July 2006

This is a sad tale that began at a supplier meeting on the Devil's Day, June 6, 2006. Thinking ahead to my evening at the premier of The Omen 666 (a great remake, check it out!), I hooked a free can of Sierra Mist for my teenage son who will eat anything that contains copious amounts of sugar. I have never consumed a can of this flavorless beverage myself.

Somehow the drink never made it to the food court, and spent the next day in my car. Here in the desert southwest the temperature often goes above 100F. Who would have thought that the can might explode? Here's two views of the culprit:

Below are the results. The can started out in the front passenger seat took off like an Estes rocket, did perhaps a few pirouettes and touched down on the rear seat, upside down.

Here's what greets the tired worker on the way home... What's that dripping down the dash? What's that stripe on the car mat?

All of the controls are kind of sticky... this is after the steering wheel was wiped off, I drove the car like this until Saturday. Who's got time to deal with this nonsense during the week?

Here's a look at the radio. Even after hours of cleaning, the buttons still stick most of the time. Looks like some Sierra Mist may have been ingested by the cassette deck, which is only used to play XM radio.

Here's a shot of the headliner. It's hard to take pictures of this surface, try it sometime!

Even the rear window was hit. The dried Sierra Mist is like lumps of caramel, it is nearly impossible to remove without messing up the window tint.

Here's a view of the back seat, where the can landed. How would you like to sit there?

So what to do? I contacted the folks at Pepsi, looking for some compensation for this mess. They generously sent me a coupon for a twelve pack of this wonderful product! I was advised that the tiny letters on the can that say "store in a cool place" exonerate them from my stupidity of leaving a can in my car (look carefully at the back of the can at the top of this page). That ain't right, Pepsi dudes. What if I no habla Anglais?

Here's some thoughts: maybe they should label the can "Warning: do not store above 120F as container may burst". This is what S. C. Johnson puts on all their shaving cream cans. Better still, how about spending a few more cents on the package? Today's soda cans measure 6 mils in wall thickness, 9 mils on the top, a total weight of about 1/2 ounce, about 3.5 cents of material at today's spot price for aluminum. Although it is commendable to conserve aluminum, most of it gets recycled, and homeless dudes would rather pick up 20 to make a dollar instead of 30. How about making a stronger package, before someone gets hurt?

If you must drink soda, be sure to "store in a cool place". Make mine a Coke.


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