[Breakfast time. Dave stumbles from his bedroom. Nigel and Andrew are at the table, the latter having just been shopping for the morning paper.]
Andrew: Morning, Dave.
[Dave slumps into chair beside them.]
Nigel: Oh, more of this chronic fatige syndrome. You need to snap out of it!
[Andrew takes a can from a shopping bag.]
Andrew: Get this down you!
[Dave peers at the can.]
Andrew: Yeah, you know, your "mid-afternoon wakeup call".
Dave: I know what V is! You can't be serious, this stuff is dangerously addictive!
Andrew: Who says?
Dave: Chris Hayle. He says he's so addicted to it, his parents don't buy his presents for his birthday or Christmas any more, they just pay for his V addiction for a week.
Nigel: Oh, what does Chris Hayle know anyway? The bastard will say anything to pull chicks.
Andrew: Well, he's very good at it. They don't call those girls "Hayle's harem" for nothing.
Nigel: Lucky bastard. How does he manage it?
Andrew: Charm? Humility? Good humor? Generosity? Paid income? Normal hair-colour?
Nigel: Yes, yes, yes, it WAS a rhetorical question, Andrew! The point is, he swears by this - and not just in a "Jesus fucking Christ this V addiction has blighted my existence for ever fucking more" sort of swearing.
Andrew: Yeah, Dave. Drink up. What's the worst that could happen?
Dave: Maybe I get addicted to it?
Nigel: From ONE can? How puny can you get?
Andrew: Look, worst comes to the worst, we'll just lock you in your room for a week until you're clean. Nigel: Won't exactly be a huge difference from your present social life, is it, Dave?
Dave: Piss off! [holds up can] I am not drinking this stuff. You see the morons who designed it - they don't have "ingredients" they have "stuff in can"! They write "Woo-hoo!" on the nutrition information bit! And what's this? "If you're a little kid, pregnant, lactating or caffiene doesn't agree with you, then this is not for you!"
Nigel: Wow. They're really missing out on the underage breastfeeding market, huh?
Andrew: Just try it.
[Dave does so and grimaces.]
Dave: Oh, god, this is disgusting! Like blackcurrent juice mixed with cat's piss!
Nigel: I won't ask you how you know what cat's piss tastes like, David. I'll leave that up to your analyst.
Dave: It's revolting!
Andrew: Then it must be good for you. Like medicine.
Dave: Medicine? [sips] God, how could anyone get addicted to this! I think I'd prefer breast milk!
Andrew: Just keep drinking, Dave.
[Dave does so, pausing occasionally to retch. A pause.]
Andrew: Odd, isn't it? Nigel: What?
Andrew: Breast milk.
Nigel: What? As a concept? Rather typical of mammals, I'd have thought. Everyone from dolphins to echidnas do it.
Dave: Echidnas aren't mammals.
Nigel: Shut up and drink your toxic energy supplement, Dave!
Andrew: It just has this stigma. Breast milk, I mean. No one wants to drink it.
Nigel: Is that why babies cry then? They're going "For god's sake, you bitch, that tastes disgusting"?
Andrew: Yet, why does breast milk exist? To nourish the young, build up immune systems, improve breakfast cereals...
Dave: You drink breast milk with cornflakes?
Andrew: Don't be stupid, Dave. Where am I going to find breast milk out here? No, we drink breast milk quite happily... well, it's a tautology. Where else do you get milk but a breast? No, humans prefer to get milk from cows.
Nigel: Bovine lactose. Nature's candy.
Andrew: It's ridiculous. You've got milk produced by human beings for the express use for human beings.
Nigel: Heh. Express.
Andrew: Yeah, I thought it was a good pun too. Where was I? Oh, yes, we have this perfect lactic fluid and what do we do with it? Ignore it for some blockhead quadrapeds in a field.
Dave: Well, if you put like that... Andrew: And I do.
Dave: It's just embarrassing, I guess.
Nigel: What do you mean?
Dave: I mean, for the ladies. I couldn't go to Phoebe and say, "Phe, this tea is too black, you couldn't pop one out for me and give a quick squirt, could you?"
Nigel: Well, you couldn't. One glimpse of her tits and you'd be comatose for a week. And keep drinking.
Dave: The point is, it's humiliating for women.
Andrew: It doesn't have to be humiliating. There are pumps and stuff, she could keep bottles on hand. Basically, Dave, all you're saying is you trust some four-legged mooing animal you've never seen to sustain you rather than one of your best friends. It's an insult if anything.
Dave: Yeah, but there are, like, hundreds of cows. How many girls do we know who could provide us with milk?
Nigel: Theoretically, all of them. They never dry up entirely you know.
Dave: Where'd you get that gem of info? Little Britain?
