Exploding soda cans, an exercise in sarcasmPosted: February 8, 2007
(The shrapnel. Photo by Robin. 2007)
M left a 12-pack of birch beer (soda/pop, depending on where you’re from) in the trunk of the car for several nights. In case I forgot to mention it, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t forget, winter has finally arrived and the temperatures here in Sabbaticalville have been below freezing (both highs and lows).
Do you have any idea what happens to cans of soda when they freeze?
They explode. Rather magnificently in some cases.
M bagged up the cans that hadn’t exploded in the trunk (of the lovely convertible) and brought them up to the apartment where, over the course of an hour or two, they started popping. The first pop, in hindsight, wasn’t too loud, but it did make me jump. I thought about moving the cans after that first little explosion, but I was worried that they’d continue to pop open as I tried to carry them down to the dumpster (which is a long hike from the 5th floor of the apartment building).
About 20-30 minutes after the first pop, the second, slightly louder, explosion occurred. The mess was still contained within the kitchen sink, with a few spots and splatters on the countertop. It was at this point I decided I should wait to get my shower. There were still about four more cans that hadn’t yet popped and I was worried that the neighbors might call the police because those exploding cans sounded a lot like gunshots. I really didn’t want the cops, thinking someone was being shot, busting down the door while I was in the shower. Talk about potentially embarrassing moments.
My thoughts concerning M at the time were none too good, although I was trying hard to be patient about it all. Monday, the day before this exploding soda cans occasion, hadn’t been a good one (all kinds of things went wrong and I ended up spending the entire day trying to finish two loads of laundry), I hadn’t had much sleep the night before and well, there were soda cans exploding in the kitchen! How would you feel? Wouldn’t you be wondering why he didn’t just throw them in the dumpster? Why haul them from the parking garage all the way up to the apartment?
In all fairness to M, it didn’t occur to me that the thawing cans would continue to explode. Because if it had occurred to me, I’d have told him to turn around and take those cans back outside immediately and we all know by now that I didn’t do that.
A little while after the second pop, there was a HUGE explosion that caused birch beer carnage throughout the kitchen, the dining area, and into the living room. The top from the can (the evidence pictured above) came flying into the living room where I was innocently sitting and typing. I’m lucky I wasn’t a little closer to the doorway. That lid could’ve ended up embedded in my brain or something.
Birch beer, in case you’ve never seen it, has a reddish color. When it explodes all over a kitchen painted white, it looks like someone or something was slaughtered. There were drips, spatters, splatters, and drops everywhere, even up on the ceiling. I have photo evidence. It really did look a bit like the scene of a murder.
The moral of this story: Penny wise means lots of clean up. Throw those frozen cans in the dumpster or find someplace outdoors to warm them up and thaw them out.