Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Red Bullshit - 5/29/08 (reprint)

Energy drinks are a multi-million dollar market, and despite the fact that they're clearly the product of a loving and benevolent god, they're often linked to things like abnormal heart rhythms and nausea. Well, a new study this week says that energy drinks could also be considered a "gateway" substance, and excessive consumption is a predictor of risky behavior among teens. As you might expect, parents are racked with confusion because teenagers are usually so buttoned-up otherwise! This study specifically concluded that energy drinks can lead to violence, substance abuse, and unprotected sex. If I remember anything from biology (other than I wanted to nail Mrs. Basile), it's that hormones are the original energy drink. Before Red Bull, American teenagers weren't exactly holed up in their rooms studying the New Testament, fighting the constant demon tingling in their loins. Risky behavior is part and parcel of being a teenager. Hell, I'm 36 and I drink enough tequila and Red Bull on a regular basis to make a bobcat's heart explode. Back in the day, we only had Zima and Mountain Dew. Kids were sugar crashing left and right; my algebra class looked like the last scene of Reservoir Dogs and all it led to was more Zima and Mountain Dew.

Now energy drinks are aiding and abetting risky behaviors? Probably not. Ever heard the phrase, "You know, I never thought of going bareback in a Pride Parade port-a-john until I downed a half a case of Monster!" Probably not. Has anyone ever heard of an honor student who was found lying naked and bloody on a pile of empty Full Throttle cans? Probably not. "Now that I'm all full of Rockstar, I'm gonna get in my car. And I'm NOT gonna wear my seatbelt. AND I'm gonna go through the iPass Lane. And I don't even HAVE iPass!" No, it's essentially another ploy to make things tougher for teenagers. If the worst thing your kid is doing is popping a couple of cans of Red Bull before history class, you're the luckiest parent in the world. So when your kid gets home from school today, give them a big hug. Because you never know when their organs will explode.

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