Bottles... We all love them! They enhance and aid just about every fragment of our lives, we consume beverages from them, we stick candles in them, we use them for decoration in our Italian restaurants, we use them to practice aiming our new assault riffles, people use them as ashtrays at our parties, sometimes taking the hosts not yet finished beer and then leaving him the job of cleaning up the filth they left behind, we make movies like ‘The God’s Must Be Crazy’, ‘Sideways’ and ‘Bottle Rocket’ about them, and we put SOS notes in them when we're stranded on deserted islands and cast them off to sea, and a few weeks later realize that had we not done that six or seven times we probably would have had enough bottles to build a raft. Bottles are great.
Who among us doesn't have a favorite bottle anecdote that we bust out every chance we get? And have a favorite bottle that we make sure is the first thing we drink from in the morning, and the last thing we drink from late at night? And have details in our wills of which bottles we wish to be buried with and a list of their favorite songs? The answer is none of us doesn't, because we all do.
Yet, and here is where just a tad of sadness creeps in, how many of us can honestly say, that if quizzed we could regale an accurate and detailed account of how the humble bottle was invented? Twenty percent of us, maybe thirty in districts with well regarded school systems? Well I say 'for shame' we should ALL know this information, and should have it ready to go at all times.
To save you all doing the research yourself, although obviously I understand that many of you will do this anyway for the pure enjoyment of it, here is the story of the invention of bottles, with not a hint of important information left out.
Of course we can't even begin to tell this tale without first talking about how glass was invented:
The year was 1522, and a surfer named Corey and his mates were hanging around on the sand on a beach in Vanuatu, waxing up their boards, checking out the girls in Bikinis, and picking at their scurvy sores when Corey picked up a handful of sand, letting the grains flow through his fingers and rejoin their families.
'This is coarse, hard, tiny fragments of sandstone, coral and shells, right? Well I bet if I wanted to I could make huge panels of a solid, smooth and one hundred percent see-through-able substance out of this!' He said to his buddies.
'Have you been huffing the suntan oil again?' Asked Gummy, a fellow surfer known for his love of surf, sun, gummy bears and talking the truth.
'Nah Gummy, you know I'm off that shit, I still have a little nip of wetsuit rash lotion every now and again, but what I am saying is that sand could not be more different from what I am proposing, it's like saying I bet I can make a whale the shortest pope in all of the Vatican and have Egypt start building something we'll one day call Pyramids in its honor, only get them to draw cats all over them so no one will know WHY they were built right, and I think that if I come up with something like that then it's just destined to happen!'
'I'd like to see that?' Chimed in, Wetrag, a guy who loved saltwater so much that he carried around a rag soaked in it everywhere he went, on dates in fancy restaurants, to nightclubs, even to the movies, even though it put some people off their buckets of caramel popcorn, salted caramel being a taste not yet acquired by the mainstream.
Within weeks a whale was in fact sworn in as the new pope of all of the Catholic Church and some branches of a now dead religion called The Brick Eaters, who struggled to breed because girls back then didn't like dating guys with teeth broken all over the place and endlessly bleeding gums, tongues, throats, and intestines. The previous pope had died in a mysterious 'squashed by a big wet thing’ accident and his replacement was immediately very popular, even though it's handlers would only let it be seen from really far away so it looked small, and construction of the first great pyramid in Egypt began.
'Nah I meant the big smooth see-through panel thing' said Wetrag, when Corey began to say 'you said you wanted to see it, well boom I pulled it off'.
So Corey set to work on his second great, yet seemingly ludicrous idea. He named it 'glass', and he tried everything he could to invent it.
He tried yelling at the sand. He tried digging big holes in it. He tried making sandcastles. He tried sticking some up his butt crack and leaving it in there for weeks at a time. One day he even considered not going for a surf to focus on it. But nothing seemed to be working.
But unbeknown to Corey, half a world away, on an island off the coast of Indonesia a man named Darwin was going for his own morning surf. After he had caught some barrels, and had a couple of arguments with the locals over whether or not he should be allowed to surf there, he went and sat on the sand to catch his breath.
While sitting there he was looking at a shell when suddenly a crab crawled out of it 'ah huh' Darwin screamed 'that's what makes life! Shells on beaches must have portals to other dimensions in them and all the different species must have come through one by one over the course of history'.
