State attorneys general, Wilking says, take a particular interest in energy drinks and how they are marketed: While caffeine overdoses are rare, they always capture the public eye. Naming your energy drink after an illicit substance just takes it a step further. "It's a stick in the eye to a state regulator," Wilking says. "They get calls, parents get upset about it, schools, etc. This Cocaine product, the graphic, it's so over the top."
So of course, for high schoolers like us, "it became the general consensus that we were gonna have to go out and find some Cocaine," Zach remembers. He adds: "Before it's illegal."
Getting your hands on it was actually pretty hard. This was before the days when company websites conveniently told you exactly which retail locations stocked a certain controversially branded product near your home complete with maps. As far as Zach and I recall, one of our friend group managed to secure and print out a list of locations that stocked the drink on Long Island -- one of which was the Western Beef supermarket in Mineola, NY -- a brisk walk across the town's two major avenues from our school's train station. For teenagers who couldn't drive, walking there after school on a mission to buy Cocaine felt like a sequence left on the cutting room floor of Stand By Me, made only more endearingly silly by the fact that we were so sheepish we brought the cans back to the train station and sipped them out of paper bags as if we were actually drinking something not-OK to drink in public.