The wrong kind of crazy

Logan Mcdonald

“Goin’ loco for Four Loko.”

That’s the tag line repeated over and over again in the borderline-infomercial rap video on YouTube that promotes the alcoholic energy drink, Four Loko.

If a rapper promoting alcoholic drinks means anything like it used to, plenty of teenagers and college students will go out in search of it.

I’m almost positive that no one would ask for a Caribou Lou at the bars if they hadn’t heard the Tech N9ne song that gives instructions on how to make the drink.

But then what’s the deal with Four Loko? It’s a malt liquor beverage, similar to Joose or Sparks, with 12 percent alcohol and a bunch of caffeine, taurine and guarana. It may have wormwood oil in it, the main ingredient in absinthe, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. Sounds like a crazy fun time?

Not exactly.

I first heard about Four Loko from my roommates after a night where they took turns jumping off of our roof, over each other, onto our deck. Of course that made me want to try it.

That weekend I went to the convenience store, and my roommate and I each bought one. It tasted like carbonated candy. We both finished our cans within 15 minutes, then went to the bars.

I felt energized. Even after a couple of beers, I wasn’t feeling much of an influence from the alcohol. Then my roommate suggested we get more Four Loko. After that it got pretty fuzzy.

I woke up the next morning feeling awful. Not only did I get the crash of an energy drink, feeling sapped and sluggish, I got a wicked hangover from all the cheap liquor.

For some reason beyond my own comprehension, I started suggesting Four Loko to my friends as a cheap ticket to a wild night. I even bought a case of it when it went on sale at a market in Campustown.

During the next few weeks, my opinion slowly changed about Four Loko.

I would arrive at parties late, after getting off work at 3 a.m., only to find a bunch of people still jumping and dancing around with cans of Four Loko in their hands.

I would hear about the stupid things people did the night before; their only explanation was they were “Four Loko’d.” One friend described a can of it as “devil piss.”

The final straw for me was when I got back home from the bars on a Friday. It was 2:30 a.m. and a small party was going on. As I was talking to a few friends, the same roommate who had introduced me to Four Loko stumbled up to us. He had an almost zombie-like look in his eyes but he still had the energy to be bouncing on the balls of his feet to the beat of the music.

“Want some Four Loko?” he slurred to me, which sounded more like ‘Washum Foroko?’

He shoved a can of it toward me, spilling it all over my shirt. I shook my head and handed it back to him.

He bounced away toward a group of dancing people. He had drunk four cans of Four Loko that night, more than enough to push him over the edge, but the stimulants in it were forcing him to be alert rather than being ready to pass out. He kept dancing for hours with the hollow look in his eyes until everyone had left.

The next morning, I heard him puking in the bathroom and I decided that Four Loko is not good and is not redeemed by its cheap buzz. I still have half a case of the stuff in my room that I won’t give away and really don’t want to drink.

It seems like college students are always trying to get a better buzz, whether it’s from a Red Bull with vodka or a 5-Hour Energy shot.

With a caffeinated bakery in Campustown, and more than six cafes on campus, it’s no wonder students want caffeinated beverages when they’re out drinking at night.

Bottom line: Do not drink Four Loko.