When you wake up with a hangover, the first thing to attempt to bring into focus is that you probably had a good time the night before. Of course there are hangovers that follow bad things like the passing of friends, divorces, or the election of a Democrat, but more common in my experience are hangovers preceded by wonderful things: weddings, holiday gatherings with friends and family, or increasingly, the victory of your favorite college football team in the BCS National Championship Game.
I can’t speak for everyone as different fan-bases experience different emotions and have different reactions over the course of a given season, but fans of a certain team which I won’t mention out of respect to the rest of the college football world have got to be saying to themselves, “Damn. This is the third hangover I’ve had in four years. Why does my team keep doing this to me? Do we have to be champions so often?” It’s getting to be a real inconvenience and one that is not likely to go away. I read several articles about the team this morning and the word “Dynasty” appeared prominently in most of them. What is a fan to do?
Fortunately for us, lots of dock workers in Glasgow, whose college football teams must have been very good indeed, died. It seems that there was a rash of hungover stevedores, so dehydrated and leached of nutrients from celebrating the previous evenings victories, raining over rails and off piers into the icy waters below. Action was required. Irn Bru was commissioned and the world’s first energy drink was born.* Glaswegian quarterbacks no longer felt guilty inflicting hangovers on their fans. The frequency of touchdowns no doubt spiked.
I ordered some Irn Bru for a Christmas gift. I have mentioned several times on these electronic pages my addiction to Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels. My father shares that addiction so I wrapped the only two novels in the series he had not read with the Inspectors drinks of choice – a pint of single malt with a can of Scottish ale as a chaser – along with the antidote – a bottle of Irn Bru.
A six pack is apparently the smallest quantity the Scotts will ship to the US so my post gift quintet was waiting for me the morning after my team ran for 264 yards and passed for 265 yards for 42 points against the “best defensive seven in football.” Irn Bru is a sickly orange, like the jerseys of a rival my college football team beat 44-13 back in October. The nose is almost all bubble gum. I say almost because I swear I smelled Assam tea. Just for a second, but there it was.
My first reaction to my first sip was an immediate need to brush my teeth. I knew going in that Irn Bru was basically sugar and caffeine. A quick glance at the nutritional information on the side of the bottle lets you know that this is no diet soda: 25 grams sugar. A not so quick glance reveals that there are somehow two servings per container, so: teeth hurt. The Assam notes from the nose were as absent as the vaunted run defense promised by by fans of my team’s opponents in last nights game. The flavor was bubble gum and “orange” if you can separate the word “orange” from anything having to do with the fruit and infer a taste based solely on hue. It is not pleasant. It is effective.
Absent the discovery of a “sell by date” on any of my bottles, I figure I can tolerate four more national championships, but after that… international shipping is expensive.
*As is always the case at mightstainyourshirt.com, all histories are thoroughly researched.**
**No representation is made as to the quality… blah, blah, blah.