La Croix, Le Fraud: An Almost Truthful Tale

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         Created in 1981, La Croix was considered an alternative to Perrier sparkling water, but there’s a few issues with this train of thought. For one, simply looking at the name comparison makes no sense. Imagine walking down the road and your average Frenchman in the most stereotypical accent retorts, “You do not understand ze culture! Honhonhon!” Now imagine that same, lascivious laugh with these varying names: “You do not understand ze culture! Perrierperrierperrier!” or “You do not understand ze culture! LaCroixLaCroixLaCroix!” It’s the same level of annoyance packaged under similarly underwhelming names. Such is the unfortunate fortune of La Croix bottled water. Today, the author shall introduce the very “real” history of this LaCroixLaCroixLaCroix, as well as the way it converged upon the global market.

         Popular to contrary belief, La Croix was born in the homely state of Wisconsin, not France, to a large corporate conglomerate called the G. Heileman Corporation. It was named to “fancify” the city of its birth, La Crosse, Wisconsin. This was to appeal to the “exotic” market littered across America. People, unwilling to travel to France, still don’t get to travel to France, but at least they’d look spiffy as fuck trying to imitate the experience.

         As a brief tangent, last year this author was a resident at the glorious Santa Catalina Hall, adjacent to the Portola Dining Commons. Each day, the succulently lined International dishes lined every station, tempting his every taste bud. His mouth salivated like a Pavlovian dog whenever a new tray was placed in front of him. Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Shoyu Chicken, Thai Coconut Chicken Curry, and Korean BBQ Ribs were among the chief beauties that caught his eye. Glistening in the pale moonlight, thet cuisine, long dormant on those lukewarm hot plates, pierced the veil of his impending hunger and reduced him to nothing more than a kitten looking for scraps. He devoured every bite with intense zeal, moaning and groaning in confusion. In fact, the man had not developed the rare ability to orgasm, but he had found a startling connection between the spice profiles of all these dishes. Aside from the added “Specific Asian country” sauce, there was almost little to no difference in the taste of these dishes. But hey… the school’s exotic.

         Anyways, continuing in this rather heinous tradition, the young beverage decided it was going to worm its way into the hearts of the American people, whether they liked it or not. You see, drinking sparkling water isn’t exactly a necessity in the world. There’s millions of people that barely get access to any water, and here we are practically worshipping water with bubbles. Despite the glitz and glam, sparkling water is created similarly to floating balloons. After learning to utilize cow methane to run renewable energy, the company decided it was time to reinvent the carbonation process. Typically, carbonation works by inserting carbon dioxide molecules into water, kept there via pressure or some other atmospheric force of nature to prevent it from escaping.

         To invert this dilapidated tradition, they decided to utilize the scented farts of human beings. After letting the humans JUUL for long periods of time in different flavors, they proceeded to inject their assholes with large amounts of carbon dioxide, just straight up. Former “flavor scientists,” as they tell the media, described the flavor making process as hard, sticky, and difficult to deal with as a result. Once the carbon dioxide insertion has been completed, the humans are put inside one of those astronaut G-Force Centrifuges to “shake” them up. Once that’s been completed, La Croix decided to use the best of all waters, raw, to hydrolyze the human membranes. This is done through a process known as “the wettening.” Don’t ask what goes on during the wettening: it’s a very long process. Once this is done, the human is emptied into large collections of 12, and these are what many people will find on the shelves at Safeway, Target, and Albertsons.

         With the process of carbonation now known, the author believes the implication is more than hinted at; it is up to the audience to accept reality. Some might say, “Heathen! Heresy! I thought La Croix water has a slight hint of color?” Oh, they ask this, but no one wants to actually know the diabolical process that goes into the coloring. In its stead, they can accept another reality: in October 2018, the company producing La Croix was sued for potentially using similar chemicals to cockroach insecticides in their beverages. Either way, you still get the best of both worlds! The only reason La Croix still exists today is because it wasn’t a sea turtle insecticide, then meme genocide would likely ensue and culminate in global nuclear war. With a product as stupidly simple as La Croix, the beverage itself is one thing, but what about the shiny aluminum can that comes along with it? Surely that innocent metal is the product of the purest of intentions, the most innocent of hearts, right? Wrong.

