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Pop Rocks and Coke

June 24th, 2009 by skippy

To say that I have a talent for languages would be like saying that the Hindenburg was fireproof.

Yes this get’s to Pop Rocks and Coke. It just takes a little bit, please bear with me.

Being raised Jewish, I attended Hebrew School from Kindergarten to the Seventh grade. That whole time I was given classes in how to speak Hebrew. I managed to get to the point where I could memorize the sounds enough to get through my Bar-Mitzvah. In Middle School, and again in High School I attended French language classes. I managed to learn to conjugate verbs, but that was about it. When I briefly attended college before joining the military, I took French classes. I managed to pass the first level, but couldn’t advance any farther than that, despite multiple attempts.

In the year 1999 I re-classed from Multi-Media Illustrator to Psychological Operations Specialist. Part of that switch involved taking a test that would rate my ability to learn another language quickly. The Army, in it’s infinite wisdom, and with a total lack of knowledge about my history with studying foreign language, determined that I would be an excellent language student.

I myself had some doubts about the accuracy of this test.

And since I demonstrated so much potential the Army decided that I could be best applied to one of the more difficult languages, and sent me to Arabic School.

Six months later I mainly learned that if you speak Arabic really slow and in a deep voice, you sound like Jabba the Hutt.

Example: (Say this slowly and in a deep voice)
“Ismee Jabba. Min abookoo Solo? Ho-ho-ho!”

Roughly translated this means “I’m Jabba. Whose your daddy Solo? Ho-ho-ho!”

Basically I spent half a year, sitting in an academic environment, flailing wildly, and not succeeding beyond the vaguest and most minimal of benchmarks. The military rates a soldiers ability with a language on a scale of zero to three. I scored a zero plus. This meant that by Army standards I could communicate in Arabic better than a random person off of the street. But only barely.

I’m sure that everyone reading this has had at least one class where they just did not get the subject matter, and had a lot of trouble absorbing the information. And after half a year of this I was going stir crazy.

And then I came up with a clever idea to entertain myself in class. I bought a package of pop rocks and a Coke, and went to class. During a lull in the teaching, I stood up, declared that I couldn’t take the stress any more, and that I was going to end it all now.

Needless to say, this startled my classmates. And then I poured the Pop Rocks into my mouth, and washed it down with a giant mouthful of Coca-cola.

Once they realized what I had done, the other soldiers and the instructor laughed, and we went back to our lessons.

And then I burped. For a solid five seconds straight. And then again. And again. And I began to feel a pressure in my stomach, as if I couldn’t belch fast enough to deal with what I had swallowed.

I can say from experience that Pop Rocks and Coke won’t kill you. But it will cause you a tremendous amount of discomfort.

At one point as I suffered through what could best be described as the worst gas pains of my life, the guy sitting next to me leaned over and said “Don’t take this the wrong way or nothing, but if your guts explode that would be really cool to see.”

While I agreed that it would be really cool to see, I couldn’t help but feel that it would be way cooler if it wasn’t happening to me.

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25 Responses to “Pop Rocks and Coke”

  1. Stickfodder Says:

    God this makes me want to try that more then the Mythbusters thing.


    Sweet Sister Morphine reply on June 25th, 2009 1:48 am:

    In the quiet words of Terry Pratchett:

    “This exchange contains almost all you need to know about human civilisation. At least, those bits of it that are now under the sea, fenced off or still smoking.”


    TheShadowCat reply on June 25th, 2009 2:48 pm:

    Goddess, I love Terry Pratchett. One of the all time greatest writers in my book. He collaborated with Neil Gammon for Good Omens, one of the best books EVER. I met him briefly once and he seemed like a very approachable and nice person, but I only talked to him for about 2 minutes, so that’s not much to go on. Sorry, post bike ride rambling.


    JT reply on August 5th, 2009 10:43 pm:

    Read that book in Boot. Not his best work.

    TheShadowCat reply on August 24th, 2009 6:35 pm:

    JT said: Read that book in Boot. Not his best work.

    It wasn’t just his work. It was Neil Gaiman’s too. According to Gaiman, the two of them wrote to make the other one laugh. So maybe that’s what you didn’t like about it.

  2. Chuck Says:

    “While I agreed that it would be really cool to see, I couldn’t help but feel that it would be way cooler if it wasn’t happening to me.”

    Profound, and so true about so many things.


  3. StoneWolf Says:

    My boss did that once, thinking he would start foaming at the mouth and freak the rest of us out. Good thing I used to work right up the hill from a major hospital. He thought he was honestly dying. This is from the same boss who, at 1415 on Thursday, would decide to declare Beer-thirty, meaning nobody really gets any work done for the rest of the week. Considering I used to fix meat packing machines and we always had free samples and a grill, Beer-thirty fucking ruled!


    Tim Covington reply on June 25th, 2009 5:38 am:

    I want your boss at my work.


