernible bristling then a faint yet distinct “POP!”
I could hear my eyebrows growing. I was Kung Fu Panda catching houseflies with chopsticks. I could suddenly see into the fourth and fifth dimensions.
Like Bobby Fischer in chess I could see 20 moves ahead. I could predict the future.
That’s when I got scared. This is Matrix stuff… it makes me want to clean something. If I wasn’t careful I could set myself on fire. Again.
No, the best energy drink out there isn’t Red Bull or any of the other canned atrocities out there, not even the 5-Hour Energy Drinks or the Twisted Sisters.
It’s your momma’s Sunday sweet tea.
Now there’s a beverage that has twice the sugar and all the caffeine. And it tastes better, too.

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