Extinct Beverage Tasting:
I found this one at the convenience store right down the street from my apartment. I'd seen it one or two times before but it was just rare enough for me to be able to tell that it was on its way out. There were several nonsense flavors to choose from: Raspberry Tea, Grapefruit Lulo, Lemon Cherimoya, Peach Feijoa. I found Tangerine Mango to be the least offensive and most easily pronounceable.
Let me just say this: Fusion Water is doomed! There's no way it can survive. It's got all the blandness of a poorly mixed batch of Kool Aid combined with all the high cost of an energy drink. I will give it this: it's probably the most palatable of the energy drink family in that it doesn't make your head or stomach hurt and your throat hardly ever burns while drinking it.
My first sign that this drink wasn't going to live to see Christmas of 2001 was by checking the website on the label: www.VirginFusionWater.com. If you check this address as well you will find that it does not exist. To give the company and the drink the benefit of the doubt I tried back repeatedly over the course of about a week. If the site ever did exist it was extremely short-lived and probably equally as ill-conceived.
The Virgin Company has its dirty smudged finger marks on a lot of stuff. If you want you can check out their website to see how deep their roots go but I wouldn't recommend it.
The most interesting thing about Fusion Water is that when I bought it was the clerk at the store. I will assume that the reader is familiar with the character Apoo from the popular show The Simpsons. I do not want to come off as sounding cruel or prejudiced in the least but this guy was the pinnacle of the stereotypical convenience store owner. While none of that is relevant I would like to transcribe the conversation I had with him to the best of my memory.
Convenience Store Guy: How are you today?
Me: Good and yourself?
Convenience Store Guy: Great. (pause) So you want bag?
Me: Uh, sure.
Convenience Store Guy: How are you doing?
Convenience Store Guy: You like the horse.
A look of confusion sweeps across my face.
Convenience Store Guy: You want the horse.
I glance over to my left to see a statue of a horse that's for sale. There is no price tag on the horse so it must be one of those things that if you have to ask, you can't afford it.
Me: Uh, no thank you.
Convenience Store Guy: You no like the horse?
Me: No, it's just that I don't really have a practical need, per se, for a small statue of a horse.
Convenience Store Guy: You no like horses?
Me: Well, it's not that I don't like them, it's just that I don't like them enough to necessitate me buying a statue of one.
Convenience Store Guy: You ride a horse?
Convenience Store Guy: Never??
Me: No, never.
Convenience Store Guy: Why not?
Me: Uh. I guess I've just never had the need to ride a horse. Always been more of a bicycle/car kind of guy.
Convenience Store Guy: Oh. (laughs spookily)
During the entire duration of this conversation the clerk has been attempting to cram a package of hamburger buns into a bag with five drinks in it.
Convenience Store Guy: Do you want another bag?
Me: No, that's fine, I'll carry the rolls by hand.
Convenience Store Guy: No, I'll get another bag.
Me: No, really I can carry the rolls by hand.
I reach over to grab the rolls but he jerks them from my hands and then proceeds to cram them into the bag with the drinks, squashing them in the process.)
Convenience Store Guy: (hands me the bag) Thank you, come again.
Another noteworthy thing about this store was that it was called Sam's Smoke Shop and when you walk in it looks like a normal convenience store but then you realize that two thirds of the store is this enormous display case with a wide variety of pot smoking devices the likes of which I have never seen. Everything I know about pot I learned from various movies such as Dazed and Confused and Half Baked which weed-smoking friends have forced me to sit through during the years. I would laugh as Dave Chapelle critiqued the different types of pot smokers making comments like: "Hooo boy. It's so true!" So I can't really describe any of these devices except that they were all really colorful and kinda looked like knick knacks you may find on your grandmother's shelf. Except for the huge gravity bong.
But I digress. When I told the clerk that I would undoubtedly return I wasn't yanking his chain. I certainly will. I have a feeling that this is the local place to get endangered beverages both because 1.) I was limited in one trip only by what I could physically carry and 2.) the clerk would obviously be supplying me with a steady source of material being that he was a nut job.
On to the tasting:
It's got your classic "foggy water" look to it.
It smells pretty good. I smell mangoes... and tangerines. No wait, that was just me remembering what I read on the label. I smell some sort of fruit though. Maybe it's apples or bananas. I don't know. What do I know from fruit?
Hmmm. It's pretty dang weak. Tastes a lot like it's a really good drink that's been completely watered down. You know how Gatorade tastes like watered down fruit punch? Well this tastes like watered down Gatorade. I detect a slight flavor of Sunny Delight.
There's nothing to savor. The taste is so weak that you're forced to keep sipping from it to remind yourself of what it tastes like. It's so forgettable that I have to type descriptions of its flavor with one hand while drinking from the bottle.
Not as much suffering as one would expect from a soon to be extinct beverage. In this case the part of me that suffers the most is my wallet.