I have discovered the worst thing in the world: absent-mindedly snacking on a couple of pieces of pineapple and then having a glass of milk not long after. Hideous. God, it's like two giant flavor ogres are having a battle in my mouth. I am seriously considering having some coffee to knock this out, or maybe some chocolate rolled in peanut butter and lard.
Why am I accidentally inventing the planet's worst flavor combinations at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night?, you might wonder aloud, if you spend a lot of time talking to your newspaper. OK, actually there's literally no way you're wondering that, no one in the world wonders that, my mom does not wonder that, but I needed a transition. I am suffering from pineapple-milk brain because I have just closed down the 2013 edition of Overseeing the Science Fair Project, an initiative that we found out about last month, hatched a plan for a few weeks ago, put on the calendar in early March and, naturally, finished in a blazing fiesta of speed-printing and rubber-cementing a few moments ago, as it is due tomorrow and we are lousy at follow-through. Next year's science project is going to be on the Efficacy Of People Who Left Themselves 24 Hours To Go From "Buying Poster Board" To "Completed Project."
(Is there anyone reading this who has completed a science fair project early? On time? Anywhere prior to The Night Before? If so, email me. Wait, don't email me. Don't email me at all. In fact, take the email, print it out, wad it up into a little ball, mix it with some butter and onions and devour it whole and I hope it tastes like burned butter-paper, you overachieving clod.)
Luckily, we had a plan for this science fair project, and like 85 percent of all third-grade Science Fair projects it involved Diet Coke and Mentos, which is a little obvious and played-out but on the other hand makes it so you can hang out in your backyard and launch geysers of carbonated beverage into the Sunday sky. Honestly, I hope we do nothing but Diet Coke and Mentos experiments every day for the rest of his life, at least until there aren't science fairs anymore, which please God let that be fourth grade.
This was our twist on the experiment: We would test not only Diet Coke but also many other 2-liter beverages, using our aspiring MythBustersness to ascertain what ingredient(s) caused the reactions to happen. I remembered something about how the reaction only worked with specifically Diet Coke, which seemed odd to me - and indicated Diet Coke was in possession of a singularly unstable molecular structure, which wasn't exactly something that made me think "Drink this!"
So I cautioned the little man that the other drinks might not perform up to standards, and then the coolest thing happened: Every drink exploded! Seriously, apparently you drop Mentos in anything north of chocolate milk, and the geyser-fountain happens. Happens with root beer, diet root beer, Sprite, the entire rainbow of cola treats, everything. Hm, I can't help but feel like I just spoiled the conclusion of the project.
Page 2 of 2 - Actually I guess there's one mystery left: The ingredient that causes the reaction with the Mentos, which we attempted to determine by listing and cataloguing the various ingredients of each of the dozen or so drinks. This resulted in two effects: 1. We determined a likely cause of the interaction and 2. God, there are a lot of ingredients in soda, many of them with names that I need to check with my high-school chemistry teacher about, and we are never buying soda again, at least until the next science fair.
Jeff Vrabel also reacts badly when mixed with Mentos. He can be reached at http://jeffvrabel.com or followed at http://twitter.com/jeffvrabel.