(Pictured: This colour appears nowhere in nature. But is approved by some guy named Dave, and he says it is bitchin')
I watched this Chappelle routine the other week the premise of which was that white kids drink “juice” and black kids drink “drink”. The “juice” refers to the fresh juices that come out of fruit when you squeeze it or pierce it with a knife, whereas the “drink” refers to the chemical compounds released when a drunken scientist adds sugar, preservatives and colouring to a bucket of water. Chappelle’s favourite flavour of drink was “purple”. Anyway, he uses this technique to judge a person’s wealth, whether they got juice or drink. For the UK, it was quite different – we didn’t have “drink”, we had either juice or squash. Squash, for those of you of the American/Canadian persuasion, is sort of concentrated orange fluid to which you add water in order to create liquid nourishment. Once when I was a kid I drank the concentrate with no water in and felt a dark dreamless sleep come over me. It was like the blood of Kali. Fortunately, my cereal had so much adrenaline in it that I got a burst of energy, ran around the garden and thereby negated the effects of the sick-maker. Squash is sold in very big, very cheap bottles, and therefore was popular. I was usually a squash boy, because my mother was always trying to save money, although we got one cup of juice every morning with our vitamins to keep us strong and healthy. It was Asda own-brand juice though, which costs about a sixpence.
There are a lot of drinks which are frankly unnatural though. At least Squash uses as its basis a fruit. Take Coca Cola, for instance. Does anybody actually know what goes into Coca Cola? No. Of course you don’t. Because it’s a secret formula. For all we know the Coca Cola production room could just be a kid filling bottles with ditch-water and grass (like those bottles of “drink” you used to make in your garden as a kid. Why did they always have grass?).
Scotland’s own Irn-Bru, as well. What the hell is that made from? “Made in Scotland from girders” the television commercial boldly proclaims. Although this is probably untrue, why would anybody think that this would be a good advert? Did they think that it would make people want to drink it? “Wow, there’s a drink made of girders, I HAVE to try it” You’d probably just get tetanus or something. You’d have to go to the doctors because you’d be shitting iron filings. Did they think people would do it to look tough? Like smoking? “Fuck you man, because I can drink a girder. That’s how fucking hard I am. Oh, did you want something? That’s right girly-man, cower and weep!” On top of that, the drink is utterly narcotic. Take one sip and I dare anyone to stop right there. When I moved to Japan I suffered withdrawal symptoms for at least three months. The ingredients to Irn-Bru are probably water, orange colouring No. 5 and opium.
Also, has anybody ever tried that blue Bubblegum Soda that they sell? There’s a drink that should be on some kind of banned substances list. I have never before that drank a soft drink that was so full of chemicals that I actually experienced paranoia. I became convinced people living in my building were trying to kill me. Then, I became convinced that the drink was giving me cancer.
I suppose I could drink water. But then the amount of chemicals that find their way into tap water these days are outrageous. In Japan, the developed country with probably the least regulations regarding chemical dumping, toxic waste burial and emissions, the chances of you ingesting some kind of industrial waste is very high. I can’t win really can I? Unless I drink bottled water. Or just alcohol, at least that’s sterile. Maybe that’s the only hope. Yeah.