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  • Paul Davidson

The De-Fizz Factor

I am that idiot, tap-tap-tapping away on the cap of my soda can.

Why? Because a long time ago I once hung around with people who told me that if you ever wanted to guard yourself from getting fizz shot all over your face you’d better (and this was key) tap three times on the top of your aluminum can or bottle and be sure to do that or you would be the laughing stock of your community. Three taps. That’s all.

I find myself doing it still, today.

But really, does it work? It’s sort of the equivalent of the “if a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around to hear it does it make a sound?” If you don’t tap the cap of your soda can three times in a row, will it fizz all over the place? You could try it sure…but then you’d risk getting sprayed. It’s always been safer and easier to just tap it three times (it requires little skill or stamina to do) and you’re safe.

Don’t we do things like this all the time without even knowing if they work — just because someone, somewhere told us they would? How about holding your breath for 30 seconds to get rid of hiccups? Doing a handstand upside down while holding your breath to get rid of the spirits within? I don’t know that anyone’s ever proved this really works, but here we are — the silly humans that we are, following the instructions to a “T” because someone told us it was the only way to fix the problem?

What about not walking under ladders? That’s a somewhat preventative action that no one can prove actually works. What about crossing our fingers before a fairly-sketchy bet? What about the Homeland Security Terror Level Color-Coded List of Hell?

Oooh, look. I just tied tapping on a soda can, into politics!

It’s funny to me just how much of our lives are spent doing things to protect us from other things happening to us. And it’s funny how many of these “things” we do that really have no proof of actually protecting us from the “evils” of the world. Whether those evils are neighborhood burglers, spirits from beyond, or a huge stream of spraying carbonated liquid in our face. I guess when it comes down to it, we really are a trusting group of people.

And I wonder — is that a problem?

(Insert contemplative music here.)

(FYI – Contemplative music should be some kind of muzaky Classical meets Jazz genre.)

(Ed note: I currently do not have any contemplative music in my current collection.)

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