Energy Crisis 2.0

I know it’s all bad news lately, so I hate to add to all of the nattering. But it appears to me that things are worse than we are giving them credit for. You may have heard about the energy crisis we’re facing. Well, turns out we have not one, but two energy crises to deal with. There’s that one with all the oil and the well-dressed royal families and the thing where you shouldn’t leave the refrigerator door open. You knew about that one. But also there’s the one where no one has enough energy to get through the day now. When did that happen?


I think I understand coffee. Never tried it myself, but I can understand how you might want a little pick me up as you’re driving in to work in the morning, just to get the gears creaking into action again. It’s been widespread enough for long enough that most people don’t question it. Around my area you see diet coke stepping in as the wake up call of choice, but it’s all the same thing.

But coffee and DC aren’t cutting it anymore. I first started seeing signs of escalation when I was in law school. A girl came to class with a bottle of water, but it wasn’t just water, it was called something like “Water Joe,” and it had all of the cool, clean transparency of water, but all of the caffeine of a full shot of espresso. Then, as now, the coffee outsider, I asked why such a thing would be necessary. She said coffee is hard on the stomach, and water is better. Huh. As long as the energy remains the same.

Since then, the arms race has taken off like nothing we’ve seen since the great bagel proliferation of the mid-90’s. The soft drink moguls snatched up all of the easy real estate first, peddling tough guy drinks with embarrassingly silly ads and eye-grabbing packaging. The Red Bulls and Rock Stars and Monsters staked out the territory and the world moved on, assuming this was a niche market, and the niche was now filled.

mana_potion_energy_drinkSeriously, what could go wrong with Mana Energy Potion?

But it hasn’t stopped there. The smoothies followed, with their bee pollen, ginseng, and hydro-ginkgo-garlic supplements (did I leave out biloba? I never know where that fits in). Creative capitalists came up with strange bottles of pills that could be shilled right on the convenience store counter. This new wave carved out a space somewhere between pharmaceuticals and magic potions. And apparently there’s no regulatory agency in charge of monitoring pure energy, because it’s all still out there, and it’s all still promising instant pep. Now, at the very height of the race for the next best form of ingestible, digestible liveliness, you might justifiably conclude that there’s more raw energy lining the shelves inside the gas station than bubbling underneath it. You might even be right.

Behind it all is the assumption, implicit but invisible, that we are all really, really tired. Are we? Are you? That’s the apparent crisis, and it sounds crazy, but I swear it’s starting to look like there’s as much money in solving this energy crisis as there is in solving the other one.

I guess I sort of am tired, but it’s not really something I’d look to solve with a really tall can of something. Maybe I’m missing out? As we prepared for a trial a while ago, someone on our legal team walked in and passed around some tastefully designed little boxes of mints. Energy mints. Vim and vigor with a spunky citrus kick.

Oil-wellThis is where they make energy mints (I’m pretty sure.)

I carried my box around all week but I couldn’t take the plunge. It kind of scared me to think what was in those little mints. Could they really power my big huge lurching organic machine of a body? I still don’t know. I do know that after that trial I was completely wrung out. A little energy would have helped. I chose to just get some more sleep afterward, but maybe I should have just downed that box of mints. I threw them down my gas tank instead, and I’ve been leaving people in a cloud of citrus exhaust ever since.

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10 Responses to Energy Crisis 2.0

  1. Christian says:

    I’ve never quite understood this trend either. Then again people have been doing this sort of thing for 50 or 60 years, but back then they called it speed. And the great bagel proliferation of the 90’s, now that’s a whole other topic in itself.

  2. Ben Pratt says:

    Citrus exhaust. Strong finish to a great post.

  3. Rebecca says:

    i really haven’t ever gotten the whole energy drinks thing either. i guess that’s because the last time i had a coca-cola (at lunchtime) I was up until 3 am. hmmm.

  4. Dallin says:

    That Mana stuff looks like it has the potential of turning you into the Incredible Hulk.

  5. Davis says:

    I actually do think most people are pretty tired. I know I am. I read a survey once that said a surprisingly high % of people – the exact number escapes me – have contemplated suicide just because they’re so tired. So I guess those mints are lifesavers. Nailed it.

  6. Ryan says:

    Wow. I never knew those mints could save me from suicide. Wish I still had them handy.

  7. Andrea W. says:

    Energy mints? Really? Wow, it really is sad that we just can’t all sleep more. Love that pic. of where they produce the mints. Funny.

  8. Molly P says:

    Well, that explains the car issues, I mean “Christmas Miracle” a few weeks ago!

    Wow, caffeine in a powder form. I love it! I was just talking to other day to someone about how amazing it would be if Coke could produce DC in a powder packet that we pour in water. Get our Hydration and our personalities all in one. Pretty sweet!

  9. Molly P says:

    PS Did you know that Jerry Seinfeld is producing a new show that is going to mediate marital disputes…Tina Fey is going to be a mediator! You should really contact them about your blog!

  10. Wade says:

    My personal favorite is 5 hour energy. Since I can no longer rely on my body to give me the energy I need for the next X number of hours, I can now get the exact pre-measured doses to allow me to energize just enough to get through whatever it is that I need energy for. No more, no less. Need energy for that big 2.5 hour board meeting? Great. Drink 1/2 bottles. Lacking stamina for that 10 hour drive from Salt Lake to Southern Cal? Great. Drink one in Sandy and another as you are leaving Vegas. Energy crisis SOLVED.

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