Opening Up a Can 

Beverage just might be the key to a better life—or maybe it’s just got a cool name

Beverage just might be the key to a better life—or maybe it’s just got a cool name

Lately, I’ve become a patron of the new McCabe Market on Murphy Road. I like it because it’s close, it’s clean, and the people behind the counter are friendly. I also like it for what it’s not: a big-box market with a busload of people in the express lane, or a stinky, little, ashtray-smelling market where the clerk cell-phones her jail-bound boyfriend while she’s ringing up my gallon of skim milk.

Lately, my main reason for going to the McCabe Market is that it’s the only place I know where a person can buy a real-enough can of Whoopass. Daughter Jess found it. I sent her in to buy a couple of chocolate-covered frozen bananas, and she came out holding an undersized soda can. “Whatcha got there, baby?” I asked.

“Can of Whoopass, Daddy. Want some?”

“No thanks,” I replied, “but I dig the concept.”

Unlike some daddies, who want their daughters all dainty and fainty, I want my daughter ready, willing, and able to open up a can of Whoopass at a moment’s notice. In fact, Jess and I have an agreement: She can date one-on-one only after she masters the spear-hand technique. That’s the nifty martial-arts move in which you rip out an offender’s heart and show him the still-beating unit before he conks out. Not that I ever want her to use it. I just want her to have it handy, in case some wrong-minded boy needs a harsh and final lesson.

Anyhow, back to the Whoopass. It comes from Jones Soda Company (, and it costs $1.79 for an 8.4-ounce can. That is some pricey soda—not the kind of thing you buy by the half-gallon and set out on the picnic table at a cookout. For nearly 2 bucks a can, I expect a lot more than simple refreshment.

Well, the Whoopass people have anticipated my needs. It says right on the can: “Revitalizes attitude & restores faith in mankind.” I don’t know about y’all, but I could use some of that. In my home inspection business, I’m exposed to a lot of things that could rattle my faith in mankind.

Just last week, I witnessed a bevy of crooked contractors bidding repairs at double and triple their actual value, in a lame attempt to drive down the price of a house. A few weeks back, I saw a brand-new house that had passed its final codes inspection, but wasn’t actually fit to live in. A few months back, I saw a soaking-wet underground room that was built with no waterproofing, and a builder who denied that it needed any. Well, I caught all those evildoers and got their evil undone, but it took a little something out of me. I could use some revitalization and restoration.

Skeptical guy that I am, I checked the ingredients in Whoopass, looking specifically for restorative agents. It’s got fizzy water, sugar, and preservatives, which comes as no surprise. It also has some unusual stuff, which I looked up on the Internet: Taurine, a nonessential amino acid that is thought to help in controlling epileptic seizures, motor tics, and facial twitches; guaraná extract, a stimulant not unlike coffee, with the added benefit of being an aphrodisiac; royal jelly, bee barf that can turn an ordinary girl-bee larva into a queen bee; and inositol, which is supposed to lower cholesterol, stop hair loss, and ease the symptoms of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The way I figure, the inositol alone could make for a brighter day. And if you’re a tired-out bee larva with a twitchy eye and no sex drive, the potential for a lifestyle upgrade is huge.

At the Jones Soda Web site, I learned that the Canadian version of Whoopass is missing the taurine, royal jelly, and inositol. Of the four active restorative ingredients, the Canadians only get the guaraná extract. Where’s the whoopass in that brew? And without the taurine, what’s supposed to counteract the twitches that the guaraná might cause?

So far, I haven’t sampled any Whoopass myself, but Jess says it tastes like Flintstones chewable vitamins—specifically the red Freds. That must be from the thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and B6 that’s in U.S. Whoopass, but not Canadian Whoopass. Frankly, I can’t figure out why the Canadians would pay around 3 Canadian dollars for a can of the stuff.

The Jones Soda people have this angle covered. On the side of the Whoopass can are these words: “Not recommended for people who shouldn’t drink it (you know who you are).” I figure they’re talking to the Canadians.

I’ll tell you the highest and best use of Whoopass: I buy the stuff for Jess’ softball tournaments. Before each game, there’s a ceremonial opening of the can of Whoopass. Then the girls take the field, and whoopass ensues. Sometimes our girls are the whoopers, sometimes they’re the whoopees. Either way, they just enjoy opening the can.


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