Monday, September 15, 2014

Surge to the future

They've brought back Surge. THEY'VE BROUGHT BACK SURGE!!

My enthusiasm is misleading. Mostly, I think this is hilarious. A social-media campaign successfully brought back the drink, which was sold from 1996 to 2002, though now it's available only through Amazon.com. Energy was expended on this. No wonder they need Surge.

I was 16 and in 11th grade when Surge arrived on the scene. It was much-coveted on the teen circuit partially because of its hip image and citrus overtones, but primarily because it contained an incredible (for the time) amount of caffeine. Monster wasn't yet a thing and Jolt was hard to come by, so Surge was the drink of choice for those who preferred to live life with, to quote the ads, a SURRRRRRRRRGE!!!

Ironically (and very weirdly), I had ended my brief infatuation with caffeine by age 16. I was drinking less soda in general, and was convinced caffeine did nothing for me. Mainly, I didn't like the dehydrated, sweetly queasy feeling I got from drinking large quantities of soda. Nevertheless, I did like citrus flavors, so I decided I'd try Surge. Also, all the cool kids were doing it, so I had to do it to ensure all the cool kids were doing it. Of course.

I had no problem procuring some Surge. One afternoon, my high school handed out cans of Surge to anyone who had two quarters to rub together. We even got to leave class to get it! Then, as now, I found it bizarre that a public school would hand out mildly controversial caffeinated beverages in the middle of class during a school day. The power of the Coca-Cola Company and its money.

When I reached the school lobby to purchase my can, a cute girl I'd known for years wrapped her arm around me, put her other hand on my chest and asked, flirtatiously, "Ian, will you buy me a Surge? Please?" With those eyes! So I did. And she thanked me and quickly left with it. 

Again, the power of the Coca-Cola Company and its money.

I brought my drink back to class (which was the newspaper class during a down cycle, so it quickly devolved into everyone obsessing over Surge) and took a few semi-reluctant sips. It tasted good enough, but I was determined not to let the caffeine get to me; after all, I'd told everyone that caffeine didn't affect me. In fact, it made me sleepy, because even my nervous system was contrarian.

And, in fact, aside from a slightly increased heartbeat, I was mostly lethargic after finishing the can. But that could have been the fact that I was stuck in a classroom with very little to do at close to 2 p.m.

I drank a few more Surges in the following years, but it wasn't a habit. I didn't notice until long after its demise that it wasn't a thing anymore, and only then it was because a friend was rehashing a complaint.

It's good to see it back, though, just because I love a happy story. I only wish they'd play the same EXTREEEME mid-'90s ads they did during Surge's earliest run. Let's get a campaign for that!

SURRRRRRGE!!! [Makes metal noises]

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