See this? It's a 1989 2p piece.
Ah yes 1989, now that was a year. It was the year when I first met my old friends Hastings, John, Liam, Perry, Bish and Rich. We were all attending the same church. Today - 24 years later - we've all gone our separate ways, geographically and philosophically. (ironically I think I've gone the furthest, but then come back again)
However once or twice a year we all still make a point of getting together for a weekend of walking, eating, drinking and generally catching up, in any order.
Last Friday was no different. Perry and I drove up to a couple of apartments I'd rented in Chilton, where we met Bish and Liam, and proceeded to muck about doing jigsaws and the like until Hastings, John and Rich could join us that evening.
So why the 2p piece above? Well somehow the topic of conversation came around to the urban legend that Coke is so bad for your health that it will rot a coin left in it overnight. None of us had ever bothered to find out whether or not this was true. This weekend seemed like a good opportunity, so I procured the required can of acid from the drinks machine outside, selected the above coin from my wallet, photographed it on Liam's phone, and plopped it in.
Disappointingly, it didn't initially add any fizz.
However by the end of the weekend, would there be anything left of it? Would it have dissolved, or turned our apparatus to copper? Were we in fact breaking some ancient alchemical British law by applying acid to an image of the Queen's head?
There would be quite a wait to find out. We decided we'd better fill in the time by doing some walking.
Finally, come Sunday lunchtime, we found ourselves saying our usual good byes over a pub lunch in Goring (South of England Village of the Year 2009/2010 - it's on the signpost). By this point I had retrieved the 2p coin earlier in the morning. Well, I had retrieved what was left of it.
The conclusion: After about 34 hours submerged in a glass of Coke, the coin remained intact, robust, and inarguably acceptable as legal tender. I assume the glass was fit for reuse too.
But, blimey, even despite the better lighting at the pub, it didn't half look cleaner...
If I'm honest, my only reason for doubting the popular outcome was because I had read it online. In light of that, I don't blame you if you disbelieve our findings above.