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The nuts and bolts of soda pop safety

July 23rd, 2013 · 88 comments

Stephen in Maryland build this contraption after his sixth or seventh soda was stolen out of the office fridge. “My boss told me there was nothing I or he could do about it,” Stephen says, but he thought he’d give it a shot anyway. “I went a little overboard,” he admits, “But so far, no one’s been able to defeat the system.”

Like The Club® anti-theft device for the Office Fridge

related: Creative approaches to food thievery

FILED UNDER: beverages · Maryland · most popular notes of 2013 · office fridge · stealing

88 responses so far ↓

  • #1   ShadeTail

    That isn’t actually a note…

    Jul 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   redheadwglasses

      Nor is it passive-aggressive, but it’s still awesome and one of the best damn things they’ve posted at this site.

      Jul 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm   rating: 137  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   H for Toy bang

      Ah, but is it .com?
      I agree, red. Awesome! He needs to sell these!

      Jul 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   justme

      Perhaps he could up the passive-aggressive level by decorating the contraption with smileys, hearts, or notes such as “STOP STEALING MY DRINKS!!” or “Thank you for respecting private property.”

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm   rating: 47  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   KittenPlaysTheViolin

      Yeah that “thing” could use some glitter and unicorn rainbow stickers too.

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm   rating: 38  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   The Elf

      Totally awesome. We bow to your genius, Stephen.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 6:32 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   ariiiiiii

      No, It’s not a note, its a follow up to a previous post.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 7:50 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #2   kaetra

    Couldn’t you just pop open the can with a pen and pour the soda into a glass? That’s definitely what people would do at my office. You’d have a nicely locked up, empty can of RC

    Jul 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm   rating: 96  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Nomnom

      Yep, that was my first thought. Puncture that bitch and drain it into a glass.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 9:03 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Leslie

      Or, pop the tab and stick in a bendy straw. Then walk around the office, drinking straight from the contraption. :-D

      Jul 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm   rating: 68  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Beth

      People who steal soda are too chicken sh** to actually let anyone know they’re stealing it. They’re cowardly little jerks and wouldn’t have the balls to walk around with the contraption.

      This is a big fat WIN for Stephen. Sometimes going overboard is the only option. You’re my hero.

      Jul 25, 2013 at 7:59 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   eresbel

      If I knew him well enough and was friendly with him, I’d be tempted to pop the tab and carry it around, drinking through a straw just to tease him. But I’d have already bought and chilled a replacement for him. I just like to mess with people.

      Jul 29, 2013 at 2:50 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

  • #3   redheadwglasses

    I shared the link with my mechanical engineers. To get around the contraption, one suggested a bendy straw. Another suggested a drill bit.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm   rating: 39  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   H for Toy

      I’d like to think that the soda thief just respects Stephen’s ingenuity. He saw this contraption, laughed a rueful laugh, said, “Well played, Stephen,” and then moved on to easier prey.

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm   rating: 85  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   H is for High

      thief with respect? Y is for Why?

      Jul 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   H for Toy bang

      Never heard of honor among thieves?

      Jul 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   The Elf

      It’s like locking a car door. You won’t stop the determined theives, but you will stop the opportunistic douchebags.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 6:34 am   rating: 69  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   thrall

      Red, none of your engineers are amateur lock pickers? For free they can pick up a couple of pieces of spring steel that have come off a street sweeper for a rake and torsion bar and then have a very sturdy set of tools. In, out, relock empty.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #3.6   FeRD bang

      @T’Elf: Eh, I think it’s 50/50. Something like this, yeah, it’ll turn away a fair number of casual pilferers. But there’s always the danger that in others, the reaction it’ll prompt is “Challenge accepted!”

      Especially since we don’t know what Stephen’s profession is, or who his co-workers are. If it’s a workplace of engineers or the like, that monstrosity could be considered a gauntlet thrown even by non-soda thieves.

      Edit: (As basically allllllll the rest of the comments on this entry demonstrate!) ;-)

      Jul 25, 2013 at 1:39 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #4   Madrias

    Clever idea, but it needs more armor. I could poke a hole in the can with a pen (yeah, it’ll spray, but that’s why you don’t puncture the side facing you), dump the contents into a glass, enjoy the pilfered soda, and leave your locked up mess intact.

