Yes, the rumors are true yet again. The alcoholic beverage Four Loko was indeed forced to alter their main ingredients at the beginning of 2011 due to a ban from the Food and Drug Administration. The ban stated that the combination of caffeine and alcohol results in “dangerously high levels of intoxication” in its consumers, forcing the makers of Four Loko to remove the stimulants taurine, guarana and caffeine.
In response to the ban, an FDA official claimed that, “the addition of these stimulants causes the consumer to stay awake for longer periods of time and thus gives them more hours of the night to ‘party and rage.’ By extracting caffeine from the product, we believe that the intoxicated customers will simply fall asleep sometime before they drink themselves to death.”
Kids, teens and loosely labeled “young adults” everywhere are outraged with the new Four Loko formula. “I can’t go back to just drinking beer,” UR senior Aaron Berber said this past weekend. “Not after the level of life-threatening drunkenness that I’m used to with Four Loko. Hell, I’d need to drink like 100 beers before I could feel that blissfully numb again. And, with this economy, who can afford 100 beers?”
This fear of sobriety has caused some students to take drastic measures to achieve the same amount of inebriation they were used to with the old formula.
“It’s outrageous what I have to go through now that I can’t rely on the convenience of four different drugs in one can,” junior Zach Whites stated. “Now I have to mix together three beers, two shots of vodka, four caffeine pills, one-fourth of a bladder of Franzia, three 5-hour energies, one and a half cups of bleach, five adderall pills, one bottle of Nyquil, three grams of cocaine and one Starbucks Double Shot in order to get half as drunk as I normally got off of one Four Loko. And, with this economy, who can afford a Starbucks Double Shot?”
“I hate it,” claims senior Emma Melcher. “Now, when I drink Four Loko, I just get shit-housed, puke and pass out as opposed to last year when I would get shit-housed, puke and then stay up for 7 more hours. It’s just not the same anymore.”
Outrage over the ban hasn’t stopped with disgruntled students — it has reached far into the local community. Rochester truck drivers complain that the new Four Loko is extremely dangerous. “This new formula lacks the essential ingredient of caffeine and similar stimulants that are so vital in keeping us awake during long night drives,” Larry Gomez, a 55 year-old trucker from Gates, NY said. “Trucking accidents due to falling asleep at the wheel tripled last month when compared to all the months when Four Loko still had all the good stuff.”
The ban has caused a nationwide withdrawal to the original Four Loko recipe, resulting in a new black market for the drink. In this dangerous Prohibition-esque environment, the appearance of Four Loko speakeasies in basements of local shops and stores has increased to alarming levels. If you suspect a local store of housing one of these illegal speakeasies, please contact the local authorities or all of your buddies immediately, depending on whether you are for or against the ban.
In related news, Four Loko soon plans to remove their only remaining ingredient, alcohol, in order to make the drink marketable to children. Partnered with the Dora The Explorer franchise through Nickelodeon, this new “Latino Juice Can” will nourish our country’s children while breaking down the Spanish-English language barrier one ADHD child at a time.
Rubenstein is a member of the class of 2011.