Negadon Attacks: I Drink A Monster From Mars
Peter Tatara - January 9, 2007
I found myself in a bar last night, and, sipping a warm Sam Adams, thinking about my past lives. Was I a Czar, a Pharaoh, or Marie Antoinette? No. I was in Marketing. In a former life, I worked in the Marketing department of a Manhattan DVD distributor. We released boutique animated movies from around the world. We had a movie about a talking dog turd from Korea, a spellbinding film about boy turning into a polar bear from France, and even a title from Studio Ghilbi -- the people that would go on to produce the Oscar-winning Spirited Away. Like I said, I was in Marketing. As such, it was my job to spend my boss's money on promotions, ads, and schemes that would result in selling three or four more units. Maybe. Hopefully.
The last product I worked on was called Negadon: The Monster From Mars. It was a computer-generated Godzilla movie made by one man who locked himself in his apartment for four year. It was good. If you pick it up, be sure to check out the digital liner notes. I wrote 'em. Negadon's marketing plan consisted of ads and editorial coverage across close to a hundred magazines and websites. The company didn't normally cast such a wide net with its releases, but we had high hopes with Negadon. We wanted an Academy Award.
To kick all this off, we had a gala New York City premiere. I was the architect, and put together quite a night at Manhattan's ImaginAsian Theatre. We had press. We had retailers. We had some of my old college professors. We screened Negadon, some shorts, and a special message from the creator in Japan. I was really happy with how the event turned out, but the night was supposed to be even bigger than it ended up. I had worked with a local Japanese place to cater the premiere with a selection of sushi, yakitori, and other Japanese finger foods. I had worked with an alcohol distributor to sponsor us with a few hundred bottles of their snazzy sake-infused vodka. Neither the food nor the drink ended up at the actual premiere due to some unpleasantness that was out of my hands; however, when both were still on schedule, I was king.
Everyone in the office was ecstatic because of the free booze. Me? I was ecstatic, too, but not only because the booze was free -- but because the alcohol distributor wasn't just going to send us liquor. Nope, they were going to have some hotties at the event mixing up a drink uniquely prepared for just this occasion. I got us a drink named the Negadon. How kick ass is that? A drink named after one of our movies!
But it didn't happen, and I parted ways with the animation distributor soon after.
I thought about all this at the bar with the Sam Adams at my side last night. Whenever at a bar, my mind's always returned to Negadon. In all the time that's elapsed since the movie's premiere, I've never tasted its alcoholic incarnation. The recipe, originally planned to be printed up on scores and scores of darling little napkins, existed now only inside my head. Never, though, between the premiere and the present, did I take the step to tell a bartender to make me this mythological drink. That changed last night. Finishing off my Sam Adams, I found the bartender had appeared right across from me. I may have been at the bar at 4 PM, and it may have not exactly been the definition of busy. The bartender asked if I'd like another, filling my glass with draft before I could answer. I told him and the empty room, though, that I'd like something different. I ordered a Negadon.
What, praytell, is in a Negadon?
4 Parts Vodka
2 Parts Ocean Spray
1 Part Midori
He set the drink down on the bar. A churning elixir of red and green flowing between fissures in cracked ice. I looked at it for some time, feeling a sweet melancholy swelling up inside me. Here it was. The Negadon. A creature previously as imaginary as unicorns and pixies made tangible. I touched the glass. It was cool. I studied how my fingerprints remained on the drink's frosty side long after my hands withdrew. And only once the glass was again wholly translucent with cold did I take a sip.
With just a drop touching my tongue, a sweet and sour flavor enveloped my mouth. Immediately, the Midori hits. An almost-overpowering explosion of melon. This sugar lasts for only an instant, though, replaced in a rush with the tang of cranberries. This deep sour pulls in at the side of the cheeks, but it, too, is transitory, giving way to the hot snap of the vodka. All this flows through the mouth in the span of a second. And, with each sip, this cycle of flavors repeats, sugar, sour, and heat again performing this dance.
The best drink I've ever had? Hardly, but the river of the Negadon's flavors combined with its history made me savor the cocktail to its last drop. I paid my bill and headed home. My lips pursed, I kept the taste with me as long as I could, committing it to memory so that it'd stay with me perpetually after its spice dulled from my tongue. Still, I can summon the phantom flavor if I draw my lips tight, but the drink's taste shouldn't remain a ghost long. The next time I'm out, I'll be asking for a Negadon again.