It’s baaack. Well, sort of. We’ve seen Slimer’s Hi-C Ecto Cooler on the site before, and through some feedback on his most recent appearance, I learned the deepest, darkest secret of the fruit juice aisle. For those who need a refresher course, ‘Ecto Cooler’ took an already established Hi-C flavor — some kind of mutated orange that wasn’t doing too well — and added everyone’s favorite Ghostbusters luminary to the box. That’s all it took to make the juice standard lunchbox fare in its heyday, and there wasn’t a kid in America who hadn’t tried the stuff at least once.
I was more of a Ssips iced tea man myself, but that damn box was just too engaging to resist. I don’t care what kind of awful luncheon meat littered your brown bad — if it had Ecto Cooler inside, you were on top of the world. The beverage lasted far longer than The Real Ghostbusters’ appeal, enabling Slimer to extend his wave of popularity much longer than the toon versions of Bill Murray and that guy from Congo. As with all good things, Ecto Cooler eventually ceased to exist. Or did it?
Apparently, Hi-C’s current ‘Orange Lavaburst’ flavor bears a striking resemblance in taste to Slimer’s fabled citrus punch. I was skeptical, since Ecto Cooler has been the target of many awful rumors over the years. Do a web search on it — you’ll find everything from desperately makeshift home recipes to false diatribes about how it’s still sold in some Poughkeepsie general store that’s fronted by an old man who always – ALWAYS carries a pitchfork. I’ve been disappointed too many times, and wasn’t sure I could handle another Ecto letdown. Still, a ten-pack of Orange Lavaburst only costs around three bucks. If I was going to be disappointed, at least I’d still be able to afford a comforting box of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. With my fingers crossed and my hopes high, I forked the cash over to the lovely cashier and prepared myself for the grand experiment.
Unbelievably, it IS Ecto Cooler. This isn’t wishful thinking, and I’m not crazy. Anyone who’d been lucky enough to experience the original knows that it had an unmistakable taste, and while you might not remember that taste outright, it’ll certainly come back to you as soon as this shit hits your tongue. It’s really Ecto Cooler — we’re saved! It’s a tough flavor to describe, but you know, it’s actually not that bad. I’ve got one of those tongues that’s ultrasensitive to drinks meant for second graders, and yet here I am, sipping away with reckless abandon. I’m on the fourth box already. Soon it’ll be five, then six, then ten and another trip to the damn grocery store. Fortunately, I heard that the guy who owns Hi-C really enjoyed Richard Pryor’s work in Superman III, and that’s definitely the type of person I don’t mind funneling money towards.
The one thing that’s not entirely perfect is the beverage’s color. Sort of a cross between lemonade and beer piss. Easily fixed with a few droplets of green food coloring, as evidenced in the second picture up above. Doesn’t change the mighty taste one bit, and if you’re willing to forgive a slightly green tinge on your lips and teeth, you’re practically drinking Slimer’s sweat. And really, isn’t that the whole point of Ecto Cooler? Eating a little part of Slimer in an effort to be a little more like him? As far as I know, Orange Lavaburst is one of Hi-C’s more popular flavors, and doesn’t seem anywhere near a curtain call. We’ve got at least a few years left of surrogate Ecto Cooler to enjoy, so what are you waiting for? Go, go and buy it. Drink the drink Slimer made famous. Even if you weren’t into Ghostbusters, ‘Lavaburst’ is a pretty cool name on its own. Just rolls right off the tongue, like a Hallmark greeting or a handful of marbles. Personally, this discovery has provided the most uplifting moment of the century thus far, and while it sucks that ol’ Slimey couldn’t show his mug on the Lavaburst box, at least we know he’s somewhere inside it. Somewhere deep inside it, swimming around, happy, ready to be drunk. Yeah.