This is not possible
February 14, 2014 7:35 PM   Subscribe

Ok, So the neighbor comes over with two Corona's, fully sealed an all, we pop them, and under one of the tops is a round magnet about the size of a dime, and stuck to it is a small safety pin, painted black. Both stuck to the top of the cap. I thought the caps were aluminum. I just can't figure how this is possible. I'm not lookin to sue a brewery or anything. but is this just one dckhead who hated his job and beat the odds, or something that could actually happen? I'm non-cromulent over this.
posted by timsteil to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Beer bottle caps are definitely not aluminum. I also have my doubts that the safety pin was painted black. More likely it is some unusual corrosion in the low oxygen environment.

As for how it all ended up that way. I have no idea.
posted by Good Brain at 7:37 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

The caps are steel. It is not difficult to imagine how a safety pin and a magnet might have, by accident, ended up in a bottle of beer and then attached themselves to the cap. It is also possible that someone carefully removed the cap and replaced it after adding those objects.
posted by ssg at 7:40 PM on February 14, 2014

I would absolutely take photos of that and report it to the brewery. Also, how well do you know/trust this neighbor? Save the cap, magnet and safety pin and the whole bottle with label. Highly unlikely to be an accident.

Is there any possibility at all that you popped the tops, threw them onto a table or counter, and they attracted a magnet and pin that were already there?
posted by Miko at 7:43 PM on February 14, 2014 [7 favorites]

If your friend brews his own beer or knows someone who does (or maybe got a home brew kit as a present) he would have access to a bottle capper. They are easy to come by. So just because the bottles appeared sealed doesn't mean they were never opened. That doesn't explain why that stuff is there but may be another way to approach this.
posted by TedW at 9:17 PM on February 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

TedW is right: A hand-held bottle capper is just a simple crimping tool, not much more complicated than a fancy pair of pliers. A cap on a beer bottle doesn't mean much.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:54 PM on February 14, 2014

Painted safety pins do exist, as a novelty item in sewing shops. I got a pack of black and white ones a couple of years ago, and I often use the black ones to pin clothes because they're matte, and don't have that tell-tale glint that says "I'm too lazy to fix this." So that's probably why the safety pin is black, but I don't have any theories as to why it's there.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 11:02 PM on February 14, 2014

You can remove and replace a crown bottle cap with channel lock pliers, although the cap may show some wear. Presence of wear is an indication of tampering post-factory capping. I would doubt it happened on the bottling line. Have you seen how fast a major brewer's bottling line runs?
posted by plinth at 5:29 AM on February 15, 2014

Mod note: A couple of comments deleted; better to stick with the situation described rather than just generally riffing on unrelated beer bottle viral pranks.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:32 AM on February 15, 2014

Nthing that re-capping a bottle is super easy, but I'd probably apply Occam's Razor here and assume it was a slip-up at the bottling plant. Ignore it, or complain to the brewery and hope they send you a few free beers to retain your goodwill.
posted by pont at 7:12 AM on February 15, 2014

Response by poster: FWIW?

The guy is my neighbor for over ten years, so this was not a prank of any sort on his end. I opened both bottles with a Bic lighter. Did not even notice the magnet and pin until I was looking for something on the desk a few minutes later, saw the cap, and said "Hey WTF is this?" He was clueless too.

I have both bottles and caps, and the only anomaly I can see, is that the one with the magnet/pin, looks just a little out of round compared to the other. Like, maybe it was re-crimped or something. If that's the case? WTF? Not the shrewdest criminal mind at work. In fact it seems that would be most likely. I could imagine almost anything ending up in my beer in a bottling plant like that, but a magnet and pin? Someone did that on purpose.

I'll call customer service, give em the deal just for their own quality control aspect, and if they want to send me a frickin Corona beach towel or something whatever.
posted by timsteil at 7:26 AM on February 15, 2014

Again, is it possible a magnet and pin were on your desk, and when you tossed the caps there the magnet attracted the other two pieces?
posted by Miko at 7:38 AM on February 15, 2014

Response by poster: Miko? No.
posted by timsteil at 7:42 AM on February 15, 2014

What about the store where he got them?
posted by tel3path at 7:54 AM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

The mystery here is not so much how it happened, but why? I mean, what was the point? If you wanted to get someone to accidentally ingest a safety pin, you wouldn't assure that it stayed stuck to the cap by the addition of the magnet. Also, it had to be deliberate, since the chance of either of these random objects finding it's way into a beer bottle is remote; the chances of both accidentally entering the bottle together are almost astronomically unlikely.

If anyone can think of a reason why this happened, the question of how it happened will almost assuredly be obvious.
posted by dinger at 8:06 AM on February 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

My guess would be someone pulled a prank at the store where he bought them (Employee or customer). Why? Who knows.
posted by mazienh at 9:57 AM on February 15, 2014

Mod note: One deleted; as much as I agree with the sentiment, thread needs to not turn into "this is super weird", "I know, right?"
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:40 AM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Because they wanted to add an element of mystery into your (random your) life?
posted by Omnomnom at 10:41 AM on February 15, 2014

I'm trying to think of reasons to put a magnet inside a bottle cap with a safety pin. The obvious (to me) thing is that somebody thought they could make the caps into pin badges that way.

After that, someone uses one of the caps to seal a bottle.

I don't see how these two things can come about, unless someone had a large collection of bottle caps some of which had been got at by a child or crafter, and they unwittingly resealed two beer bottles with the magnetized caps, passed those two bottles on to your neighour, and your neighbor passed them on to you.

The second possibility is product tampering at the store where the neighbor bought them. Kind of Potentially Drink A Safety Pin Russian Roulette, Lulz.

Or at the bottling plant, but someone seems to have ruled that out.
posted by tel3path at 5:55 PM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

How long had they been in his house? It's still weird but maybe someone was playing a prank on him, not you, not thinking that he would share the beer.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:09 PM on February 16, 2014

Response by poster: Just as an update?

I spoke with the customer service dept at the importer. They got the bottle numbers, and I sent them pictures of the caps etc. They are sending a mailing label for me to send the bottles, and caps to them.

They offered me $25 for a new case of Corona, as long as I signed an "affidavit of age", which is like one paragraph stating my name and date of birth, and five paragraphs of how I will never discuss this or pursue legal action against them now or at any time in the future.

My wife is a lawyer. She says don't sign anything, and for god's sake don't send them the evidence.
posted by timsteil at 2:46 PM on February 18, 2014

My God, if they want to buy you off, one case of Corona is an insultingly cheap way to try to do it. You certainly have room to continue to push. However, if you don't intend to engage a lawyer, what would you plan to do with the caps? It seems as though at this stage, their only value to you would be as evidence in an action.
posted by Miko at 5:06 PM on February 18, 2014

Response by poster: See I think the right thing to do, would be take the $25, buy a case of Corona, and drink it with my neighbor some sunny afternoon. I mean, I don't even really like the stuff. It's fine if someone hands you a cold one, but I would never order it in a bar.

I talked to the attorney/wife, and just left it like this. If you pick up the phone and bring this up, and they start adding zeros to that check? Just shut your mouth till they are done adding zeros.

I don't mean to be a dick about it, but if this corporation wants to throw money at me?

Not like the beer industry doesn't owe me some kind of rebate by now.
posted by timsteil at 6:22 PM on February 18, 2014

« Older Help me prepare for a Multiple Mini Interview   |   Culture and economy of late medieval Central... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.