Four Loko No Mo'

Drink faces Texas ban.

WHATEVER, POLITICAL ANIMALS

Four Loko Ban in Texas
Danger drink remains in spotlight

By Craig Hlavaty

It's funny how certain things become your beat. Some guys get latched onto animal rights, some find their niche working for homeless people, while others find themselves covering a can of liquid death, in my case, Four Loko.

I was the one who drank three cans of Four Loko awhile back for Hair Balls, spending close to 12 hours in a caffeine- and alcohol-soaked hell of my own design. All through it, though, I always said that just because the drink tastes like sugary nail-polish remover, it shouldn't be outright banned because some folks can't handle themselves.

In the wake of my sordid adventure, I noticed that most of the other outlets covering Loko weren't even trying it for themselves, and if they were they were not getting drunk off it, instead turning their noses up at the two sips they took.

The Twitter site @4lokolunatics somehow raised me up as a folk hero for actually getting drunk off the stuff before I made any public declarations. That's pretty flattering, I guess, and almost makes up for passing out for three hours on the work sofa.

The drink is now being banned or under review in nine states across the country, with more surely to follow. The FDA is looking into the drink and the other popular spirit Joose to see if it's time to shut both down, or at least make drastic mods to the ingredients.

On a recent trip to Louisiana to tailgate an LSU Tigers game, I found the stuff was ubiquitous as beer or jambalaya. Sadly, I can admit I drank another half a can with friends, but felt like utter garbage minutes later. Old habits die hard, what can I say?

A Texas ban is sure to be imminent with the recent news of a 14-year-old girl from Arlington dying in a car accident where empty cans of Four Loko were found among other alcoholic beverages. My question is, why not just sell it at liquor stores exclusively instead of next to beer and wine at your local convenience store? It seems to me that the liquor stores have a better handle on fake-ID sales than Chevron or Texaco might. Just our thought.

We contacted the folks behind @4lokolunatics to get their side of the story. They are resolute in their support of the drink, even taking a vaguely libertarian stance on the substance, saying, "Four Loko is harmless in moderation; irresponsible people shouldn't be the people who force lawmakers to institute bans. We don't pretend like Four Loko is made of ambrosia and nectar and came from the teat of the Virgin Mary. We know that it's a dangerous drink, but we drink it anyway."

For now, it's still game on for the loco folks needing their Loko fix. As for me, I'm back on Lone Star and whiskey.
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DOING IT DAILY

There is a ton of stuff each day on the Houston Press blogs; you’re only getting a taste of it here in the print edition. Head to blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs (or “/rocks” or “/eating” or “/artattack”) and under “Tools” on the top-right side of the page, use the “categories” drop-down menu to find these stories:

Whatever

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Say, did you see how that Jaguars game ended? Everyone did, as the unbelievable Hail Mary was shown in every highlight show known to man. We presented it in Tecmo Bowl form. We officially declared dead the 2010 Houston Texans, and likely Gary Kubiak's tenure here. In celebrity-type news, we pondered Tiger Woods's Twitter account and wondered how Eva Longoria could be surprised that an NBA player cheats.

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