Monday, December 03, 2007

No Bull

I opened up the Young Life building today after school in Corvallis, having missed all of last week. One of the faithful regulars, a freshman named Aaron, came in and chatted for a few minutes, then declared he was going to the Merc down on the corner and would be back. When he returned, he said he'd bought me a present and asked if I liked Red Bull (the energy drink). I admitted I'd never had one. He was appalled. Had I ever had a Monster (another energy drink) or a Rockstar (yet another)?

No and no.

He and the others around him wondered aloud what was wrong with people my age and hinted that I must have been living under a rock to have never had any of these things. I assured him that I was aware of their existence and had had the opportunity to consume them, but never the desire. I'm not a full-on granola girl, but definitely have some of those tendencies.

Aaron pulled a Red Bull out of his coat pocket and handed it to me. My present.

What was I to do? I couldn't imagine what that purported powerhouse of a beverage might do to me. I'm a girl who gets jittery on decaf coffee and light-headed after one beer, if I drink it too quickly. I take a child's size dose of most medications--if any at all--and even then suffer nasty side effects. But the students were gathering around to watch me drink it. No self-respecting Young Life leader would think of backing down--especially when it was a gift.

As I took my first sip, which tasted startlingly like liquid Sweet Tarts, it occurred to me that I'd failed to eat lunch--or very much breakfast. Yikes. I wouldn't slam the drink like the kids would have preferred, but I needed to drink it fairly quickly to show I was a good sport. After every couple of swigs, I slathered a saltine cracker with peanut butter, one of the snack options I'd set out for the kids, hoping to counteract some of its effect.

I'm glad I pounded the carbs and protein along with it. Who knows what I would have been like without some food in me.

Ten minutes after I'd finished the drink, as kids were leaving and I was locking up, I felt a sudden wave of nausea and cramping. It passed quickly, but within another ten minutes, as I drove toward the Homestead to pick up my children for a quick shopping trip into Missoula, I took note that I was feeling hyper-alert, aware of everything, like my eyes were artificially held wide open. When I picked up the kids, I was fun and silly at first, quick with jokes and a little too ready in my laughter at theirs. But by the time we were approaching Missoula, I was getting terribly irritable, sensitive to every noise, quick and blunt with my opinions. I had to work very hard to keep my cool, as I just felt antsy and nervous, wishing like crazy (more than normal) that I wasn't seatbelted into the small car with the endless string of knock-knock jokes, repetitive songs and long, drawn-out stories of who said what at school today.

The nervous, jumpy irritability continued for most of the evening. I think I'll stick to my water and green tea.

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Incidentally, when Andy got his pick-up truck (which we now have in our possession again, thank-you, Jesus), the kids wanted to give it a fitting name. It is a full-size American made truck with a red and black paint scheme, and Tano favored Red Bull for its name. Elli wanted to call it Lady Bug, but that was quickly overruled. She still refuses to call it Red Bull, preferring a masculinized version of her moniker of choice, Man Bug. Somehow, that is even worse.

2 comments:

Mister Ed T said...

I'm with you Sherry. Never tasted an energy drink. But some of the young people I work with live on the stuff. Coffee upsets my stomach now so one of these power drinks would probably really do me in.

The young people at work? Well they are a little crazy already (all of them, it seems to be a requirement for working in the glass shop)so its hard to tell what effect the drinks have on them.

Sheila said...

There's a reason why people our age don't drink that stuff. . . . we are old, my friend.

Old.

Can you believe it? Me neither.