This past weekend was MegaCon, a comic book/collectible/sci-fi/anime convention held at the Orange County Convention Center outside Orlando. It is my favorite day of the year. I have attended almost every year since high school. I take the day off work, strap on my best backpack, and go for a joyful wander, absorbing the very best and worst of nerd culture.
I love MegaCon. It is where dreams come true. Want to meet your favorite Babylon 5 actor? Check. How about lonely gentlemen who dress up as female anime characters? Check. Looking for a Blade action figure missing one leg and covered in dust? Check. Would you like to see ladies testing the tensile strength of gothic corsets? Check. Back acne? Check. Want to find the worst B.O. and breath in the universe? Double check.
I only have a passing interest in comic books. I don’t dress up. Nor do I really collect anything. I go to indulge my interest in finding random pieces of pop culture ephemera to place in my future mancave, or coffin, whichever comes first. For the past two years, weirdo trading cards have been my thing. Last year, I picked up an unopened box of Yo! MTV Raps cards. This year, amongst others, I came away with some vintage advertising Pepsi trading cards (which are cool) and a pack of All My Children trading cards (which are the opposite of cool, but hilarious). Sadly, I didn’t have the gusto to pull the trigger on a box of cards dedicated to the world of 18-wheeled trucks.
Since I’ve minted myself a blogger, I also keep an eye out for foodstuffs. This year I patronized a Japanese snack import booth, which I may cover later, and a booth that “specialized” in nerdy pins, patches, crusty Star Trek uniform patterns, toy light saber hilts, castoff stuffed toys, bins of grimy action figures, and unwanted Batman and Robin t-shirts.
It was among this pile of detritus that I found a can of Romulan Ale Energy Drink. I couldn’t resist. Something else I couldn’t resist? Silkwood-scrubbing this can down like I just fished it out of one of Jabba the Hutt’s fat folds.
While I am not a huge fan of Star Trek, I am also not not a fan. I’ve seen every episode of the original series, but haven’t yet delved into the rest of the franchise. Though I do have a mother and two good friends that are uber-fans. My mom has two Christmas trees. One for only Trek ornaments and the other for everything else. And I know from being around them that the Romulans are from Star Trek. They bother the Federation, have pointed ears, and are the universe’s leading manufacturer of caffeinated beverages.
Ok so maybe they don’t make energy drinks, but they do drink a lot of Romulan Ale, which was the inspiration for this product from Boston America, a company that deals exclusively with turning popular franchises into things you put in your mouth.
And what they are putting in your mouth this time are the usual earthbound ingredients: corn syrup, taurine, caffeine, and vitamins B. Sadly no dilithium or Red Matter to be found.
Romulan Ale Energy Drink is beautifully bright blue like its fictional inspiration. It has a strong but not unpleasant artificial berry smell and flavor. It has a taste similar to blue Powerade or Gatorade, with perhaps a dash of Jolly Rancher. I really like it, though it might be a little too heavy and may push too far into the Neutral Zone of Sweetness. For something inspired by a fictitious alien beer, it is surprisingly engaging. Set phasers to tasty!
When the Genesis planet finally happens, I can only hope that we can make it so that we’ll be able to find cans of Romulan Ale on every store shelf right next to cans of Red Bull and Monster. Until then, I hope we can all live long an-
I can’t. Too far. I’m sorry.