    Alternately, I could put it in the hottest location in the room and you get warm soda, and I still win. The only way that works is if you bolt it into the fridge.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

  • #5   redheadwglasses

    One mech engineer here said he’d drain the can, crumple it to get it out, then superglue a sex toy in its place.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm   rating: 96  small thumbs up

  • #6   geobear

    Overkill! He could have just used a thick pipe the size of the can with a hinged steel plate lid. Of course, he would want to forewarn everyone, so no one thinks it’s a pipe bomb. LOL

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

  • #7   justme

    This may not be a perfect solution, but it is more likely to work than a whiny note demanding that the thieves stop pilfering his cola.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm   rating: 46  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   redheadwglasses

      And it’s a whole lot more creative and interesting. And entertaining!

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

  • #8   Ely North

    Seems like a lot of work to protect a 75-cent can of soda. Now, if it was a can of beer…

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Emma

      Have you ever had an RC? It is a delicious soda and I completely understand why he would go through such great lengths to protect it.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 8:55 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Beatus Mongous

      If it’s the same Royal Crown cola we have in the states, that stuff is nasty.

      Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer is the only soda worth this kind of protection.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   H for Toy bang

      I’ve never heard of it, Beatus. Is it a regional thing?

      Jul 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #8.4   Bitty

      RC is 25 cents lol. My theory: they’re stealing your nasty pop cause they don’t like you.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #8.5   Beatus Mongous

      H for Toy, Henry Weinhard’s is a small brewery in the state of Oregon, and they make the best root beer and cream sodas on the planet (in my opinion, but it’s damn good). You can actually order them online through Amazon and other stores. I’m not sure if they ship outside the US, but if they do, I definitely recommend trying it.

      Jul 30, 2013 at 5:36 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #8.6   H for Toy bang

      I’m in the US. Do they sell semi-locally? I’ll have to ask my parents to keep an eye out next month when they’re in Washington. If not, I’ll check online. Aren’t you in Vegas? I’ll be there next February, maybe I can get it then… assuming you are actually buying it at a store there.

      Jul 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #8.7   Beatus Mongous

      We have it in some stores in Vegas, but it’s tough to find. I’ve had the best luck finding 6-packs in larger Albertson’s stores and a few Smith’s stores, and sometimes you can find single bottles in some 7-11s. There was a 7-11 on Decatur and Oakey that used to carry it, but it’s been 10 years since I’ve been to that particular location.

      Aug 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #8.8   BDC

      Even as someone that likes RC, I’d never steal a canned one. It’s one of few drinks that actually taste noticeably different depending on the container. A 20 oz. plastic bottle of RC is, to me, almost indistinguishable from a Pepsi, the stuff out of a 2 liter bottle is okay but not as good as the stuff in the smaller bottles, and a canned RC just takes like chemicals, cheap tin, and broken dreams. (Meanwhile, the diet stuff tastes like cancer died in a bottle.)

      …Don’t judge me. I couldn’t always afford fancy coffees in college. I owe my bachelor’s degree to cheap, highly caffeinated soda, that one TA that literally held my hand when I had to spend a lot of time with a spider in the freshman weed-out course, and whoever invented index cards.

      Aug 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #9   weed store

    dude what if u got one of those but for weed

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   redheadwglasses

      Weed store, are you old enough to have seen the SNL sketch that involved someone shopping at a “World Market” type store, and the store employee is doing things like, “Oh, this little wooden box is carved by hand from the women in this village in Namibia, and it takes months for the wood to cure to this color. IT’s very time-intensive.” [pause] “You keep your WEED in here.” Everything in the store is like that: Drawn-out stories as to how much work they required… then “You keep your WEED in here.”

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Not SNL

      That was actually Adam Sandler’s bit part in Rob Schneider’s movie “The Hot Chick” (admittedly, the cast was all rehashed SNL, but the bit wasn’t actually on Saturday Night)

      Jul 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   Not SNL

      My bad… I guess he ripped off his own idea for the movie:

      Jul 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   Yes SNL

      Actually, it WAS an SNL skit first that they then crammed into the movie “The Hot Chick.”

      Jul 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   The Elf

      I see “weed store” has run dry and once again regained a little motivation. You should try uppers, then maybe we’d get some capitalization and punctuation out of you.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 6:37 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #9.6   redheadwglasses

      It WAS an SNL sketch because I have never seen a ROb Schneider movie ever.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 9:09 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #9.7   FeRD bang

      And you’ll take any opportunity to work that achievement into a conversation, won’t you redhead? ;-)

      Jul 25, 2013 at 1:41 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #9.8   The Elf

      I wish I could. Alas, I caught part of “Hot Chick” whilst folding laundry and what has been seen cannot be unseen.

