Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Way We Live Now

Forgive me if this is old news, but I just had to write about this.

One Ronald Ball of Madison County, Wisconsin, claims that in November 2009 he found a dead mouse in a can of Mountain Dew he had just bought. Unfortunately he didn't find the mouse before he took a drink out of the can. He claims he became "violently ill" and started vomiting. Only afterwards did he or a friend empty the can and find the mouse. Ball supposedly wrote a letter of complaint to Mountain Dew (with the mouse enclosed).* He then initiated a lawsuit against Mountain Dew's manufacturer, PepsiCo, for $50,000 in damages.

Mr. Ball has apparently finally had his day in court and here's where it gets interesting: PepsiCo's representatives recently offered the defense that Mr. Ball's account of events is simply impossible. Not because their quality control protocols would have prevented a mouse (dead or otherwise) from making its way into a can of Mountain Dew, but because Mountain Dew is so acidic that within thirty days the mouse would have dissolved into a "jelly-like substance" (the words of Lawrence D. McGill, an expert in veterinary pathology). PepsiCo asserts that at least 74 days elapsed between the can being sealed and Ball opening it.

So think about that, gentle reader: the next time you open a can of soda, you could be getting a protein bonus, a rodent smoothie, if you will.

Aged to perfection.

This isn't actually as horrifying as it sounds: the company is simply arguing that Mountain Dew is an acidic beverage, far less acidic than the fluids in anyone's stomach. Nevertheless, the public assertion by its manufacturer that a drink can dissolve bones and render flesh to jelly will probably make some people shudder with revulsion at the thought of consuming it. And given that PepsiCo already has financial problems, fewer buyers of Mountain Dew is the last thing they need.

I haven't enjoyed a junk food legal battle this much since Proctor & Gamble was reduced to arguing in a British court that Pringles potato chips aren't really food in a slimy try at weaseling out of paying Value Added Tax.

Given that sales of PepsiCo products are declining overall, maybe the company can use the publicity to market Mountain Dew for less conventional uses. Instead of cremation, maybe some people will opt for "jellyfication" of their bodies after death. Or the next time a group in the developing world commits genocide, the perpetrators can order tankers full of Mountain Dew to hide the evidence.

The possibilities are tantalizing.

*Now I'm wondering how you mail a dead mouse.

1 comment:

3goodrats said...

I think anyone who still drinks that disgusting stuff won't be deterred just by the acidity :)

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