or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, June 11, 2010


This is a bottle cap from a standard 2-litre bottle of Diet Coke as currently available in Canada:

Just for comparison: nothing to see here. Well, sort of something: there's a word missing from it, a word which is present in the French version--"jeton", which is to say "token", and what probably ought to be "code" or "points" in English.

Anyway. This is a bottle cap from a standard 500-mL* bottle of Diet Coke as it is currently available in England:

Do you see that at the bottom? "Open by hand."

What can it possibly mean? Do not open with any part of your body except your hand, such as your teeth or the crook of your elbow? Do not use any mechanical device to untwist the cap? Don't use a church-key can opener to pierce the top?

I am utterly baffled. Unless there's something I don't know about English Diet Coke drinkers, such as their propensity to bypass the cap altogether and jam a metal straw through the bottle, or their unfamiliarity with the way a twist-off cap works, that legend on the cap seems like the most pointless instruction in packaging history.

* By the way, a single-serving bottle of Diet Coke in North America is 591 mL, or 20 ounces, whereas the British version is 500 mL, or half a litre, in addition to which the British version is basically a tall slender tube where the N.A. version is the iconically curvaceous Coke-bottle shape and slightly shorter into the bargain, meaning that when you come back from the UK and drink a Diet Coke in Canada, you can hardly believe how ungainly and lumpen the thing is. Luckily, you get used to it again pretty quickly.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would compare it to the litany of "DUH" things on American packaging that have largely been brought about by litigious citizens seeking to make a buck. Such as the warning on coffee cups that it is HOT, stemming from a woman spilling what was unacceptably hot coffee on herself.

Perhaps some people (disparagingly called Rednecks) opened the bottle by pulling the cap off with their teeth. And then attempted to sue.

Saturday, June 12, 2010 6:13:00 AM  
Blogger D.J. said...

I have to assume it's opposed to "Pry Off Cap." Because otherwise I'll begin to weep into my bourbon, and nobody needs to see that.

(Bourbon: corked. No instructions deemed necessary.)

Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:12:00 PM  

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