Canadians and Red Bull!

This week, I spoke at the Canadian Newspaper Association‘s annual “Super Conference,” which was held in Winnipeg.

I had a really great time at this event! I got to meet so many cool people, who also happen to be damn fine journalists. I only wish I could have stayed a little longer so I could have hung out with more folks.

And the CNA’s Bryan Cantley is definitely one of the classiest people I’ve met in our industry. He also organized one of the funniest things someone has ever done for one of my presentations.

Anyone who has been around me for more than an hour knows that I’m completely over-caffeinated. I love the Red Bull and I love the Mountain Dew — typically with one of those two as the chaser for the other.

Heck, on my first day of work at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, Caroline Little — AKA our boss — welcomed me with several cans of Red Bull.

So, imagine my immense pride and excitement when I arrived at the main conference room for the CNA shin-dig and saw that every spot at every table had a can of Red Bull at it.

Then at the podium were a couple of cans of Red Bull for me, a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew and a couple of cans of Mountain Dew.

It was like Christmas!

And, yes — even with only drinking the two cans of Red Bull — I was completely bouncing off the walls by the end of that presentation. With the combination of severe lack of sleep and the huge amount of caffeine I had inhaled, I’m not even sure if I remember how the speech ended.

It kind of reminded me of that funny scene in the latest Disney movie where the scientist is completely buzzed out of her mind on caffeine. That was me in Winnipeg.

Thanks Bryan, for doing something that was so creative and memorable for me! And I hope to make it back up to Canada very, very soon.

UPDATE: Shortly after I posted this blog, I received an e-mail that said:


“Just saw your post on Red Bull and Mountain Dew and, although I had chalked it up to an urban legend, it looks like Canadian Mountain Dew is caffeine free:


Well, not that this is definitive proof, but I can tell you that the two-liter bottle and the cans of Mountain Dew that we’re on the podium said “Caffeine Free” on them.

Another thing that was interesting about this was that Bryan said that it was quite hard for his staff to even find Mountain Dew in Winnipeg.

I actually really love the taste of Mountain Dew, but without the caffeine, I think it might be like eating a McDonald’s hamburger without the beef. Maybe that’s why it was hard for the CNA staff to find Mountain Dew.

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Dad. Journalist. Nerd. Music lover. Baseball fan. Puckhead.