Dr. Cialfi, Mr. Iassogna, Members of the Board of Education, Honored Guests and members of the THS Class of 2003.
(Scott takes a sip of his Snapple and reads the “Snapple Fact” on the cap)
Did you know that… #52, 11% of the world’s population is lefty?
Everyone knows that you should try to learn at least one new thing a day. While some days can be mundane, and, towards the end of this year, book learning had mostly fallen victim to Senioritis, I discovered one way to guarantee new knowledge each day. Every day at lunch, at least one of my friends has a bottle of Snapple. While I was hardly ever the Snapple owner, I always managed to steal someone’s Snapple cap and read the Snapple Fact hidden underneath the cap.
The best part about a Snapple Fact is that you can never predict its category. The facts range from geography like #71, “There is a town called ‘Big Ugly’ in West Virginia,” to physics with #27, “A ball of glass will bounce higher than a ball of rubber.” Sometimes a Snapple Fact can help you feel a little less lonely, for example #74, “You share your birthday with 9 million others in the world.” And other times, they can just depress you with statistics: like #73 “The average person spends 2 weeks of its life waiting for a traffic light to change.”
My personal favorite is a Snapple Fact that gave me the inspiration for a new diet. #102 A one-minute kiss burns 26 calories.
One day I stole my friend’s snapple cap, and I read, “did you know that it is physically impossible to lick your elbow?”
However, that day was a little different. My new fact for the day didn’t result in interested nods, or intrigued smiles. Instead, being the rebellious person my friend is, she jumped up and after saying, “that’s not true!” promptly licked her elbow.”
But I didn’t think twice about this inconsistency. I simply teased her, and dismissed it as a physical anomaly.
A month and a half later, everything changed. While I was at an end-of-the-year Bicentennial party at Mr. Sullivan’s house, a Unit 2 friend started to grill me, armed with a Snapple cap in his left hand:
“Scott. You know a lot about tennis. How fast was the fastest serve?”
Being the tennis-savvy guy I am I promptly replied, “Oh, I know! That was in 1998 at the Indian Wells Masters Series Tournament. Greg Rusedski clocked in the fastest recorded serve at 149 mph.”
But, he gave me a very questioning look. To my surprise, my Bicen mate responded, shaking his head “Scott, it says 154 mph.”
I wanted to protest, but I stopped myself -- because it was a Snapple Fact. It couldn’t be wrong. After all, Snapple tastes good.
Later that day I decided, out of curiosity, to look up the tennis statistic. And, it turns out, I was right, and the Snapple fact was wrong. I finally came to the realization that there was no guarantee that any of the Snapple Facts were true. My world started crashing down.
My parents had always told me not to believe everything I read in a magazine or newspaper. But, never had I thought to extend this rule to the Snapple Facts, which I held so dearly.
That night when I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I started to wonder which other Snapple Facts might be false. #109, can smelling apples and bananas can help you lose weight? #50, is it possible that Mosquitoes have 47 teeth? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that many of the facts were quite absurd, and would make more sense if they weren’t true.
Then, I started to remember back to a World Religion’s class. Our guest, a visiting Buddhist told us, “Only believe what you experience.” Not disillusioned yet, I laughed and muttered under my breath, “Why bother? Just go read a Snapple cap!” But, now, I better understand his point. You can only truly know what you prove for yourself.
So, whatever you are doing next year – college, work, or the armed forces – be open to experiences. Make the most of every opportunity you have after high school. Don’t stay in your room, when you can be participating in and observing the world. Because, if you do, you’ll only know as much as your snapple facts tell you.