I'm old compared to my customer base. At the ripe old age of 40, I don't follow the trend of the young wippersnappers. I don't have a WoW account, and I turn off the num-lock on the POS systems keyboard because I grew up playing DOS based computer games. Don't take away my arrows, man. So when it comes to energy drinks, I was a bit skeptical. I tried various ones as we were building out the store, mostly because I was planning to sell them. Monster was too harsh, Red Bull kind of weak, but Rock Star was just right, despite tasting like cough syrup. Since then I've learned to prefer Red Bull, but really all I want is a cup of black coffee -- no room for cream, dammit. So when I bought a large supply of the clever new Mana Energy Potions, I knew eventually I would have to eat my own dog food, so to speak.
Mana potions build up your magical energy in various computer games, allowing you to cast more spells. As an energy drink, it claims to have the contents of two Red Bulls or four cups of coffee. I tested it on a willing victim, I mean customer, first. He had one at 1pm and said he was still wired at 3am the next morning. Ok, not bad, but a little worrisome. They do have a warning not to use it if you're under twelve. More potions began to sell and then I realized maybe I should try one. It's not exactly a product put out by Coca Cola, it's from a small company in Santa Monica that only accepts PayPal payments. Time to eat some dog food before a fly-by-night company puts me in the dog house.
Alright, so it's not cheap. We're charging $4.25 for a 1.13 ounce bottle. It's cheaper than two Red Bulls, as advertised, but ounce for ounce it's outrageously expensive. Think of it as a shot and not a drink and you'll feel better about laying out the cash. The price we charge will go down under $4 after we've absorbed some of the set up costs. The goofballs made us pay for the point-of-sale display along with shipping.
We've got the little bottles in a cardboard point-of-sale display at the counter, but we've also put them in the refrigerator. I've only had them refrigerated and I'm told they're better that way. The drink has a lime taste, but what you really notice are all those chemicals bouncing around in your mouth. There's no carbonation (thus no sales tax) or water or tons of flavoring to hide what's happening. It's an ounce of concentrated "stuff" you'll find in all those energy drinks, only moreso. You can read about all the various chemicals and such on their website, but I credit most of what I felt over the next several hours to be a massive shot of B vitamins.
So I drank it. I was only going to drink half, but then what the heck, it's only an ounce, right? Down the hatch. The initial reaction is what I get when I take an energy drink. My vision sharpened, my attention span increased (from at least 1 to 2 seconds), and I wondered if this would be the one to kill me dead. The usual.
What I liked about the drink, and how it differs from a massive dose of No Doze, what we took when I was a wippersnapper, is that it was smooth. No jitters, no hyperactivity, no delusions that I'm much smarter, rather than just thinking my ridiculous thoughts at record speed. It was smooth energy and alertness. At 9pm I found myself still playing with Rocco, my three year old, running around the house and wrestling with him, stuff that I do when I get home for about fifteen minutes before daddy needs to rest. So for me, yes, five hours of smooth energy. Afterwards I had a slight headache, but it didn't keep me from reading for a while and going to bed at my old man bedtime of 10pm.
I don't plan on drinking more Mana Energy Potions unless I've got some need for that great amount of energy. I could see taking one for the usual energy drink needs, a night on the town, or more appropriate for my customer base, a night of killing monsters and taking their stuff. I do plan on starting to take some multivitamins to see if I'm low on "B". Maybe there's a special Geritol formula.
Scarlet, the Mana mascott. Get off my lawn!