Facebook has reminded me that this week marks the one year anniversary of a momentous occasion: The return of Ecto Cooler. The “memory” shared was picture of me, taken by my wife, as I take that glorious first sip, probably the first in 20 years. That thousand yard stare is 100% genuine. If you ask her, I stayed frozen like that for 15 minutes. The rush of sugar and nostalgia was instantaneous. It was as if I were not even on this planet. If the Lounge was up and running last year, we might have been mistaken for an Ecto Cooler fan site.
Josh has gone bye bye.
Ghostbusters was more than just the first intellectual property that I fell in love with; it was a way of life for me when I was a kid. I’m sure I’ve told this story elsewhere, but I could line up and watch at least four different episodes of The Real Ghostbusters a day, all before I even knew how to tell time. Some kids have imaginary friends, I had four: Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston, who I would lead around the house with my proton pack on and PKE meter in hand. My brain just about exploded the first time I saw the commercial announcing that Ecto Cooler would be making its way to grocery stores soon.
It was also at this moment that I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life working in a grocery store.
To call it a staple would be an understatement. It was my drink. It was always around and we always had some in the house, be it in juice boxes or those big cans juices used to come in. I got older, stopped drinking juices, and Ecto Cooler quietly slipped away without me even noticing. Eventually I did realize it was gone. I was at that age when you finally get over yourself and go back to reveling in and missing the things you once loved. I looked at the juice isle of my local supermarket and like Mayor Lenny after hearing enough of Hardemeyer’s bullshit, I said, “Somebody get me the Ghostbusters.”
Throw in a 20-sided die and this is what a wild night looks like for me.
We all know where this story is going, so I’ll skip the many years without it. It would have been amazing to have in the summer of ’07, the year of my Transformers renaissance. Eventually I did try one of the recipes you can find online. Hell, I ordered a case of tangerine flavored Kool Aid, a discontinued item, just to try it. It wasn’t bad, and I’d like to make it again to compare and tweak if necessary, but it couldn’t touch what was to come.
We got one!!!
Memorial Day of 2016 was the street date I was seeing online. I hit every grocery store I could on my lunch break, coming up empty handed. I eventually scored some at Price Chopper after work, clearing them out before hitting the road in search of even more. I got it home, took that first sip that my wife recognized as something that should be chronicled, and kicked off a summer, fall, and winter of enjoying Ecto Cooler all over again. There was some initial difficulty finding it, but I eventually found tons in the wild and ordered up on Amazon a few times as well. I’m still sitting on a fair amount. It’s past the expiration date, but I assure you, it’s totally fine. I’m still hearing rumors of it being found in store like Big Lots, likely out of code, but still just as delicious as ever.
Needless to say, discontinuing it again was a massive, massive mistake on the parts of Minute Maid and Coca Cola. Regardless of the reception of the 2016 Ghostbusters (which, for the record, we all adored here at the Lounge), the audience for Ecto Cooler is still here, we still want it and I was fine with ordering it online if that’s what it meant.
An animated Ghostbusters movie is planned to be released sometime in 2019 or 2020. We can only hope that a familiar citrus drink, with its trademark shade of green that is not of this earth, won’t be far behind. Maybe Slimer can be on the package this time around.
You’re not sleeping with it, are you, Ray?