Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Witz Pickz: Macho Journalism...of V8 (continuing the exploration)

I stare down at the murky burgundy liquid-- a slightly glossy swirl of color riding the top of the 8 ounces before descending into the depths to be discovered at a later date. "What am I doing?" I think to myself, as I sniff the liquid and catch the familiar scent of strawberries and another scent I can't quite place. "Oh yeah," I remember. "I'm taking one for the team." You see, after my V8 post yesterday, it was suggested to me by my friend The ATX to investigate further into the world of Campbell's Drinks. Why should I stop at V8 when there are V8 Fusion drinks to be explored? So here I am. Staring into my glass of V8 Fusion: Strawberry Banana Blend. I'm no longer just "picking" something, I'm exploring it-- a reporter on assignment-- the fucking Hunter S. Thompson of the juices aisle. I'm just not sure what to expect next.

When I first heard about V8 Fusion fruit drinks, I assumed I knew what was up. I assumed that instead of their vegetable drink, they had made a V8 with fruits, like every other successful fruit juice company. I was already scoffing as I picked up the bottle from the shelf. "Pff-- sure, your regular veggie product is disgusting, so why not make a fruit product? Like that's tough. Everybody loves fruit juice-- there's no challenge there. You don't IMPRESS ME V8. Try something--" and then I saw it. V8 Fusion: Strawberry Banana VEGETABLE & FRUIT. I didn't know what it meant and wasn't sure I wanted to know, so I just grabbed the bottle with a little more hesitation than before and prepared to buy it and keep the receipt as a business expense for my 2008 taxes.

Now I'm looking straight down into the concoction and I need more information. It's like wanting to know exactly what someone's going to do to you in a surgery before they do it. If you're prepared mentally, there won't be any scary surprises. Checking the label, I see the fruits portion first: reconstituted juices of white grapes, oranges, apples, strawberries, and clarified bananas (aka bananas that have been shown the path to the Lord). Alright, great. That sounds pretty standard. Then I see the veggies: reconstituted juices of sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatos, and beets. Yep. Sweet potatoes-- that's what I'd smelled and hadn't been able to place. "Color swirls are a natural occurrence," the label adds, which doesn't make me feel any better about what I'd seen, but rather makes me more uncomfortable. You know what else is a natural occurrence? Death. Or to a less dramatic degree, massive indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhea. What if the "fusion" that they refer to isn't of the veggies and fruits as would be assumed, but the fusion of vomiting and diarrhea? Doesn't matter-- no going back now-- I have too much invested to quit.

Go time. I slug back the glass and slurp down my carefully measured and remeasured 8 ounces. The fruits hit first and I feel pretty good about things. Then, the aftertaste. It's not nearly as bad as one would think, but the vegetables give a quick shout out to my taste buds and then, almost cackling, as if they know something I don't, the fade down my gullet and into my stomach. My stomach growls a little and I see the "Antioxidant Plus +" label on the package. God, I hope the plus doesn't stand for hives. Or ulcers. Or snakes, but that's not really relevant, just my normal hope. Next, I see how they tricked me with science. The package proudly proclaims, "A full serving of vegetables PLUS a full serving of fruits in each 8 oz glass!" What they put in much smaller print is that you are supposed to take 5 servings of veggies and 4 servings of fruit a day (which is NOT EVEN REMOTELY plausible if you ask me). So I would need to drink 5 glasses of V8 Fusion per day to meet those quotas. There are 6 glasses per bottle. Disgusting.

With each minute that passes and each word I type, my stomach feels a little queasier, or at least my oversensitive attention to it makes me think it does. I feel a little woozy, and I'm already preparing to fling myself towards a recepticle should the need arise. If I were a thrill seeking journalist, a real Hunter S. Thompson, this is the point I'd be starting to come down off the high-- leaving the smack, the meth, the acid, the coke, the pills behind-- the time when my body rejects the world I have stolen it from and forced it to return to. But I'm not a real thrill seeking journalist. I'm not Hunter S. I'm Witz, and all I ever wanted was to pick something for you all. To let you in on the world without you having to suffer as I now do. Maybe it's not enough, but for right now--

--sorry I just ran to the bathroom because I thought I was gonna throw up. Good times kids. This is Witz saying don't drink V8, stay outta the sun without sunscreen, and for heaven's sakes, take advantage of the free trials. Netflix, Blockbuster, eMusic...these things are just waiting for you to exploit. Good night and good luck.


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