Thanks to sites like Attu Sees All, Fazed, Linkapalooza, Stumble Upon, and Unique Daily, we've had over 10,000 hits on our Gatorade Conspiracy post. Consequently, we've also gotten a lot of comments and e-mail responses. Some of you laughed, some of you cried, and some of you just made rude statements about the quality and/or gender of the people we have sex with. Thank you, everyone. We plan to send each and every one of you a nice fruit basket and some Strawberry Shortcake stickers.
Having worked for my high school and college newspapers, I know a little something about journalistic standards, and so all the "Fuck you" and "You're gay" e-mails made me realize something: I presented only one side of the story. It was my own biased side, and, honestly, I was okay with that. But, as any other good journalist would do, I decided to dig a little deeper in order to present the Counterpoint to my Point.The first step was obvious: contact Gatorade Customer Service. I sent them an e-mail that, in effect, said "Your bottle looks like a giant penis. Please change it." This was Gatorade's response:
"We are glad to hear that you truly enjoy Gatorade and that nothing rehydrates you better. But we are disappointed that you found our packaging unsatisfactory. When developing product packages, numerous designs are considered. There are many factors involved in producing containers which function easily and best protect the product. The final selection is made on the basis of convenience, product safety and cost. Your comments and point of view have been shared with management. They are appreciated and will be considered in reviewing packaging in the future."I'm still trying to figure out whether they actually read my e-mail or just sent back some kind of form letter. I think all that "We're glad Gatorade rehydrates you" stuff was their way of screwing with me. And listen up, Gatorade people, I don't find your packaging unsatisfactory. I find it looks like a giant, fruit-flavored schlong. Maybe if you weren't so busy blowing smoke up my ass, you could comment on that. And I sincerely doubt my viewpoint will be considered the next time Gatorade designs a bottle. Of course, I'll take that back if they ever release a drink dispenser shaped like Gwen Stefani's luscious breasts.
After Gatorade gave me the brush off, I wasn't sure what else I could do. Then I discovered that Darren Rovell, ESPN.com's sports business reporter, runs a Gatorade blog. The blog is advertised as "An Unauthorized Look At One Of America's Most Dominant Brands." Darren even wrote an entire book about Gatorade. Personally, I think Darren and his Gatorade need to go get a room or something. But if anyone would know whether Gatorade is trying to force giant penises into the unsuspecting mouths of the sports drink drinking public, it would be him.But what's this?! Before I could even contact Rovell, he made "first contact" by mentioning our post on his blog! Here was what he had to say:
"Over the past couple weeks, I've received two letters asking me if I thought that Gatorade's bottles were purposely phallic. I thought this was ridiculous. Gatorade's bottles are built the way they are because of the fact that the plastic has to hold up under extremely high heat without being permanently warped. The E.D.G.E. ergonomic bottle is made so that it can be optimally gripped. Not to mention the fact that, considering the majority of Gatorade's bottles are purchased by men and boys, it isn't too beneficial to intentionally shape your product like a piece of male anatomy. I'm not going to go into the graphic details that this site Basketbawful goes into, but I'll link it up here since I only expect this will spread around the Web more and, as with every Gatorade story, I like it to have some presence here."I admit to getting a little tingly about making it on the personal Web site of a guy who works for ESPN.com. Of course, that thrill was diminished by the fact that he called my theory "ridiculous." I don't really buy into his explanations, either. The bottle is shaped like a cock because of the heating process it's made with? Whaaaa?! So he's basically saying that it's physically impossible for Gatorade bottles not to look like a penis. I'm not a bottle-making scientist, or even what you would call "of average intelligence," but I'm pretty sure physics doesn't work that way. If that were the case, wouldn't all plastic bottles have contoured, penis-shaped tops?His other two anti-conspiracy explanations actually play right into my hands. He contends that 1. Gatorade bottles are designed for maximum grippability, and 2. the primary target audience of Gatorade consists of men and boys (who, obviously, don't want to suck sports drink out of a simulated wang). But think about it. What single object do all men and boys spend most of their time gripping? That's right. The penis. Anybody who's gone through puberty can tell you that. So it stands to reason that, the phallic shape is the perfect design for optimum gripping. And it's already familiar, so guys aren't going to go around spilling their Gatorade.I'm sorry Gatorade and Darren. I still think there's something fishy in the state of Denmark. After all, television and movies have proven that you can never trust rich mega-corporations. And anybody who keeps a special diary about his favorite sports drink is certifiably (and perhaps dangerously) insane. But that's okay. I don't really want to know the truth. It's funnier that way.Coming Soon: Responses to the comments and e-mails about The Gatorade Conspiracy.