Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ecto Cooler

Who remembers Ecto Cooler? And whatever happened to it? Is it still around anyone? I found this description to be pretty funny:

"Ecto Cooler is probably the greatest beverage ever invented. I've spent so many muggy summer afternoons, cool autumn nights, and frigid winter mornings guzzling this stuff by the gallon that it's a wonder my skin never turned green. And even if it had, I honestly don't think I could have stopped myself from cracking open another bottle and pouring another ten more glasses.

Here's the story behind this stuff: way back in the golden age of marketing, the 80s, there was an awesome Saturday morning cartoon based on the Ghostbusters movies. Kids tuned in by the millions and were enraptured by the hilarious antics of a talking blob of ooze. Realizing the incredible economic potential of legions upon legions of brainwashed children, the good people at Hi-C decided to capitalize on the show's momentum by creating a beverage that itself resembled ooze and branding it with the ooze monster's image. You heard me correctly -- they actually intentionally created a beverage that looked like toxic waste. We're already off to a good start.

Although it looked just like slime it tasted like magic. As a base they started with nature's wonder fruit, the orange. To complement they added orange's not-nearly-as-popular cousin, tangerine. To seal the deal they added crack cocaine. I don't know what they added to turn it green but whatever it was it tasted wonderful. They had stumbled upon the recipe for beverage glory and followed it precisely to produce a million gallons of heaven.

Ecto Cooler was so incredibly good, so incredibly positive that it's difficult to summarize without light and sound and crazy guitar riffs wafting in on waves of sweet perfume. This stuff was unrivaled amongst all sweetened liquids. There was just something about the sight of a tall green glass of juice that made whatever flavor you were about to experience ten times better than it could be by any other color. If the drink tasted okay, the green would make it great. If it already tasted great the green would make it wonderful. Somehow, green is the color of happiness (at least where beverages are concerned).

And I wasn't the only one who felt this way, either. A decade after the cartoon had been cancelled and nearly twenty years after the first movie came out in theaters you could still buy this stuff in almost every supermarket in the country. It was still called Ecto Cooler and still had the ooze monster shown prominently on the box, even though the entire current generation of children had no idea who the ooze monster was, or why the liquid was green. The truth is they really didn't have to know: they were born knowing that green Hi-C was just, somehow, right.

But apparently this miracle was lost on the steely executives who live in Hi-C Tower, because in the first few years of the 21st century they decided to change the name to "Shoutin Orange Tangergreen" and the color to vomit orange-brown. In a single move they had turned the greatest drink to ever grace the earth into a sad mockery of watery desperation. It was a liquid nightmare lurking in juice box form. It was a horrible day for lovers of magic everywhere, and for new born tastebuds destined to never experience perfection.

It took years after the discontinuation of Ecto Cooler for me to fully recover; to find beverage alternatives that barely filled the massive void in my refrigerator. If any of my mad scientist friends one day converts an old DeLorean into a time machine and I find myself with this great power resting in my hands, the first thing I will do will be to travel to the year 1990 and purchase 15 gallons of sweet, sweet ecto cooler. Only after I've absorbed a couple of these gallons will I proceed to use the machine for more scientific purposes like cheating the stock market or patenting mp3 players.

Ecto Cooler is just that good. It was a ray of liquid sunshine in an otherwise cloudy beverage aisle, and the world is a darker place indeed now that it is gone."

No comments: