The Mentos Misfire

I mentioned that I didn’t go for a ride on New Year’s Day because Wife Lila and I went to the beach at sunrise and to the 4th Annual Steinhoff Family Chili Cookoff in the afternoon. What I didn’t share was the main entertainment at the Cookoff.

Foodie friend and sometime bike riding partner Jan Norris sidled up to me and confided that she was going to usher in the New Year with an 11-Fountain Mento Salute. It had been on her bucket list for a long time, she said. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of elaborately choreographed sticky sprays of soda that are all over the Internet.

Mentos, generic soda, garbage bags and volunteers

Jan’s setup was a little less complicated. It consisted of 11 bottles of cheap generic storebrand cream soda, a package of Mentos, a gaggle of garbage bags and some dragooned volunteers.

The basic concept of dropping a Mento into a soda bottle was pretty easy to grasp, but there was quite a debate about the timing. “Do we drop when you count down to one or do we drop on zero?”

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 DROP!

Let’s just say that I hope this isn’t a harbinger of what we can expect for the rest of the New Year.

Video of the Mentos Fountain Exercise

After the debacle,

I got an email from Jan:
Subject: Wrong Mentos
And, wrong soda. It has to be non-coated Mentos (weren’t available) and some kin to Diet Coke. I am investigating further, but Mentos were the No. 1 problem.

She never likes my version of any story, so I’m sure we’ll hear her side of it before long.

8 Replies to “The Mentos Misfire”

  1. Actually, you did a good job of summing it all up. It was a foamy bust.
    I’m still working out the kinks – eleven is an odd number, anyway, and with luck, the neighbor’s kids and Malcolm will return for next year’s grand scheme when we’ll get it right.
    We know what not to do! And at least the weather cooperated – this could have gotten ugly if that wind had been any fiercer and the bottles had gone off as planned.

  2. Nice try. Discovery’s “Mythbusters” did a show on this trick, exploring how it works. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the details. You may be able to find some answers on their website:

  3. Ah the details, while the Devil may be in those details perhaps Shakespeare put it more succinctly: “Ripeness is all.”

    Remember: the greatest idea at the wrong time is a loser. With real estate, it’s location, location, location. With ideas it’s timing, timing, timing.

    King Lear
    Act V. Scene II.

    A Field between the two Camps.

    Edgar. Away, old man! give me thy hand: away!
    King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta’en.
    Give me thy hand; come on.

    Gloucester. No further, sir; a man may rot even here.

    Edgar. What. in ill thoughts again? Men must endure
    Their going hence, even as their coming hither:
    Ripeness is all. Come on.

    Gloucester. And that’s true too.

  4. And we did one in the house such a thing … rather a not so bad flakes turned out!

    I should add that the good has not brought, as if carefully!

  5. I was so impressed with that dancing sprays of soda. I didn’t know the way they do that. mentos+cola… So simple. Now gonna try to do something look like that.

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