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Dime On A Bottle

June 23, 2012

My two boys went over to my dads house yesterday to help clean up a roofing project he had completed. As a reward, Dad stopped at a gas station on the way back from the landfill and let Kalin and Nathan get something to drink. Nathan chose a Coca Cola in a glass bottle.

When I got home from work, The bottle was sitting by the kitchen sink, all rinsed out and ready to go. So I snatched it up and plunked a dime on top. After sealing the dime across the opening with a drop of water, I gripped the bottle with both hands and waited. “Nate,” I said, “how am I moving this dime without touching it?” Nate bent down and peered closely at the dime. The dime trembled slightly and one edge lifted almost imperceptibly, letting out a miniature burp through the moisture around its perimeter, and settled back into place with a tiny clink against the glass bottle. “Oh, I see,” he said wisely. “Your squeezing the bottle and forcing the air out.”

I had to laugh. At thirteen, I had thought Nate was well beyond thinking his dad was all-powerful. It was a little flattering, but at the same time I was pretty sure that when I was his age, I had an understanding of the laws of physics regarding the volume, temperature and pressure of gasses, as well as the rigidity of Coke bottles. A quick physics lesson brought him up to speed, and I deposited the dime back into my pocket. Picking up the Coke bottle, a twinge of tendinitis reinforced my thankfulness for Nate’s confidence in his old man.


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