Unfortunate Food

Budweiser & Clamato "Chelada"
rating: :8 :8 :8 :8

Because as we all know, there's nothing quite like a cooler full of ice-cold cans of beer mixed with tomato and clam juice to make you the life of your next tailgate party.

Yep, nothing quite like it – and thank god for that.  Why the hell would anybody drink this?  I mean, Budweiser and Clamato are vile enough on their own; I can't even begin to imagine the level of sheer repulsive horror that would result from combining them... with salt and lime, no less!  Moxie sounds positively tasty by comparison.

This is the sort of thing of which Lovecraftian nightmares are made of.  When he talked about gibbering horrors which the minds of mere mortals could not gaze upon without going insane, he was probably talking about something like this.  In fact, I believe the Necronomicon explicitly states that if you say "Chelada" three times while standing in front of a mirror, it will summon a giant Demon Clam which will drench you in tomato juice and eat you.  With salt and lime.  (Then it will wash you down with a nice, cold Bud Lite while your tortured soul sinks into a bottomless, blood-red, Clamato-filled pit of madness and despair.)

One can only imagine the product-development meeting which led to this product:
Marketing Exec.#1: "Hey, guys, I've got a great idea!  You know how great it is when you go to one of those little seafood places out on the beach, and you're sitting around with your friends drinking beer and scarfing down clams on the half shell?  Well, how about this: let's combine the beer with the clams!"
Marketing Exec.#2: "Brilliant!  But hey, what about that red cocktail sauce that comes with the clams?  I always put that on the clams."
Marketing Exec.#1: "Hey, you're right.  OK, we'll add that, too!  Brilliant!"
Marketing Exec.#2: "Brilliant!"
Marketing V.P.: "Have you two suffered some kind of massive brain hemorrhages recently?"
Marketing Exec.#2: "But what will we call it?"
Marketing Exec.#1: "Clamweiser... Budmato... no, wait, I've got it!  Chelada!"
Marketing V.P.: "Chelada?"
Marketing Exec.#2: "Chelada! Brill—"
(the transcript of the meeting cuts off at this point, as a giant Demon Clam appears and eats the entire Anheuser-Busch marketing department.  With salt and lime.)

Actually, the salt and lime provides a clue as to the origins of this foul, mollusky witches' brew – Mexico.  For some reason, they really love the whole salt-and-lime thing down there, and apparently, given the popularity of this concoction, they're also really into gastronomic masochism and self-torture.  Or maybe it's like the Australians and their Vegemite*, or the Asians with their Balut eggs; they don't really eat it themselves, they just think it's funny to pretend they do so they can have a laugh watching the tourists' heads explode when they sample the "local delicacies".

A bit of research indicates that this kind of thing is a popular hangover cure** south of the border.  I guess that would kind of work, seeing as how trying to choke down a concoction made of lousy beer, tomato juice, and clams, and keep it down, would distract you from the hangover, but it sure seems like the cure is several orders of magnitude worse than the disease...

I wish I could say that this, like Clamato "Energia", has come and gone from the shelves in a fizzle of inglorious failure... but alas, it appears to be here to stay; it first showed up on the shelves of the local grocery stores here in Texas a couple of years ago and, I regret to report, it's still around.  Like Clamato itself, I've never actually seen anyone buying it, but obviously someone must be drinking the stuff.  Some people actually profess to like it.  I suspect these people are posessed by the Demon Clams, myself.  Forget the impending Zombie Apocalypse, I'm starting to worry about the Clam Apocalypse.

(* Just kidding, all you Aussies out there. :)  Actually, I've sampled Vegemite, and it isn't nearly as nasty as its legends make it out to be; you just need to know the right way to eat the stuff.  Plus, Vegemite is 100% clam-free – and 100% Budweiser-free, for that matter – which, no matter how you slice it, automatically makes it far more palatable than this mutant "beverage" from the Abyss.)
(** Budweiser and V-8 is another supposed hangover cure down Mexico way, which begs the question of why there isn't a pre-canned Bud-and-V-8 version of "Chelada" as well.  I'm guessing that V-8 had better sense than to let Budweiser anywhere near their product.)

Verdict:   Again, no... f---ing... way.