That was the moment science was discovered, and when word of it reached Corey he yelled 'that's it' and within an hour he had used science to turn sand into glass!
These days people mostly remember Corey for also that day founding The Society of Sciency Stuff, still the world’s foremost scientific organization, but I personally think inventing glass was at least an equal achievement.
Still unbeknownst to Corey, half a year later, and half a world a way, his influence on the world was about to grow.
By now glass had swept the world, and staring out a window listlessly and aimlessly pondering had become the world's most exciting pastime. All sorts of new and amazing thoughts originated during this time, including but definitely not limited to:
- Why does head hair keep growing longer but pubes stop and yet grow back when you shave them?
- How can hip hop 'artists' call themselves 'musicians' if they can't play instruments? And.
- What's the deal with airline food? So the pterodactyl is allergic to nuts, so what? I want a snack damn it, who cares if a few die, it's not like there is an extinction danger.
But then, on a bitterly hot summers day in Istanbul, a guy named Toby found his aimlessness developing into something no one had ever dared even imagine before - aim.
One day this would lead to such inventions as archery, and wars that didn't waste lots of wood, but for now it had one specific target 'it's so damn hot, I wish the whole world was flooded with sarsaparilla' Toby thought, 'well if that's what I want then I should do it myself, for dreams are meant to be chased!' He added, filling his body with pride and motivation at having such a positive attitude.
He went and purchased the biggest sarsaparilla factory in all of Istanbul and said to his staff 'this factory is now open twenty four hours, we must make enough sarsaparilla to flood the globe'!
None of them spoke English, so they didn't know what he was getting at, but twenty four hour work days were pretty common back then so they just went with it 'we'll be dead by thirty regardless' they reasoned 'and apparently forty is the new thirty so we're fucked'.
The sarsaparilla production was furious and monumental, but as you may or may not know, the world never was flooded by sarsaparilla. In fact Toby made six attempts at it total, all massive failures. The closest thing to success he had was one time pouring out enough sarsaparilla to create a decent sized puddle, but then the local airlines started to complain that there pterodactyls were making detours to drink out of it, and passengers couldn't stand delays, add that to the peanut allergies killing off a significant proportion, and this ultimately would lead to flying dinosaurs no longer being trusted as aircraft and eventually the invention of man made plans. But that's obviously a whole other story.
Toby was upset. He was a failure. 'Why do people say follow your dreams, that's stupid' he thought 'it's impossible to make enough sarsaparilla to flood the whole earth, I could probably make that much orange juice, but that wouldn't be fun because it's sticky, I just wish the world was way, way smaller!'
He didn't realize what he had thought right away, as the effort had left him thirsty, but as he sipped on the orange juice he grabbed from his fridge it came back to him 'what if the world WAS much, much smaller!' He screamed with enthusiasm.
An hour later he had created a whole new earth, constructed out of glass, and in shape and dimension pretty similar to modern day bottles. Unfortunately Toby soon died of frustration after struggling to get the entire world inside his creation. After getting his sofa, radio and bed inside he thought he was onto something, but his local K-Mart just wouldn't fit.
It was left to his brother Stan to deal with the funeral and pack up Toby's things including his extensive sarsaparilla productions, and this is when had an amazing idea! He could go to the pub and clean this mess up later.
And at that pub he had another idea, the mugs they used were cumbersome and awkward, Stan had recently lost his lower lip in a fight with an angry pterodactyl that was pissed off at being fired, Stan being the CEO of Istanbul Air. And it occurred to Stan that that weird shaped glass thing at Toby's house with half a K-Mart sign sticking out of it could be filled with beverages and one-lips like him could potentially drink without so much spillage for once.
He went to Toby's and experimented. It worked. He named his new product 'a bottley' using the letters in Toby's name as a starting point for the name in his honor, and he figured there must be at least eight other one-lips in the world, and if he sold one to each he could make probably eight cents, a mighty sum in the day.
Unbeknownst to him though, a man named Blake Heineken saw this 'a bottley', thought he could sell a new product he'd invented called beer in them, and stole the design, changing the name to 'a bottle' and sometimes 'bottles' to get around patents, and what we now know as a bottle was born.
Ahh. Yep, bottles, we love them, and now you all know exactly how they were invented. So I say go and give your favorite bottle a kiss, and make sure you let it know you'll never let someone turn it into an ashtray at any party you ever throw.