Juiced Up

Illustration by Bob AulI was at my local deli the other day when I noticed someone had finally gotten around to inventing an “optimized performance beverage system.” It's called Trek. The Trek line includes three separate “Hydrators”—fancy-pants sports-medicine talk for “juice.” You drink the FUEL bottle before strenuous activity, the BURN one during activity and the RECOVER bottle to replenish your precious bodily fluids.

Considering each bottle costs $2, that's a lot of dough to lay down just to keep healthy. Then again, Trek bottles come packed with features.

Each bottle has a Click Cap, a Carabiner belt clip, an “endlessly reusable and recyclable proprietary bottle,” and a reflective label—with map ruler—that doubles for a signaling mirror in a pinch. Oh, and the bottle's base has been molded into a “functional compass.” According to the geniuses behind Trek, “the several components of the package would retail independently at a cost of $10 or more—without the beverage.”

To see how great Trek really is, I tested a bottle during one of my normally strenuous workdays:

9:45 a.m. Get to work. Go to nearby deli, buy bottle of Trek Lemon-Lime Hydrator. Woman behind counter regards me with a glint of respect in her eye, but that may just be because I pay with exact change. 9:47 a.m. Am about to taste juice for the first time, but then realize I haven't eaten breakfast yet. Buy chocolate-fudge brownie. 9:52 a.m. Finally taste Trek Lemon-Lime Hydrator. Tastes like watered-down Gatorade. More limey than lemony. 9:55 a.m. Pinch finger painfully trying to hook bottle of Trek Lemon-Lime Hydrator to belt loop on my shorts. 10:24 a.m. Go to bank to cash paycheck. Have to temporarily unhook bottle from shorts when I realize I can't fasten seatbelt properly with bottle at my side. 11:05 a.m. Return from bank. Find someone else in my parking space, forcing me to park really far from office. Glad to have bottle of Trek so close at this unforeseen crisis. 11:15 a.m. Get bored. Measure thumb on Trek label map ruler. Ruler scale says thumb is 24,000 miles long. 12:36 p.m. Drive to Orange City Hall to research upcoming city council elections. Perusing campaign-finance statements always makes my throat go dry—glad I've got protection today. 1:15 p.m. Stuck in traffic on miserable 55 freeway on way back to office. Nearly hitting guy in front of me scares me into not drinking Trek while driving. 1:28 p.m. Get thirsty on drive home. Stop at 7-Eleven for Big Gulp. 3:17 p.m. Get bored again. I go shoot hoops at park across street from TBN Headquarters. Bottle hooked to my shorts only causes minor irritation as it flops and bangs against my thigh. Nearby, a guy practicing his hardball pitching keeps staring at me. Obviously, he recognizes the skills. 3:35 p.m. Believe I see a friend across the park. Try to signal him with Trek bottle's reflective label that doubles as a signaling mirror, but overcast sky completely obscures sun. Damn you, cumulous clouds! Damn you to Hell! 3:50 p.m. Back at office. Phone rings, but I let voice mail take it. Instead, I check out freak news at www.dailyrotten.com. Wow: “Popular bear shot, killed on second floor of hotel!” 4:43 p.m. Experiencing writer's block. It's common during a long day like today. Gotta get out of the office. I go for walk around office park. The infusion of fresh air and exercise is exhilarating. The harried stress of the long day fades further away with each step. 5:17 p.m. A chill wind starts blowing in from the east. It's getting dark. With the distinct howl of a hungry coyote in the distance, I turn to head back. But something's wrong. Can't locate the landmarks I saw earlier. Lost, increasingly frantic, I suddenly remember the bottom of every Trek bottle is molded into a “functional compass.” I quickly down the last of the juice to get to the compass, only to find there's no magnetic compass needle. The compass points are all there, but with no needle, they're completely useless. Damn you, Trek! Damn you to Hell! Editor's note: Anthony Pignataro's body was found 25 yards from the front door of theOC Weekly office, his hand still gripping an empty Trek bottle.

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