2011-10-06

Things That Used to Be Legal

Photo courtesy RedBull.com
Today I introduce a new blog feature called Things That Used to Be Legal.The purpose of this blog feature is to attempt to capture a record of things that were legal during my lifetime, which were made illegal during that same lifetime.

Now, I won't be going back in time for this feature, because that would be too big an undertaking. Many things have been outlawed or regulated out of existence during my thirty-two years on Earth. I couldn't possibly pay tribute to each of those things separately. In honor of their former legality, however, I can attempt to keep a record of things made illegal going forward.

Given current governmental trends, I have no reason to believe that one country's or state's ruling is independent of another's. In other words, as soon as one government makes something illegal, the others will soon follow suit. Therefore, I will not wait until the item in question completely disappears before I record it on my blog. As evidence for this, I note that Denmark's new fat tax is currently being debated in Ontario. Suffice it to say, it is only a matter of time before revenue-hungry Ontario Gub-Monkeys follow Denmark's lead.

Red Bull? More Like Red Herring
Today's edition features Canada's recent decision to subject "energy drinks" such as Red Bull to the same kind of regulations "Ethical" class pharmaceutical products face.

What that means in plain language is that it must now be sold in the same location as insulin, Epi-Pens, and the morning after pill.

When Red Bull first appeared on the market, I was in high school. There were all sorts of interesting animated commercials about how "Red Bull gives you wings." People weren't sure what to think about it, in general. I remember one time I played a gig with a band I was in, and the bassist bought us all a can of Red Bull for the show. I had mine afterward. It tasted sweet, I actually quite liked the taste. But there wasn't very much in the can, and I was thirsty.

After drinking it, I felt no surge of energy whatsoever. I didn't actually expect to. I am an avid coffee and soda drinker, and caffeine's impact on me has been very minimal throughout my lifetime. It doesn't keep me awake, it doesn't increase my blood pressure. Occasionally, it reduces the efficacy of my mealtime insulin, but even then it doesn't really impact my body so much as my medication's efficacy.

That one can of Red Bull remains the one and only can of "energy drink" I have ever consumed. It tasted good, but wasn't worth the price, in my opinion. I'd rather buy a larger bottle of cola than a smaller can of Red Bull. It's a personal preference thing.

Over the years, Red Bull gained a following as a cocktail mixer. This makes sense to me because it tastes good, and it's fizzy, like ginger ale, cola, tonic, and other mixers. I never assumed people were mixing it for the effects of the caffeine, so much as because it was something different. When I was a kid, they used to have a soft drink called Jolt that had a lot of caffeine in it, but no one called it an "energy drink." I figured Red Bull was pretty much the same thing. The caffeine content was pretty much all hype.

Over the last couple of years, many news reports have come out about the supposed "dangers" of mixing alcohol and caffeine. Having read these reports, I cannot help but conclude that kids have been binge drinking just as they have for literal centuries. Kids have always been binge drinkers, because they're immature. Red Bull is nothing more than a scapegoat in this case.

It doesn't matter, however. In a few years no one will even remember what life was like before energy drinks were made "illegal" via back-door regulations that supercede the legislative process. All of this will be a distant memory.

Except, of course, that I will remember, and will have made note of it on my blog.