An Apologist's Guide To Orange Hi-C

"Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs," said Shakespeare. And I sigh until my chest hurts every time I drink orange Hi-C's sweet nectar. But only at McDonald's.

Why McDonald's? Because their orange Hi-C is unlike any other. Why Shakespeare? To show you that the stuff gives my a heart a boner.

Like most Americans, I've eaten at McDonald's damn near a thousand times; unlike most Americans, there's only four instances where I did not get orange Hi-C. (I drank blue Powerade there a few times while I was on a jog.) And while concentrate drinks are notorious for being watered-down and shitty-tasting, orange Hi-C at McD's has only been watered down for me twice. Two fucking times. That's it!


Whenever I go to Burger King or Subway and get a Coke or some other inferior form of Hi-C (what the hell is with our national obsession with fruit punch?), it is watered down like 20 percent of the time. But McDonald's orange Hi-C just keeps bringing it. There's almost a supernatural element to its reliability. It's the Cal Ripken of children's beverages.

Not only that, but the flavor there is superior to the taste of any juice or juice cocktail you get from grocery stores. And this includes store-bought orange Hi-C.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy buying Hi-C juice boxes, putting them in a lunch pail, and drinking them at work. (Seriously, I actually do this. And I'm a goddamn adult.) But drinking store-bought Hi-C is like putting your dick in a fleshlight. Whereas at McDonald's, it's like, well, you know. Like spending time with someone you care about.

As a kid, I loved McD's Hi-C so much that my mom bought it directly from the restaurant to shut me up. She'd bring home these gallon jugs filled with sugary syrup just because I whined that the store version sucked. My mom was fucking awesome.

Now, I don't really know what makes their version so superior. I mean, if I really knew or gave a shit about what's in my food, I wouldn't drink Hi-C in the first place. And I sure as hell wouldn't eat at McDonald's. But since my metabolism allows me to consume unreasonable amounts of calories without immediate consequences, just keep sliding those Chicken McNuggets and sugar drinks down my throat, and please don't show me that pink ice-cream-looking stuff.

The syrup texture of the concentrate may be a big reason why it kicks so much ass. But I'd rather stay ignorant of the reason and just attribute the taste to magic.

What's amazing to me is that when I talk about orange Hi-C this way, people act like I'm some goddamn weirdo conspiracy theorist. I mean, I am. But that's not the point. Every day, people pretentiously rave about their favorite beers. The only thing wine enthusiasts enjoy more than drinking wine is listening to themselves talk about how much they like drinking wine. And of course, there's always soda jerk-offs.

But no one gushes over juice derivatives in this way. Surely there must be a passionate Capri Sun drinker over the age of 20. But he (or she!) stays closeted.

So please, people, quite being such bland, boring, unoriginal adults. Shut up about your craft beer. I don't give a shit. Remember when we were kids? Wasn't that great? I'm guessing you miss the feelings and perks of childhood sometimes, when the mortgage bills pile up and your family needs a pricier health-insurance policy because you took them to McDonald's too often.

Yeah, I figured so.

What was that one drink you used to love? Not that one. The other one. Yeah that's it.

Well how about you quit sniffing your own ass talking about adult beverages, and instead go out and re-experience the drink that used to satisfy your thirst and bring you joy? It's only weird if you make it so.

Image by Sam Woolley