I am a very talented sleeper. I take pride in my ability to Rip Van Winkle anytime, anywhere. I’m the person that sits down in my seat on an airplane and am immediately unconscious for the duration of the flight, so God help you if I’m in the aisle seat and you gotta pee. I even chose to live in Spain for a year, mostly because they literally have naptime built into their daily culture. It was magical.
Unfortunately, I can’t make a living by being unconscious, so like most human beings I resort to caffeinated beverages to keep my eyes open and reluctantly keep my flying dreams at bay. I’ve tried most everything, coffee, tea, Redbull, Monster, NOS… whatever. Redbull tastes like puking at a frat party and everything else just tastes like artificially flavored enthusiastic desperation. I had heard chatter about 5-Hour Energy, a low calorie, natural, fruit flavored energy shot, from some of my fellow over-stimulated peers and one day while at lunch I was accosted by a 5-Hour Energy promo van with free samples, so I decided to give it a try.
I opened the tiny bottle and took a sip. At first, it was pretty pleasant… mostly because it tasted like Dimetapp and that shit is just delicious. I drank the rest of the bottle, which only took like 11 seconds because it’s about the size of a leprechauns pinky, and then waited for this supposed “energy” to kick in. After a few minutes I began to think it was all a gimmick and nothing was going to happen and then, just like an ASPCA commercial, there was no escaping it and it ruined my whole day.
I don’t know why they call it “5-Hour Energy”, they should call it what it really is… 18-Hour Liquid Insomnia with a 6-Hour rush of anxiety… 24-Hour Misery. When it “kicked” in, it literally felt like I was suddenly possessed by the Incredible Hulk. I couldn’t make direct eye contact with anyone and I had to consciously remind myself to blink. I was nervous, my skin was flushed and I had somehow developed a stutter. I couldn’t sit down and I couldn’t figure out what to do with my hands… so I walked around like a Velociraptor for the majority of the day. I was overwhelmed with the urge to alternate between lifting up cars and calling my mom and crying. I felt like the soundtrack to my life was one thing and one thing only… MEGADEATH.
I had finished the work I had needed the said energy for hours earlier, but 5-Hour Energy wasn’t through with me yet. I understand now why they say “Hours of energy now, no crash later” because it will literally remain coursing through your veins long after it’s served its purpose. The only times I ever pray are during take off and landing, and/or that the Kardashians will disappear into a black hole. This day though, as I laid in my bed, frowning and shaking my head as I wept at the ceiling, I prayed over and over for the hell to end, making all kinds of promises to the powers that be if only I could just fall asleep. My friend also drank a 5-Hour Energy that day too and texted me at 1:30 the following afternoon with, “Yup, still haven’t slept.” At least I wasn’t alone.
Always read the label of things before you consume them. If a teeny tiny bottle of something has 3000% of your daily value of anything listed as an ingredient, it’s probably a very bad idea. But don’t take my word for it, experience an Incredible Hulk possession for yourself! 5-Hour Energy can be found next to other impulse purchases at a Super Wal-Aid-Tar-Shell Pharmacy Station Store near you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.