I try to break myself of habits I find obnoxious in other people, but sometimes doing so requires a serious change in the way that I formulate sentences and make points when speaking or writing. I’m thinking specifically about the way that certain people express their outrage as a question to which they expect no answer. It’s a lonely game of emotional Jeopardy; you’ve already got the answer -- it’s right in front of you -- but you’ve just got to respond in the form of a question. A typical format: “What were they thinking?” Among the church ladies I spent an inordinate portion of my childhood surrounded by, it typically takes the form of “How dare they?” although this also seems to apply to middle-aged “Tea Party” women, who are, usually, more or less the same people as those church ladies that made my childhood so humorless. You might ask if what I describe is not a rhetorical question (some of you, no doubt, are asking rhetorically), but the answer is “no,” since calling such a question rhetorical implies some sort of rhetorical efficacy.
That brings us to the subject of this fine product: Naruto Jutsu Power Energy Drink. Filled with entrepreneurial spirit and spurred by a general lack of good taste, some corporation or other saw an opportunity to make money using the methods of other soft/energy drink bottlers, breakfast cereal manufacturers, and religious denominations; that is, by targeting a demographic and tossing at them a ridiculous product in line with a current trend.
This is the answer. But, still -- and please excuse my volume, Mr. Trebeck -- why the balls does this exist?
I know I bitch about these licensed Energy Drink things all the time and, looking back at some of those previous examples, can see an emerging formula. I talk about how much I hate marketing ploys unrelated to food somehow being used to sell it; I complain about the subject of the ploy; I run down the product. But complaining about Naruto is, like, so 2008 (not coincidentally, Boston America Corp. first sold this product that year). And once a subject tethers itself to a formula, the writing process suffers from repetition. If I hate writing something over and over again, you guys must hate reading it, or at least I hope you do and will hold me accountable in the future.
But – and this is the answer to those of you who exclaimed “why another energy drink rant?!” – Naruto Energy Drink is surprisingly inoffensive. It tastes more or less the same as Red Bull, and now that the Naruto fad has run its course, the continued existence of a crappy, licensed energy drink is more funny than annoying.
In fact, its pure laziness won me over. It tastes so bland and generic that it probably comes in a dozen different and unrelated packages based on cartoons and video games. What even makes it a “Naruto” themed drink? Nothing, except the can, maybe. The infamous Stephen Seagal brand energy drink makes a point of containing goji berries in its “Asian Experience.” (It’s also funny when they try too hard.) Not so with Naruto Jutsu Power. The drink is, quite literally, filler.
And -- oh, hey-seuss, I just have to ask -- why am I even writing this?