There’s a whole section of Snopes.com devoted to Cokelore—claims about Coca-Cola although most are applicable to other soft drinks. Some are urban legends—no one ever died from combining Pop Rocks and a carbonated beverage, and New Coke was not a clever marketing ploy—while some are true—Coca-Cola’s original formula did include cocaine—and some are kind of mixed. Some Chinese transliterations of Coca-Cola really do translate as “bite the wax tadpole”, although they were created by shopkeepers and not the company.
And then there’s the “science experiment” that supposedly teachers all over the United States, and perhaps even all over the world, have performed where they put a nail, penny, or human tooth (where they get one is never explained) in a bottle of Coke and it dissolves overnight. I’m convinced this one’s an urban legend for three reasons: first, I’ve never met anyone who had a teacher who actually performed this experiment, second, kids can wisely assume that the teacher fished out the foreign item overnight, and, third, I can think of at least three kids I went to school with who, even if they believed a nail, penny, or human tooth was dissolved in a Coke would still drink it, but that’s another story.
Anyway there’s this new gaffe which is absolutely true: trying to sell Coca-Cola in New Zealand the company has said to the Maori, “Hello, Death”. This is from The Guardian:
Coca-Cola’s attempts to combine te reo Māori and English has backfired badly, with the company inadvertently writing “Hello, Death” on a vending machine in New Zealand stocked full of the drink.
Well, it could be worse. Supposedly—and this may or may not be an urban legend—in some countries Pepsi’s ad campaigns promised to bring your ancestors back from the dead.
If you recognized the Rocky Horror Picture Show reference hidden in this post give yourself five bonus points. If you didn’t recognize the Rocky Horror Picture Show reference hidden in this post give yourself ten bonus points.