         At this point, the author wishes to digress to another harrowing tale. One day, in an effort to quench his impossible thirst, the author journeyed the mountains, deserts, and oceans of the Davidson Library in order to find sustenance. Feeling dismayed with his options, he instead resolved to visit The Arbor, conveniently located a whole 20 steps from the library. Peeping into the doorhole, he bore witness to the shipment of a fresh crate of Pepsi-Cola cans, here because the school didn’t want to pay Coke money instead. Gripping the can in one hand, and overdramatizing this narrative with the other, he quickly tossed the cash at the counter and went on his merry way.

         He stared at the can. The can stared back. He stared at the can. The can stared back. He stared at the can, the can didn’t stare back. He was daydreaming from heat stroke.

         Unable to resist its allure, he located the little metallic tab at the top of the can, and popped it open. Alas, the tab, following the chaotic nature of UCSB’s Physics department, decided to briefly defy all mechanical, thermodynamic, and nuclear laws and fell into the can. In an effort to resuscitate his valiant efforts, he attempted to perform CPR on the can. Poking around with his finger, he found the opening too small for the large tab. What a great design! He’d always wanted to lose his tab in a can of soda, so now that was one thing off his bucket list. In a last ditch effort, the courageous author mapped his way to the nearest Hydration Station. Was he after the morally dubious water inhabiting those filters? No, “recycled water” was not the thing for him. Turning towards the drain, he attempted to drain some of the caramel liquid in order to attain at least some of the godly nectar within. But alas, it was only then the tab decided to make its deus ex machina appearance, and gashed his tongue. Notice the use of the double “alas” to add to the panic of the moment. Defeated, the lone author discarded the can—in the “recycling” bin, of course. The author insists he’s no turtle killer.

         The aluminum can that La Croix uses is already of questionable design and is actually made in one of the most complicated chemical processes in the entire universe. Epluribusunum, a brand new element discovered by so-called “patriotic Americans”, is used to convert human beings into aluminum. But not just any human, so you can bet they’re stereotyping every jogger, hiker, vlogger, and even that adorable baby in that stroller, looking for the perfect human. Look at aluminum, why is it even called aluminum? Why do arrogant people pronounce it like “aluminium” like that increases their IQ by 100? Neither of those questions have been answered, as aluminum is still universally recognized by its symbol, Al. Whether you live in the US or Britain, the fallacy of the English language in dialects is corrected with the simple 2-letter sequence codified in the periodic table. Sure, they might say aluminum is derived from “alumen”, which means bitter salt according to Wikipedia. However, what else is salty… it’s Al.

         Okay, so maybe you’re lost at this point. What is this author talking about? And this is supposed to be the hit to his latest Pulitzer Prize-winning article… seriously disappointed. Holdeth your eternal damnation, reader, for I shall breathe truth into this article.

         “Al” is the name of the person of interest La Croix so desperately seeks; people who were bestowed with this unholy name have been historically described for their salty, bitter personalities. Clear examples include Al Pacino, who literally plays gangsters for a living and surrounds himself with things like cocaine all the time, which ironically looks a little bit like salt. Or even better, the documentary Toy Story 2 describes the ideal Al. Philosopher John Lasseter, reflecting on the morality of man, created the character Al as the emblem of all “Al”s across the globe. Look at what happened to the man: every night he goes to sleep on the couch, cheesy puffs littered around his floor, and there’s not even a hint that the man is married. He’s not in the doghouse, he’s in Al’s Toy Barn. Unfulfilled by his life as a chicken, Al secretly yearns for greater power, to seek the truth beyond. He turns into a black market toy dealer, kidnapping toys without children and converting their sorrow into pure profit. Don’t believe this theory? Breaking Bad adopts this exact same philosophy with their main character, W(al)ter White. And what does the man work with: blue salt, or meth? (… it’s honestly your choice)

         As such, La Croix selectively seeks out people of this rare name to line the cans every La Croix consumer buys every single day of their natural lives. Why do you think they sell at ALbertson’s…? The saltiness in every Al is converted by depleting the body of water while playing “Gonna Make You Sweat”, which is in fact the anthem of nearly every sweatshop around the world. From the salt generated in this process, they proceed to plant these human beings into the ground, where bauxite in the soil (rich in aluminum oxide) undergoes a complex scientific reaction to create aluminum foil. The initial sheets are quite rough, so they have to go at it over and over again in order to reach peak thinness. It takes years of hammer swinging to master the craft, but La Croix specifically uses an army of toddlers to do their bidding. Why this process, aside from the obvious violations of child labor that is seemingly only a problem when employed by companies other than Nike, Apple, etc? No one will know.

