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Peter Drinks Joose
Peter Tatara - November 20, 2010

Last night, the girlfriend and I went out for a nice dinner at Basmati Table, a neighborhood Indian place in Woodside the Department of Health gives a B. I had some fantastic Chana Dal that I'd give an A. Afterwards, heading to a foofoo, upscale grocery store next door, we sought out libation for the rest of the evening. We scored a bottle of Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout, something I'd become aware of a month ago through a tangent in a discussion, much like this tangent here, but couldn't locate until now because I tend not to frequent many yuppie markets. (The place had mango cheese. When did they start putting mangos in cheese?) Anyway, rather than being content with a big bottle of dessert beer, I had to stop at a Joose display before making my way to the register. The store had Joose, one of the half dozen or so beverages containing alcohol and caffeine and packaged like energy drinks that are soon to be illegal in New York State, for sale for $3.50 a can. That's $3.50 for a 23.5 oz can of 12% alcohol fruit-flavored malt liquor. Figuring that a can of the soon-to-be-extinct Joose would be an ironic entry onto my bookshelf, I threw one on the check-out counter, too.

What follows, with no particular overarching theme nor order, are my experiences with my first and last can of Joose.

Joose doesn't list its ingredients. I was under the impression that the FDA required all foodstuffs to clearly list their contents and nutritional facts. Spinning the can of Joose around, I searched and searched and searched, but the best I could find was a starburst with this description... "Natural Flavors, Taurine, Ginseng, Caffeine, and Certified Color!" I've got to assume this list is a bit abridged. And vague. Certified color?

Joose has a skull on its can. Maybe it's just me, but I was raised with the belief that a skull on a container indicated "poison". Joose, though, has a nice, big skull on it.

Joose tastes like a sour wine cooler. We had the watermelon variety, but didn't detect a hint of watermelon in the thing. Instead, downing roughly a half pint of it in one gulp, I got only an unpleasant, fizzy, sour pop with the slight aftertaste of a strawberry daiquiri. Wait, that sounds only moderately unappetizing. The stuff was wretched. Joose tastes like a rancid wine cooler.

I had only one gulp of Joose and spilled the rest down the drain. As much as I wanted to drink the full can, get heart palpitations, and have an excuse for getting handsy with the girlfriend, I couldn't do it. I didn't get buzzed. I didn't get plastered. I didn't get hammered. I did, though, get a terrible stabbing in my stomach. See, five minutes after my singular taste of Joose, if felt like I had razor blades inside me. While Joose was unpleasant going down, it was downright painful once it was in my belly, and it wasn't until the next morning that I couldn't feel the Joose eating away at me anymore. I presume it's because I had fully digested the stuff, but I take it the malt liquor could have also successfully burned its way through my stomach and is now doing irreversible damage to my gall bladder, lungs, or pancreas.

Joose cost me more than it should have. I've since learned that the MSRP for Joose is $2.50 a can. The yuppie market I ventured into, though, had it on sale for $3.50. They also had $10 bottles of apple juice. Yeah, $10 for apple juice, which I presume involves water from a hidden spring deep in the Himalayas carried back one drop at a time by golden-haired virgins riding unicorns to justify the price tag. Why apple juice would need spring water, I don't know.

Joose cost me more than it should have, really. While I didn't do anything stupid after drinking Joose, I did do something pretty moronic in my moronic anticipation of drinking the stuff. Downloading a few demos on Xbox LIVE before cracking open my Joose, I was too preoccupied with the skull on the malt liquour's can to press the right buttons and, as a result, inadvertently bought a game called Tempura of The Dead. I've got no clue what the hell it's about, and while I do like tempura, I have serious reservations it's worth the $2.40 I spent.

Bitch Slap is an awesome movie. After opening up the Joose, the girlfriend and I spent the evening in each other's arms watching a little something on Netflix called Bitch Slap. The zero budget affair, I assume, is a cash in on Zack Snyder's forthcoming Sucker Punch. It's the story of three dames digging for $200 million in diamonds in the desert with a plethora of flashbacks to strip clubs, secret agents, and nunneries. The movie stars Julia Voth, Erin Cummings, and America Olivo, three women I had never heard of before but are all admirable actors. The definition of actor, of course, according to Bitch Slap is looking damn fine in pleather pants and gold miniskirts plus simultaneously shooting prop guns without saying "pew pew" while the camera's on your face, but, really, the camera's not going to me on your face all that much because of said pleather pants and gold miniskirts. Bitch Slap also features Kevin Sorbo, Lucy Lawless, and Renee O'Conner. The movie is a hearty mix of Kill Bill, blue screens, and exploitation and should be a train wreck, but it was good. Not only was it better than it had any right to be, it was a genuinely fun flick with some committed folks behind the cinematography and editing to elevate it above just T&A. The writing, too, was taut. Well, not "taut", but it was layered. Sure, two girls did make out in a trailer. Sure, rather than conserving their finite water supply in the middle of the desert, the main characters did opt to douse it over their chests while writhing in slow motion. Sure, the secret agent's codename was "Foxy 69". But, the narrative driving the story forward was legit. It kinda fell apart in the third act when, despite all the lead up, the story resolved by slamming things against one another until the antagonist was dead. The denouement made up for it, though, and -- looking back -- there was some sly foreshadowing hinting at the movie's final revelation. I gave it five stars.

I think that's it.

I had planned, from the get go, to put the empty can of Joose on a shelf as a conversation piece, but I found out this morning that my girlfriend tossed it because "it stank". I'm kinda angry at her, but probably shouldn't throw the relationship away over a $3.50 can of malt liquor. $5.90 if you count Tempura of The Dead. But, who's counting.

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