I was in the grocery store yesterday. My shopping list had three items: beer, tea, and Gatorade. (I was thirsty.)
I found the tea no problem and then went over to the gatorade section. I was standing there, slowly going cross-eyed, when a helpful employee asked if she might be of some help. I started with an easy one, a question I already knew the answer to, but just had to ask anyway. “Don’t they have the half-gallon size anymore?” The gallon jugs were still there, but they’re too big to drink from while driving. They had the quarts, but out in the desert with the top down I go trough those things awfully fast. It costs more, and there’s more packaging cluttering up my floorboards and eventually destroying the Earth.
“No,” the friendly woman replied. “They have those, now.” She gestured to the eight-packs of pint sized bottles. Take my objections to the quart, multiply by two, and add a handle.
Somehow we managed to converse about the changing world of Gatorade sizes for a bit, then I asked my real question. “What the hell does a Riptide Rush taste like?” I was holding a bottle of purple liquid, and there was not a single word on the label to give any clue whatsoever as to what that liquid might do to my taste buds. (Answer: grape. Grape, Riptide Rush. Obvious in retrospect.) Not only are half the different concoctions not identified in any helpful way, there are now different series of meaningless flavors. There’s Gatorade AM, Gatorade Xtreme, and so forth. Presumably the AM is morning-friendly flavors. (I was hoping those had caffeine.) I think the real difference between the different series of flavors is the opacity of the liquid inside. Apparently as the day progresses one is inclined to increase opacity in one’s beverages.
In the end, the only meaningful clue to the flavors within was the color of the liquid. Despite the fact that Riptides are more well-known for killing swimmers than for providing a pleasing drinking experience (maybe it should be ocean water flavor — the last flavor a drowning man ever experiences), I went for the rush. Then I found one a very transparent orange-colored one mysteriously labeled “tangerine”. It was tangeriny, but way too sweet. I think that’s the innovation behind all these flavors, a lot more sugar. So much for being a thirst quencher.
The flavor I really wanted was Gatorade flavor, from back when there was just the one flavor. I scanned the yellow-green offerings for something like “original recipe”, but I was out of luck. Maybe it’s been renamed “Tangential Skylark” or something equally informative.