         To explain this concept, the author wishes to ask the reader to participate in a brief recollection of their earliest childhood.

         In an effort to determine their child’s IQ, parents often put forth a toy containing a hammer, a big box with geometrical holes, and a plethora of geometric shapes that fit perfectly into one hole. Rather than conform to society’s standards of matching circle with circle, or triangle to triangle, some toddlers developed the uncanny ability to force circle blocks in triangle holes, triangle blocks in rectangular holes… all through the pure power of will. They collapse nonagons into squares and impose their will over the entropic order of the universe. Through these years of harsh training, these toddlers have developed an inert power potential, a measure of the untapped strength they possess in their forearms. By activating this potential using milk from the plethora of cows after the Santa Barbara incident, these toddlers have the strength of approximately 3000 men. This is why they hammer all day long, late into the night.

         With the aluminum fitted into sheets, all that’s left is the folding process. In a perfect example of ingenuity, La Croix developers managed to imitate origami, and fold solid metal into the enigmatic shape that is the cylinder. It’s a circle, but it’s also a circle with a lot of character depth… literally. Combining the beverage with this newly minted aluminum can, La Croix created a very “accessible” beverage to the human race. Why do people feel at home drinking La Croix? Why does it feel like they know the person that made this? Because you do. If you don’t feel this sensation, you’re likely buying it for the French hype, and lack of respect for true carbonation means.

         Now, the author apologizes. People still don’t seem convinced that La Croix uses Al’s for sheet metal. So let’s lay down some more groundwork.

         Take Disney’s Wall-E, the story about love, redemption, and forgiveness through the eyes of a lovable robot. Some might say, “precisely, this stupid author doesn’t realize W(al)l-E was a great person, how can he be salty?” The author activates his Reverse Uno Card by demonstrating the theorem still holds true.

         What is Wall-E, exactly? He’s a robot, not a human, which explains why he does not predominantly consist of salt. However, his Al programming from the name forces him to adhere to some aspects of the role. For example, he ends up convincing the human race to revisit Earth after showing them a PLANT! That’s what La Croix does with the Al heads, they’re put in the ground. And what else does Wall-E do as part of his daily functions? He crushes malleable metals such as other forms of aluminum, precisely the way La Croix squeezes the salt out of its Al’s. Others may criticize this as mere coincidence, but if that’s the case, then explain why the main villain of the movie is “O.T.T.O”. Most people quickly caught on that OTTO is a homonym of “auto”, but only the truly enlightened picked up on the fact that OTTO is an AI, which is (in most other fonts aside from Times New Roman) nearly identical to Al. There’s too many references for this not to be true. Cruella DeVille wears dALmation fur in the same way La Croix utilizes the dead skin cells on Als’ skin to create the initial salt complex. Al Gore was extremely salty after losing the 2000 Presidential election despite winning the majority vote. ALice in Wonderland, an LSD induced film, is part of La Croix’s intense propaganda ploy via Disney. To portray such high levels of surrealism would desensitize the public to their own insane methods. The list goes on and on, and the author wishes he could continue using his mastery of the third person to answer every question, but perhaps that’s better left to an AI bot.

         At this point in this analytical and possibly philosophical essay, the author seeks to compare La Croix to other beverages of its caliber, not limited to other sodas and especially to water.

         When compared to dihydrogen monoxide, sparkling water in general has no more use than when someone hands an Apple fan a rock with an eye taped to it and calls it the “iRock.” It’s a matter of branding, and La Croix has fashioned itself into something it’s not. It’s part genius, part sadistic madness. La Croix, more than anything, yearned to transform itself into the next soda. Because that’s the first thing you love to think about when drinking water, “Golly gosh goodness, I do wish this was soda.” Or even when you’re drinking soda, who pauses to say, “Gee willikers taken on my good old grandma Gertie, I wish this soda was water.” Their brand marketing utilized an impressionable audience’s weakness, and the duality of humans to think in gray, rather than black and white. “Sure, I can eat this donut as long as it has Nutella, because those have healthy nuts in them.” “I can eat that three-tier chocolate cake, I walked 2 miles today.” “I can eat this frozen yogurt, because it has ‘yogurt’ in its name.” As Taylor Swift theorizes in her latest philosophical novel, Lover, “You need to just stop!”

