Usually, when a consumer finds a human finger in their burger or whatever, the company just says, “We have no idea how that happened!” And then they settle out of court for a zillion dollars and nobody thinks of it outside of people who own Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.
That’s not good enough for the brave thought leaders at PepsiCo. In a fantastic response to an Illinois man’s claim that he found a whole dead mouse in a can of Mountain Dew, the soft drink manufacturer declared that Mountain Dew would have stone-cold turned the mouse into jelly. (The Atlantic) Completely not disgusting at all! “Obviously if this was accurate,” the Pepsi people are saying in a meeting in my mind, “this guy would have just drank his mouse and not even realized he’d done it. THIS CLAIM IS FALSE!”
This set off a lot of bullshit alarms everywhere, iron-stomached CBC reporter Andre Mayer’s among them. Mayer spoke to a University of Guelph prof who told him not only why Pepsi’s claim to the rodent-blobbening effects of a can of Mountain Dew is dubious but also the conditions under which Mountain Dew could actually turn a mouse into a hideous creature from your most awful nightmares ever, in a piece gut-churningly titled “No easy way to dissolve a mouse in Mountain Dew”:
The only way it would be feasible, Marcone speculates, is if the offending rodent had been submerged in a larger tub of the liquid for an extended period.
“I could see it if the mouse was in a gigantic vat and had been there for a significant amount of time — with the amount of acids that are in there, over a longer amount of time, and because of course they would be flushing the tanks all the time with new acids, there is the possibility of [disintegration],” he says.
[incoherent noises of disgust]