Drink This — You’ll Feel Like Keith Richards


Searching in the refrigerated case at an overpriced specialty grocery store for an overpriced drink to go with my overpriced sandwich, I consider the usual offerings.

Herbal peppermint, chocolate-enhanced, fresh-brewed, Himalayan yak–infused iced tea. Naw. Naturally caffeinated, double-jolt, handmade citrus and extra-virgin olive oil carbonated soda. Ho-hum. Spring-fed, environmentally pure, artesian aquifer, stone-ground, sparkling coal-mine water. Bor-ing.

Then I see it: Rockstar Energy Drink.

I’m like, “Dude — is this a joke?”

Rockstar Energy Drink?

Isn’t that, like, an oxymoron?

When I think of a rock star, the picture that comes to mind isn’t of a guy with a lot of energy, or even of a guy wanting a lot of energy. It is of a guy slouched into a couch, a cigarette dangling from one side of his mouth and a beer hanging loosely from one hand, all the while talking in that unintelligible English-accented rockspeak.

“Ya go’uh blakoh?”

“Naw. Gon’, ya know, wi’ grenaslach, botn.”

Then everybody laughs.

I’m always the guy asking, “Why are they laughing? Was it funny? Should I laugh too? Or was it an inside joke? If I laugh, will they all look at me and wonder, ‘What’s he laughing about — he doesn’t know the joke’?”

The point is that when I think of rock stars, I don’t think of energy.

A grimacing Lance Armstrong pedaling up a mountainside. A perpetually moving Allen Iverson hurling himself into a crowd of ­opponents. Heck, even some right fielder standing around for an hour or two waiting for something to happen. Those are the images that I conjure up with thoughts of energy.

When I think energy, I think active. Physical. Athletic.

When I think rock star, I think torpor. Chill. Cool.

Think, for a minute, of your average garden­-variety rock star. Keith Richards, for example. Granted, the Indestructible One did fall out of a tree, which means he had to have gotten up in the tree, which means he had to have exerted energy to perform such a physical activity (although my guess is that he had a cigarette going the whole time). True, too, that he does a great deep knee bend from time to time while playing guitar at a Stones gig.

Still, Keith’s picture is not the one Webster would use in its dictionary to define energy.

So imagine my surprise when I saw in the refrigerated case of my local specialty grocery store a drink called Rockstar Energy Drink.

I bought one to see if maybe the drink would make me a rock star or help me understand more deeply the energy it takes to be one.

I took it home before drinking it, and my 16-year-old son was there. We tried it together. He took a deep drink.

“More energetic?” I asked.

“I don’t think so,” he replied.

“Now?”

“Nope.”

I drank.

“How ’bout you?” he asked.

“Nothing.”

Suddenly, a strange thing happened. We were putting away groceries when Sam started­ talking in a rock star–like English accent.

“Wha’ you want me to do wit’ the ribs?”

The same sensation washed over me as well.

“Pu’ ’em inna freezer, wha’ else?”

And before you knew it, we were having creative differences, just like the rock bands in Spin.

“Well, how shoul’ I know? Maybe you wah gonna do sumn wit’ em.”

“Well, I’m not.”

Before long, we were arguing like Oasis.

“Well, then, wha’ about the spinch? Huh? You gonna do anything wit’ that? You wan’ that inna freezer too?”

“Wha’ you think? Wants bleepin’ spinch inna freezer? ’At whot you want?”

Yes! I got it.

It takes a lot of energy to be sullen and self-absorbed.

And, face it, getting up in the morning, well, in the afternoon, after a long night of partying isn’t easy.

People think rock stars have it easy. They don’t. They have to perfect their sneers, work constantly on their jaded attitudes. Whew. I get tired just thinking about it.

Me, I can definitely see why they’d have their own energy drink.