There are many questionable drinks in existence: prison pruno, those creepy boozes with snakes, that thing you drank at the keg party you're pretty sure was not "just really thick and chunky chocolate milk" like they said, Bud Light ... the list is endless.
Still, most of that stuff makes perfect sense from someone's cultural or situational point of view (ain't no helping yourself to a nice glass of chardonnay behind bars). There are other drinks -- ones that lure in their helpless prey by basing themselves on other, seemingly innocent things like cheese. In my unerring Book of Shit That's Totally the Worst, these drinks are the potable equivalent of a Michael Bay-directed Nickelback video. Here are some of the worst offenders:
#4. The Tonic That Ruins the Good Name of Meat
OK. I can do this. I can totally do this without bursting out in a torrent of boner jokes. Right, here we go:
The subject of this entry is a tonic known as Valentine's Meat-Juice, a well-known historical ahahahahaha oh shit I can't even write that name with a straight face.
Just ... just give me a second. I can be an adult about this, I swear.
Oh, like hell I can. Valentine's Meat-Juice (Valentine's Meat-Juice!) was a huge, swinging hit all over Richmond, Virginia, in the latter half of the 19th century, with hordes of fans raging hard on its behalf. Its inventor, Mann Valentine (Mann Valentine!), came up with the potent mixture when his wife, Maria, became so ill that keeping her properly nourished was rapidly becoming a huge pain in the ass. Luckily, Valentine was a man(n) with a plan: He would sow the seeds of health in his prone wife with a heaping helping of his soon-to-be-patented Mann juice. Summoning half-remembered chemistry lessons from his school days, he locked himself in the cellar, tirelessly laying pipe until he had built an extraction system that could take slabs of meat and suck the nutritious juices right out of them.
On New Year's Eve 1870, Maria received the first of the many oral doses of meat-juice to come. She soon started getting better, because at that point, the universe just flat out gave up and started watching how far the situation's sheer porn movie logic would take the Valentines.
The Quack Doctor
Spoiler: It would take them a long, throbbing way. Penis.
Mann started bottling his elixir, enlisting his seven sons so they could more efficiently spread the family's juices all over the eagerly waiting Richmond. Soon, they were raising the pillars of their future business empire. Valentine's Meat-Juice became a household name that was known and lovingly ingested all over the world, from Africa to (of course) the North Pole. Hailed as an all-healing tonic that was said to capture the nutritional essence of 4 pounds of meat in a tiny 3-inch bottle, it was liberally administered to patients both orally and -- don't act like you didn't see this coming -- rectally.
She saw it coming.
Too bad the product was a complete fraud. In 1909, the American Medical Association finally got around to taking a look at the by-then world-famous tonic and promptly concluded that it was a virtually protein-free, massively diluted broth that had roughly the same meatiness as having a cow spit on you. Still, history proves that you can't keep a good dick joke down: Valentine's Meat-Juice had already helped the family to erect a vast business empire that would spew its juices unto the world well into the 1950s.
#3. The Drink That "Replaces" Smoking
Have you ever been at a party where a bunch of people smoke, but no one is able to locate an ashtray because some frat boy fuckface absent-mindedly pocketed it to soothe his rampant, alcohol-fueled kleptomania? You know how it goes: While some drunken fool whose name may or may not be the same as mine is chasing that guy down and attempting to attack his nipples with a pepper spray-soaked sander, the rest of the party is stuck stumping their cancer sticks in half-empty beer cans, mugs, and other containers generally meant to hold something other than a tarry, papery muck and dissolved filters. But that's what they're holding tonight, and let's face it, we all know you're going to accidentally sip from one when you get drunk enough.
Now you can conjure the images of that unforgettable experience with a beverage known as Liquid Smoking, a drink that claims to combat the smoking bans present pretty much everywhere these days. According to manufacturers, Liquid Smoking is able to satisfy your cigarette cravings by providing the body with the same effects a cigarette has, but in a drinkable form. You can tell it works because they originally made the can to look like a pack of Marlboro:
Via Beach Packaging Design
"50 percent less lung cancer, 800 percent more design-related lawsuits!"
I quit smoking a few years ago because my lungs were getting so full of tar, Brer Rabbit was starting to give them shit, so I'm not sure what's up in the cool world of cigarettes these days. However, I strongly suspect that chugging them down in drink form is neither advisable nor able to do much about the many, many ways the mere act of smoking can get you psychologically addicted. Not that it presumably does much for the physical symptoms, either; in reality, this whole "cigarette in a can" thing is nothing but a marketing ploy for an herbal drink that the manufacturer claims is "the opposite of the Energy drinks."
The product's packaging has long since been redesigned to look precisely like the energy drink it totally is not. Other than the name, its links to smoking are virtually nonexistent: Liquid Smoking contains no nicotine, amply name-drops Amsterdam, and is sold with the slogan "RelaxX till the MaxX," because somewhere down the line the '90s blew its cash on hookers and parachute pants and is now forced to work in marketing to earn its keep. It's almost sad how stubbornly they cling to the whole "come drink our liquid ashtray" cigarette theme, really -- they'd be zillionaires by now if they'd dropped the cigarette angle and played up the whole "relaxing herbal drink from Amsterdam, dude" aspect in the years before pot started its long march to get legalized. Come on, guys, it was right there.