Nail in experiment

DURING my freshman biology class at North High School in Springfield, Ohio, our teacher was lecturing on the conditions in which bacteria exist. Elaborating on the acidic environment where certain bacteria thrive, he suggested a simple experiment. I want you to drop a nail into a glass of Coke or Pepsi, and then observe the acidic reaction on the nail, he said. The girl sitting next to me raised her hand and asked in all seriousness, Do you mean a real nail, or a press-on?

— Contributed to Tales Out of School by Carolyn Stickney © 1996 The Readers Digest Association, Inc. All rights reserved.

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