Who doesn’t love ramune? But… how do you get the marble out of the bottle?
Today we’re going a bit off the beaten path of the anime blogosphere to consider the problem of the marble in the ramune bottle.
For those of you unaware, ramune is a type of sweet Japanese soda which has been around since the late 1800’s. Originally, ramune was lemon-lime flavored, but nowadays it comes in a variety of flavors, such as peach or strawberry. Ramune is a popular festival beverage, but nowadays isn’t terribly common outside of summertime festivals. What is special about ramune, though, is the design of its bottle – it comes in a glass bottle with a narrow neck, and is sealed by a marble. To open it, one must push the marble into the soda. The marble will not fall out when one drinks the ramune, though, because it is too big for the opening. Given this, it should come as no surprise that kids have been trying to figure out how to get it out since the 1870’s.
So, there’s my bottle of peach ramune with the marble in the neck. I honestly don’t like carbonated beverages, but the ramune bottles are so cool I buy it anyway. I’ve tried letting them go flat so I can just drink the sickly-sweet syrup without the bubbles, but I don’t think this stuff ever goes flat – I once left a bottle open for a week and it still had fizz to it.
But, hey, this is about the marble – how does one get it out?
First, I tried using a butter-knife to pry it off. This didn’t really work, just put a few dents in the plastic of the top. So I moved on…
So, next came the pliers. All that ended up happening with the pliers was that I loosened the top enough to turn it, but that didn’t help at all as you cannot merely twist it off.
If you can’t tell, and you might not be able to, that is a narrow saw. At this point someone walked into the kitchen, stared at me, and left. The saw was not a good idea at all, though – the bottle kept slipping when I tried to saw at it, and I ended up cutting myself by accident.
OK, so, confession time – I’ve done this before. I challenged my friends to get the top off and the marble out, and they all came up with inventive ways (screwdrivers, razor blades, abrupt temperature change, etc.) to try. none of their ways worked. I was about to go up to the fourth floor of my dorm and throw it off the balcony, when I realized it… duh, the top is plastic. Plastic is made from oil. Oil is flammable – therefore, so is plastic.
It worked better that first time, though. I had to keep re-lighting it this time since it kept going out, or in the case of the above photo, all the smoke was getting trapped in the bottle and I was worried it would heat the glass too much.
Also, this time I had to use the pliers to pry the melted plastic off, whereas the first time it just fell off (and onto the balcony, oops).
I also got smart and used newspaper this time to prevent the plastic from falling on the ground and getting stuck there. I don’t know if you can tell from this, but it was a pretty grey day, which was probably why I had trouble with keeping it lit – too damp out.
Now it’s on my shelf, proudly displayed. I had to leave the first one I did in the ceiling of my room at school because I had no more room in my luggage for it. And, yes, that is the toy version of The Clow that was sold a few years back when the godawful Cardcaptors was on the WB. And that baseball player figure is the only figure I own; I got it as a child, and I had been thinking these past few years that it’d be worth something someday because the player was good… TOO BAD HE SUCKS AT LIFE AND TOOK STEROIDS SO NOW IT’S WORTHLESS.
But, I’m not bitter. Anyway, this photo is of the first ramune bottle I subjected to the fire treatment. As you can see, the plastic top is almost completely melted away. This is the bottle that is in the ceiling of my room at school now. I just hope the person using my room this summer for summer session hasn’t been rifling through my ceiling…