Many of you might remember the Miller vortex bottle. Its selling point was that the neck was ribbed on the inside, which supposedly allowed the beer to pour out faster. Apparently there just wasn't a large enough community of speed drinkers who cared about this to allow the vortex bottle to be much more than a passing gimmick.
drunken walking is beginning to get the attention it merits. The problem appears so intractable that federal Department of Transportation officials have allocated $370,000 this year to study how and why this type of accident occurs.
Actually, although it sounds odd to study the problem of drunken walking, I wouldn't want to trivialize the problem. There was a case just recently here in San Diego of a young college student who decided the quickest way home from the bar was to walk across I-8. She didn't make it.
One of the most notorious marketing failures in the beer industry: Miller's decision to create a beer that not only tasted like water, but looked like it as well. It was an outgrowth of the "clear craze" of the 1980s and 90s (making transparent products because, as wikipedia notes, "clarity was equated with purity and freedom from artificial dyes").
Back in 2016, Paul posted some ads for Sanatogen Tonic Wine from early in the 20th century. Here are some more ads for this fine product, but from later in the century (1960s), in which the marketing team decided to focus on how this medicinal wine was the cure for a housewife's blues. Feeling bored at home, run-down by the kids? No problem, just take a little swig of Sanatogen and you'll be numb to your problems in no time! "That's lovely... that's better"
There's now a more high-tech alternative. The Plum Dispenser is a $1500 gadget that stores several bottles of wine, but dispenses a glass at a time — allowing hotel guests to buy a single glass in their room rather than a whole bottle. It's basically wine on tap. Though the prices aren't cheap:
At La Confidante, the Plum in every room dispenses Evesham Wood pinot noir from Oregon ($5.25 for a 2-ounce glass; 5 oz. for $16) and Justin sauvignon blanc ($4, $12) from Paso Robles.
$16 for 5 ounces of wine? You could go to a local supermarket and buy an entire bottle for that.
This 1919 news report of two railroad employees who drank from a barrel of alcohol, not aware that it was being used to preserve two human skeletons enroute to a medical school, sounds a lot like the "corpse in the cask" urban legend.
The legend, which dates back at least to the nineteenth century, played on the fear of accidental cannibalism. As explained by Jan Harold Brunvand in his Encyclopedia of Urban Legends:
In the legend, an English family discovers a barrelful of rum stored in the basement of an old house they recently purchased. Over the course of a year or two they consume the rum in drinks and cooking; then they cut the barrel in half to use it as a planter. Inside they find the body of a man who had been shipped home from the colonies long ago, preserved in spirits.
In one version of the tale, following the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 the body of Lord Nelson was preserved in a barrel of brandy, from which sailors sipped as it made its way back to England, inspiring the expression "tapping the admiral."
They use mesh fog catchers to trap moisture and then blend this with vodka distilled from a California Central Coast wine. They describe the result as "an extraordinarily crisp, pure, and gluten free sipping vodka with elegant hints of pear, citrus, and honeysuckle." The price tag is $125 a bottle.
Perhaps their next effort can be a vodka made from the tears of a hipster.
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Who We Are
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
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