    TheShadowCat reply on June 25th, 2009 2:50 pm:

    Where was this man when I was still single? I don’t trust my husband past making mac & cheese from a box.


    Stonewolf reply on June 25th, 2009 5:22 pm:

    Probably getting drunk and doing something stupid. He’s a lot of fun. I enjoyed working there.


  4. LordEnigma Says:

    Ah, yes, the infamous DLAB. Took that one myself, and they sent me to learn Korean at the Desperate Love Institute (DLI). Good times.


    speed reply on June 25th, 2009 1:00 pm:

    Yep, I failed the Russian course. I so wanted to be a “cunning linguist,” but, alas, it was not to be.


    LordEnigma reply on June 25th, 2009 1:18 pm:

    Ah, I only wish I could have taken russian or japanese, but Korean wasn’t too bad. I was doing quite well in the class, until the Army kicked me out for not losing weight fast enough (which was caused from being on a PT Profile for getting injured/tendonosis from being motivated and trying to pass the pushup part of the APFT… which I did eventually pass)

    Captcha: toggled living
    This so sounds like my life. Toggle off now :)


  5. Captain Scurvy Says:

    See? There’s a reason they don’t want you threatening suicide with pop rocks and Coke. It’s not for their sake, it’s for yours.


  6. Billy Says:

    Of course, you could always have tried Diet Coke and Mentos, at least theoretically your burps would have come out minty fresh.

    captcha: unlike popsicle, yes, anything here is unlike a popsicle.


  7. Kitty Says:

    Highlight of my French lessons at high school was being offered several grams of cannabis resin. I was abysnmal at French, barely remember even the swearwords, and suffice to say I managed to scrape a pass in my GCSE’s.

    all i can recall now is Je ne ces pass. :D


    CCO reply on June 25th, 2009 7:51 pm:

    Tres demage.


  8. Captain McCheese Says:

    I tried this. It didn’t work.


    speed reply on June 26th, 2009 4:40 am:

    Try Alkaseltzer. Good old fashioned “Fizzies” work if you can find them. Drink some water first and them just pop ’em in your mouth, but don’t swallow. Keep your mouth open unless you like foam up your nose.

    captcha: $16 onyk – really? in this economy I wouldn’t pay a penny more than $10.


    Tzanti reply on June 28th, 2009 11:23 am:

    Several years ago, I had a nasty throat infection. My GP, a cool German bloke called Schreder, told me to get some soluble paracetamol and suck them so that the foaming sction would hit the infected tissue. I queried this to make sure, but he wrote me a prescription, and so I headed into work via Boots.

    Just after I got their, and to the horror ofmy workmates, I punched-out this inch-wide disc of paracetamol and slipped it under my tongue. About thirty seconds later I bolted for the bog, and finding it occupied, then bolted back across the lab, up the spiral stairs and into the bogs on the next floor.

    By coffee break, I had earned the nickname ‘Rabid Hamster’ as I had run around the building with puffed-out cheeks and flecks of foam shooting from my lips.

    Captcha: 2,700,000 pursuing – Solo, that’s the number of bounty hunters on your ass. Ho-ho-ho.


  9. Sweet Sister Morphine Says:

    He is indeed cool. ^_^

    And I’m also a sad, sad Gaiman fan.


  10. Dennis Says:

    I want to try this at army cadet camp. But im not sure. Maybe on the very last day.


  11. Diana Says:

    The DLAB is a very, VERY strange test . . . in fact, it is an experience unto itself.

    I did very well on it, and I am quite good at learning languages. I would have loved to go to DLI (I tried, three times).

    Captcha: Sadat nash — you know, that’s incredibly appropriate for this posting . . .


  12. Justthisguy Says:

    Dang, Skippy! Bad at languages and good at visual arts? That’s very weird for a Jew, you know. I think the only thing that kept you from being drummed out of the Tribe, is that the Smartass is strong in you. Owhell, let us hope the amusing smartass traits will be reinforced in the kids, complemented with the wife’s obviously more intellectual kind of intellect.


  13. Richard Brown Says:

    There was another mos school similar to DLI, the manual morse code school, that was at Fort Devens,Mass. Before it closed as and active post (it’s now NG/USAR training).

    The school had staff psychatrist’s, because learning to copy morse code is hightly stressfull. Students would have breakdowns in class and throw manual typewriters ( I said it was old) out windows, and other forms of breakdowns.

    Especially stressfull was the training to pass tests to higher speed intercept ratings.

    Never being one, I believe the test points were, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 35+ wpm (words per minute) (a word being classified as *x* amount of characters)

    Code monkeys were *strange* in that they could after years of practise, copy code, smoke a cigarette, drink coffee, and carry on a conversation, all at the same time.

    Prior to ww2, most long distance message traffice was by morse code from Army and Navy radio stations.


    Center for Information Dominance???? Now I have the mental image of NCO Instructors in Black Corsets, Stocking, with whips in my head ( And I used to be an NCO Instructor )


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