         What does La Croix even mean? What are all the health addicts of the world donating their money and lives to? Is it a new religion such as Podism? Is it a disease such as Tallism? Or is it a brand new trend? Well in French, the name roughly translates to “the cross.” Is La Croix trying to literally claim they’re suffering for our sake? Are they going to rise on the 3rd day too? Are they seriously trying to pull an old English royalty trick on us with this “divine right” nonsense? No, actually. The cross represents something even crazier. The cross, apart from its religious symbolism, represents the crossroads of two separate things. “Oh,” says the average La Croix fan-person, “It must be derived from the meeting of water and carbonation, or sparkling water and fruit.” Again, as all good analytical papers do, the author must muster his fanciest of words to call your notions befuddled, discombobulated, and bewildered.

         At this point the author wishes to again jump off the train of thought and into the great Alaskan wilderness. Don’t worry, the train shall return for its lost passengers shortly.

         While in ideological freefall, consider this rather frightening scenario. The cross is not between sparkling water and fruit, or even between some water and gas. Rather, it’s a cross between organic material such as humans, with the inorganic such as metals. It’s the birth of a new type of biomodification, and used for the most malicious of purposes. Why do Pepsi, Coke, and other soft drink beverages not use these same techniques? Because they’ve accepted what they are, and ascribe value in a way where consumers understand the product they inhale is artificially flavored, as opposed to the all-too-natural La Croix water instead. And to those that say the cross refers to the blending of flavors, the author urges you to get a serious grip on reality. Plenty of things cross flavors. The author recalls an incident at The Arbor when he purchased a Lifesaver collision gummy comprised of two pieces meshed into one: 1) a blood-red raspberry component and 2) a teal-blue blueberry component. What about those ambiguously white DumDums, that combine the elements of surprise with randomness? Or the Hawaiian Shave Ice shop down on State Street, which serves ice blended with a bevy of fruit juices? No, the concept is not why people buy La Croix, and it’s certainly not why they use “the cross” as their symbol. Isn’t it even more strange that as early as last year, Rick and Morty released an episode featuring Simple Rick Bars, bars made from the condensed nostalgia of a single Rick’s euphoria set on an infinite time loop? While Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon were on the right track, even their high IQs missed the mark on the highest of truths.

         These are the reasons why your assumptions are wrong. Continuing in the tradition of all good analytical philosophers, the author has now created an ideological barrier that causes other viewpoints to cease to exist. Indeed, La Croix is a dangerous company, one that has successfully managed to turn its pet science project into the new drug of the 21st century.

         Seriously, consider this even more staunchly real example. And while the majority of this essay is satirical in nature, this part is very real. People that drink La Croix like to believe they are woke, connected, and in tune with the social justice movements of today. Well, Nick Caporella, La Croix’s CEO, was accused of two accounts of sexual assault by two male pilots on over 30 trips. One claim was hastily handled outside of court, while the other is still pending. Caporella still remains CEO. When the outcome is decided, perhaps La Croix consumers may feel vindicated. Their beloved CEO is clean of all wrongdoing. But consider, for just one second, the verdict is unfavorable, then what will the La Croix fanbase do? Quickly dissociate themselves with the drink, even though this knowledge is all in the public sphere currently while they sip their superfluous drinks? La Croix is experimenting not only with the inorganic physical objects, but the inorganic substance of human cognition. Where’s their social status symbol now? It’s gone, vanished, evaporated like the cheap carbon dioxide some magical humans ejaculated into their cans.

         Exhausted from his use of the third person, the author desperately switches to the first person to ease his own sanity.
         At the end of the day, sparkling water isn’t much of an issue. It’s light, fizzy, and it gets everywhere. It legitimately tastes real good, and perhaps might actually even be a revolutionary alternative to soda. Where the buck stops, however, stems from how these products actually arise. They’re contained, aerated, and devoid of much substance. Seriously, I feel like only 60% of a La Croix is filled with water because the rest is air. And even if La Croix isn’t so anal about the controversial bottling process, that doesn’t give them a free pass on their predatory campaigns and even more predatory puppeteers pulling the strings of these corporations. People are willing to buy into the myth that it’s healthy as simply as they’re willing to buy into a trial that hasn’t even finished. And that is what’s worst of all because then… everyone is full of air. So let’s call it what it is, La Croix crossed with a fraud, Le Fraud.