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Who Killed the Koolaid Man?

by caramel jones

My kid brother drinks koolaid. Yesterday, he informed me he was never going to drink coffee.

“All of my friends talk about it like it’s something you have to do. When you turn 18, you have to drink coffee.”

I was shocked. Of course he was going to drink coffee.

“What are you going to drink?” I chided, “Koolaid? And be a kid all of your life?!”

Remember Koolaid and the Koolaid Man? Kids across America yelled ‘Hey Koolaid’ hoping that jolly red walking pitcher would appear. Of course, the Koolaid man would only appear and bust down fences when 10 kids yelled together. You probably didn’t know that; that’s why it never worked in your neighborhood.

Somewhere along the line we stopped yelling ‘Hey Koolaid’ and starting saying ‘hey, gimme a Macchiato’ (they’re trying to sound Italian aren’t they) or ‘hey, latte, please.’ There was that pre-adult stage called keg beer. But you can’t go sipping beer all day long. You’d be fat and merry and you wouldn’t get any work done. There goes the global economy.

But my brother was on to something. What if I didn’t have my cup of coffee in the morning? One thing is certain, I wouldn’t wake up until 10:00 and I wouldn’t get to work on time. I might not even get through the day.

Maybe eight solid hours of work isn‘t natural. Maybe paper cuts and tending to exciting details like, “do I file Mac before M, or do I want paper or plastic” are slowly sucking the life out of me? Maybe if I didn’t drink coffee I’d realize what a dreadful blur my day had become and decide to run off with the 7-11 clerk to escape its monstrous monotony.

Exactly who was the idiot behind introducing coffee into the workplace in the first place? Some bloated boss with a habit for Corinthian leather and expensive white wine who realized what a bore work was. Since you couldn’t force kids into working for you anymore, he wanted to figure out a way to keep everyone going or his behind wouldn‘t travel in the style to which it was accustomed. Coffee was the perfect drink—it kept you going and it was hot, so he could skimp on heating bills.

More insidious than that, when did coffee creep into my free time and why is it pushed on me like it’s some sort of treat? The stuff is bitter, it’s addictive, and it’s expensive. Not to mention it’s what poor people drink to keep hunger cravings at bay.

Here’s a word to the wise: never trust anyone who sells you something that your mechanic gives you for free. My money for a latte buys eight glasses of koolaid that some enterprising kid is selling from his roadside stand. You can know where your money is going when you give it to a kid…to the candy store or towards a skateboard, instead of toward some corporate plot to rule the world.

Who killed the Koolaid man? And what happened to my childhood tastes? Did they die the second I started drinking coffee and got a job? Or, banish the thought; is Koolaid just the gateway drink of a grander, greedier scheme?

What would happen if we drank Koolaid instead of coffee? We’d probably take more naps and go play at the park more. Either that or run around the office in a sugared frenzy, chattering and wrecking havoc. The economy would come to a grinding halt and we’d all giggle like children when the bloated boss threw a temper tantrum because his leather wasn’t paid for. Juan Valdez could challenge the Koolaid Man for world dominance. And we could watch it on the television at work.