Andrew: OK, breast-feeding till the age of 45 isn't necessarily what I'm suggesting. But no one says "Junior, go into the field and be suckled like all the other calves!" do they?
Dave: Rednecks permitting.
Andrew: Less talking, more drinking, Dave.
Nigel: I'd have liked to meet him.
Nigel: The guy. You know, the guy who sold mankind the idea of cow milk in the first place. He must have been a goddamned genius. How do you pitch something like that? "Hey, everyone, try this white stuff. I got it out of those hairy mooing things in the field. And it's from the girl ones this time, you don't get the same amount from the boys - isn't odd they only have one nipple between their bollocks? Anyway, drink this!"
Andrew: And it took off.
Nigel: I know. People must have just gone, "You know, sucking the white stuff from random body parts of other animals is a brilliant idea! That's way more cool than hanging out with the chicks with the huge boobs, waiting for them to put out!"
Andrew: If you went around trying to sell people things like that, you'd get locked up. "Why worry about finding chicken stock when giraffe spit is just as good! Everyone buy cartons of giraffe saliva to put into your soups and curries to break up the thickness!"
Nigel: "But don't get your mum to spit in the food! That'd be gross!"
Andrew: Exactly. Double standards. Any effects so far, Dave?
Dave: Nope. Just tired and lethargic as usual.
Nigel: Maybe it needs a while to kick in.
Dave: Nigel, it says here "To help them get more stuff done, the ancient Amazonian Indians would suck on gobfuls of guaanan berries".
Andrew: What a detailed anthropological description.
Dave: If it's true, the things must have had a damn quick effect.
Nigel: Yeah, but this isn't pure goanna-whatever it is. It's all diluted and stuff for general use.
Andrew: They still say you can only drink two cans per day.
Nigel: What? Are they trying to get out of business? First excluding the caffiene-intolerant lactating pregnant five year old market and now this? Insane!
Dave: I feel rubbish. My head's full of cotton wool and I just want to sleep.
Andrew: Scull the rest, it might have an effect.
Dave: What? Like that time you got us that cannabis chocolate cake?
Nigel: It's not my fault it was baked so badly.
Andrew: Maybe it's your antidepressents somehow cancelling it out.
Dave: I'm not on antidepressents.
Nigel: Oh, if only you were.
Andrew: The point is, maybe you're the 0.5% of people for whom V has absolutely no effect of any kind whatsoever.
[Dave sculls the rest of the can.]
Nigel: Reminds me of that Archie comic, that one where he becomes a tester for a cola company. They wire him up to this gizmo that rates his enjoyment, and he takes one sip and it goes boom! 100% enjoyment. And the execs are so chuffed they make this recipe the new ultimate cola and burn the old recipe.
Andrew: Is that where New Coke came from then?
Nigel: Guess so. Course, when Archie tries the drink, he hates it. Even though it's the same one he loved.
Dave: Oh, why?
Nigel: Turns out that Veronica drank from the same can, her lipstick was on it, and THAT was what he was enjoying.
Andrew: You said it. Those executives screwed themselves over because of ONE SINGLE test subject enjoying a recipe no one else bothered to try? They didn't check anyone else's opinion at all? The idiots deserve whatever they get. Frankly, they'd get more money out of their detector gizmo...
Nigel: My point was, Archie wasn't normal. What drove him wild wouldn't effect everyone else the same way.
Andrew: Ooooh. Deep.
Dave: When you think about it, though, all they had to do was make New Coke taste like Veronica's lipstick.
[They both stare at him for a long time.]
Andrew: Well, the V certainly hasn't woken his brain up.
Nigel: I think we should sue. It clearly says "To help you do more of whatever it is yu're into, we've mixed guarana with vitamins and caffiene too!"
Dave: But the Amazonian Indians didn't need caffiene. They just needed this guava-fruit thing pure and simple.
Nigel: They dilute the product, cut out a potential market and then limit how often a consumer can drink it? These guys make those Archie comic dudes look like Alan freaking Sugar.
Nigel: I'm a busy man, Dave, I dunno half the pop culture references I spew up!
[Another awkward pause.]
Andrew: You don't feel ANYTHING?
Dave: Just irritable.
Andrew: [shrugs] Well. At least the caffiene's working.
Nigel: Hang on a second. It's a disclaimer. "Your daily intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs".
Dave: What, I have to drink more?
Andrew: Looks like.
Dave: But it's revolting! Even having you two waffling on about drinking breast milk and Archie comics didn't stop it being vile! This is a complete rip-off and has done nothing but leave a vile taste in my mouth!
Andrew: Good point.
Dave: So what do we do NOW, Answerman?
[A long pause.]
[Andrew and Dave leave, shaking their heads.]