Have you ever enjoyed a product only to find out that it has gone off the market? This has happened to me many times and if you've seen my presentation you will remember just how angry I was that The Olive Garden took away my manicotti I ordered since I was five years old.
More recently I have been fearful of a product that I have not been able to find. Many times last year, as proved by this list of blogs, I talked about it. It sort of was a rite of passage as I drove through Kingdom City that I would get Red Bull Cola at the Petro Station there on I-70. This happened many times, but then on one trip it was gone.
I thought nothing of it, perhaps Petro changed their order, or maybe they were just out. Then, over the course of the past eight months or so, I have not been able to find it ANYWHERE. I checked the internet and others seemed to be as confused as I was as too where the Red Bull Cola had gone. I checked Ebay, not that I would feel comfortable buying a food product on there, but some people were asking $10 a can. TEN DOLLARS! And that did not include shipping.
Anytime something is hard to find, or even worse... discontinued, the prices go up. In fact, when my book was sold out on Amazon earlier this year some people were selling used copies for as much as $250!
So my fears were set that I would never have a Red Bull Cola. This saddened me as it is more than a drink to me. Somewhere in my blog I talked about the associative memory associated with the drink, but it's been a while so I will say it again. I first tasted it at the 2009 Indy 500 as a Red Bull Mini drove buy handing out free samples. At first I despised the drink. I thought it was awful, nasty, and too zingy for my taste.
I didn't try it again until I was handed it at the 2009 SKUSA SuperNats in Las Vegas. I was thirsty and that's what I had so I drank it and this time the taste was amazing. Perhaps the taste was aided by the fact that I was the chief starter of the largest go-kart race in North America, and perhaps the world, but from that point in time I leaped at any chance to drink Red Bull Cola.
The next memory I had associated with the drink was just 3 months after the 09 SuperNats when I went along with Ron Ekstrand, CEO of TouchPoint, and other key figures of TouchPoint to the Kansas City area and we stopped at that Petro station along the way and that was the first time I got Red Bull Cola at that gas station.
That trip to the K.C. was a big thrill for me as I was still part time at that point in time, but I felt as if I was part of something and had something to contribute. Now what does that have anything to do with Red Bull Cola? This is where my associative memory system comes into play.
Each time I taste Red Bull Cola I can not only see those two events I mentioned, but it is truly like re-feeling the emotions of it. I do have a videographic memory, but by having this aid, it is like re-experiencing it all over again.
So with all that said, yesterday my sister informed me (I am in Indy about to head to Kalamazoo for a USAC .25 race along with a full size midget race that will see me as the flagman) that she had my Christmas present. I thought it was a bit early for it so I thought she was being sarcastic. She went upstairs and returned with a can of Red Bull Cola! It was as if she had brought an extinct animal out of, well, extinction. This was impossible! I accepted the fact that I'd never have another one, but here it was.
Not only was there one, but I believe she said there were eight. Now this is where I became inquisitive as, "Where did you get these?" I asked. She informed me that she got them at Big Lots for the amazing price of 50 cents per can. 50 cents! They were normally $1.49-$2.09 depending on factors I could never figure out.
I'm not patient and I think my sister is holding the other seven cans for Christmas so after a meeting I attended in the morning, and then a canoe trip that I took with my sister and nephew (that could have been a blog post by itself. The end score of the trip was Sugar Creek 1, Aaron 0 as the river managed to turn us over and I slammed my shoulder on a log that was under the water. Yes, even a lazy afternoon float down the river can turn into an adventure in my life.) we stopped at a Big Lots and there they were. More Red Bull cola than I had ever seen at any point in my life so I decided to stock up.
Was 10 enough? Nope. 20? Not hardly. 30? Nope, 30 is such an awkward number (I have no evidence to prove this, I just wanted to say it) so I went with 40. 40 cans and I would have gotten more, but the other cans were somewhat deformed.
I have been drinking a can as I have written this and I know that there's more left. However, the cans I got yesterday, and the cans I will get in the short term, might be it. According to some internet pages the product has indeed been discontinued. This has sort of delayed the inevitable, but I'm okay with that as while I have drinking this I have been reliving the SuperNats in all its glory and also the car ride to Kansas City in a time that I didn't know what I'd be doing with my life yet knowing I was on the brink of something. It's not very often in life that we get a second chance, but I feel as if I do have a second chance with this as I thought Red Bull Cola was gone forever. This may seem like an irrelevant topic, but to experience the power of the "associative memory system" in all its power is amazing. Now pardon me, I have a can to finish and I know, at least for a while, it won't be the last.