The authorities are getting nervous about the latest craze among people who like to get drunk but don't like the taste of alcohol (in other words, free riders). From NPR:
In Washington state, nine college freshmen landed in the hospital recently with near-lethal blood alcohol levels after drinking a caffeinated malt beverage called Four Loko, according to law enforcement officials.
Police reports describe chaos at the October incident, where officers found female freshmen unable to talk or sit up, lying on mattresses in a basement near Central Washington University, about two hours east of Seattle.
Police shuttled loads of intoxicated freshmen back to campus and took the worst cases to the hospital. One student almost died, according to the police reports. At first, investigators thought the students had been drugged, but it turns out they were drinking Four Loko.
Of course, apprentice drinkers have long tried to make alcohol more palatable, and less of a "downer," by mixing it with sugary caffeine drinks. That's why Coke and Pepsi (and Red Bull if expense is no object) are essential mixers at any off-campus apartment party.
I prefer rum and Moxie myself. (And I just learned of the New Englander cocktail, which contains Moxie and gin.) Moxie is a caffeinated drink that's far less sweet than Coke and even slightly bitter. I used to tell people it was like sasparilla, but now I realize that's even more obscure than Moxie among people under 40. Anyway, when Moxie is mixed with alcohol, both ingredients reduce each other's bite. The result doesn't seem as quick as Four Loko in inducing blackouts, however.
I don't know if the Andrew Sisters were renowned for their ability to acheive quick blackouts, but I wonder how many rum and Cokes it took for them to get up the nerve to attempt Caribbean accents. I swear that when I listened to the song, I thought the refrain was about "working for the alky dollar."