Annie Vainshtein is a Mustang News coffee columnist who writes about her adventures (and misadventures) with her favorite caffeinated beverage. | Joseph Pack/Mustang News

Annie Vainshtein

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Last week I talked about my very unique experience with Death Wish Coffee, the Fox News-approved and supposed “strongest coffee in the world.” But while the half-cup served for an exciting and emotionally intimate experience, I recognized that not all of us have Amazon accounts.

For some of you, I know that can be hard to believe. At least it is for me. But I’ve decided to remedy the situation by proposing a local and feasible alternative — and it’ll only cost you $3.25.

Jumper cable. For most of us, those two words do nothing more than remind us of the wonderful NPR program “Car Talk” or of flashing yellow, red and black colors.

But the jumper cable at Black Horse is none of these. It could be considered the jungle juice of the establishment; it’s extremely caffeinated and also tastes really good.

I usually have a high tolerance for caffeine, but the jumper cable defies all limits. It surpasses my emotional intelligence, sense of self-worth and general motor skills.

If this is starting to sound scary, fear not. The jumper cable is a force to be reckoned with, but it has a story, too.

The fairy tale takes place at Black Horse on Foothill Boulevard, at around 3 p.m. on a Sunday. The main character: Annie, an unsuspecting and utterly naive girl just looking for a quick fix. The villain: A 16-ounce, iced and beautiful jumper cable, suggested to her by an optimistic and credulous barista.

The order was placed, and what ensued was total chaos. But it didn’t start out that way. The story commences with the first of four stages: elation, manic depression, existentialism and peace.

The villain was disguised with a sweet, creamy and refreshing flavor. I took a few sips, and I was in heaven. It was so good I may have drunk it a little too fast, leaving little time to fully prepare for the only out-of-body experience to rival Death Wish Coffee. I was 8 ounces in and immersed in vivid hallucinations, a good portion of which included Teletubbies. (Sidenote: I’m actually concerned about that and whether or not there are psychological implications.)

I was elated, confident and the best Samaritan I could be. Everything was pure happiness and I was invincible. I frolicked home like Little Red Riding Hood, holding a basket of statistics homework that was calling my name. I pet three or four dogs on the street, held the door open for my fratty neighbors and even looked for jobs online. After about 5 minutes of exuberantly scouring Craigslist personals, I started to feel something. And it was dark.

Then came the gloom. I could think of few confounding variables, but I felt so, so sad. Tears filled my eyes when my roommate asked me to take out the trash, and as I walked down the stairs to the dumpster I realized they were streaming down my face — I was sobbing.

I had never felt so insecure — it had nothing to do with trash, dumpsters or even compost, and everything to do with the active liquid inside of me. It was the puppeteer and I was the emotionally broken puppet who still hadn’t finished her statistics homework.

The next phase was short. After I washed my hands and recycled the empty jumper cable cup, I had a series of subsequent and pressing logical thoughts. Who was I? Was my future certain? Does free will exist? As the great Friedrich Nietzsche said, “To live is to suffer, but to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

So I tried to find some meaning. Why was I feeling so weird? I had a pretty good week, supportive friends and a generally solid BMI. Could it have been the jumper cable?

All signs pointed to yes. I was wide awake for the next 15 hours, silently contemplating my wreck of a day. But then I realized something: The enemy was not the jumper cable, but rather who it let me become. Will I get a jumper cable again? Maybe. Will I drink it in 10 minutes? Definitely not.

I urge you to try the jumper cable — it’s not quite mushrooms, but it comes pretty close. If you want to take a deeper look at your psyche or shake all night, it’s your gal.

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