I am all over any drink that boldly declares “Extreme Flavor”, “Product of Canada” and “Contains 0% Juice.” Always and forever. See my stomach frown and nod as if to indicate “It’s true. He does, and it makes me oh so sad.” as I reach eagerly for a bottle of Johnny’s Roadside Extreme Flavor Lemon Iced Tea.
(For some reason I want to refer to it as Johnny Roadside’s, not Johnny’s Roadside. Johnny’s by the roadside, fixing up the medicine.)
The “Extreme” is that this is a thick, heavily-brewed tea. It’s really angrily robust and tastes as though it’s been sitting out, steeping all day long in your grandma’s dusty parlor, where you sit eyeing the candy in the sucker dish, wondering how old it is. The “Lemon” is actually citric acid; it’s strange that they brand the product “lemon iced tea” because there’s really no lemon flavor to it at all, just the really acrid bitterness caused by the acid.
I would have loved this drink in high school. My friends and I were typical bored suburbanite teenagers, creating games based on dares to pass the evenings. We drank syrup of ipecac and maced each other just to see how it felt. We played Flour Football (you and your opponent stand at opposite ends of the biggest room in the house, simultaneously heaving unopened sacks of flour granny-style, as high and hard as you can, at each other. The object is for you to each catch the flours so that they don’t explode all over the floor, but it’s difficult to throw and catch accurately after a few beers.) We spent hours sitting around the kitchen table, daring each other to eat or drink the grossest things in the pantry. (“I’ll eat a table spoon of dog food if you eat half a stick of butter and a big glass of Clamato.”)
The way that Johnny’s Roadside Lemon Iced Tea felt like it was melting through my stomach makes me think that it could definitely have played some small role in our sport.
But now, I’m older, and I have an inkling that it would best be used as a really thorough enema. I confess that I don’t know what liquids the best enemas are generally comprised of, but surely, Johnny’s Roadside would be near the top? I will leave it you to test out my hypothesis. I’m told you know a lot about enemas.