      Jul 25, 2013 at 11:16 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #10   sunshynegrll

    Stephen, I salute you. This might work better than my generic don’t touch note declaring ‘I WILL CUT YOU’.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #11   Joe

    Way too much time on his hands. Stop drinking the chemical laced garbage and try a glass of water.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #12   Mike

    lol’ing at all the ‘mech engineer’ suggestions. Why not just crack it open and pour it into a glass like a normal person might do. If you really want to, crush the can and pull it out to recycle (destroy) the evidence.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   H for Toy

      Now c’mon. That sex toy thing was genius!

      Jul 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   redheadwglasses

      I thought so as well! And that came from one of my favorite engineers here.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 9:10 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #13   jess

    For an RC Cola? Really?

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   CG bang


      Jul 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #14   MelanieM

    I’m mad his work environment is hostile enough to warrant such madness. #facepalm

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #15   Whitney

    I don’t know who would want to steal an RC Cola (blech), but the contraption is genius. Kind of like the old Club for cars- sure, you could get around it, but why not just move on to the unprotected can?

    Jul 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #16   lolsuz

    Brilliant idea, and I’m totally on team GimpSoda, but I wouldn’t be able to resist shaking that can up real good for him.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

  • #17   KittenPlaysTheViolin

    I always thought the cans of pop with no markings were free. Leftovers from office meeting. Tehehehehe

    Jul 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #18   Nick

    How about setting up a hidden camera to see who is stealing your pop, and then find out who it is. Once you know, beat the living shit out of them with a baseball bat, and then urinate on them, all in front of your co-workers. I guarantee that will be that last thing of yours ever stolen from the fridge ever.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm   rating: 27  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   H for Toy

      That’s right. There are no office fridges in prison.

      Jul 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm   rating: 51  small thumbs up

    • #18.2   redheadwglasses

      I laughed out loud and choked on my apple pastry!!!

      Jul 24, 2013 at 11:55 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #18.3   redheadwglasses

      On a more serious note, my lawyer friend is defending a landlord in a lawsuit because one tenant’s son bashed another tenant’s brains in with a brick. To death. Son now is in prison doing 20 to life.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 11:56 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #18.4   H for Toy bang

      Wow, red! I hate my neighbor, but the most I’ve ever done is hope he crashes into a telephone pole while he’s driving by, staring at my house. What an awful situation all around!

      Jul 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #19   Jami

    But they already make cages to keep your food and drinks from getting stolen. I think the ads even show that they’re bear proof.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   The Elf

      But this one is homemade. It carries with it an implicit threat – “guess what else I can make?” It’s just a little Saw-like. Just a little. Just enough.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 6:40 am   rating: 34  small thumbs up

  • #20   H

    Okay, but couldn’t you just open it and pour it into the glass, leaving the can empty?

    Jul 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Tammy

      Dang, why didn’t anyone else think of that?

      Jul 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #20.2   Nomnom

      Probably because there’s not much room at the top to work your fingers in there to get it open normally. You’d have better luck puncturing it.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 9:06 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #20.3   Jen

      Tweezers or a nail file Nomnom. Anything thin and hard, slide it under the ringpull, push up. Though that does look big enough for fingers anyway.

      Jul 25, 2013 at 11:42 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #21   CG bang

    I miss the simpler times when people would just stick a post-it on a soda can saying: “It could be poisoned, you know…”

    Jul 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #22   AP

    It would have been far less time-intensive to just shake the hell out of that soda, so it’d explode on whoever opened it.

    Jul 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #23   Madrias

    Red convinced me to contact my team of mechanical engineers (sadly having to pull them off of building my doomsday machine), and they mentioned “If you really wanted to be evil, you’d stick a pen through both sides of the can and just leave it. You’ve ruined their soda while not stealing it at all. You win.”

    Jul 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   Mel-K

      To save everyone another note about your mom not being here to clean up the sticky fridge or the perils of attracting ants, it would be easier to open the top with a little teaspoon. Let it go flat. Either that or relocate it to the freezer.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #23.2   Madrias

      Have you ever frozen a soda? Sometimes the ice expands and breaks the can.

      Though letting it go flat would constitute victory, and force the redesign of the soda can contraption, thereby making victory sweeter when someone puts a pen through the side of the can or locks the thing in a freezer.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #23.3   Mel-K

      i have frozen a can of soda accidentally by leaving it on the back porch overnight. in this contraption, it would look kinda cool and stabilise the can.

      There is never anything in the work fridge apart from the amcient ends of bread from co-workers past and 3 inches of ice all around. Frozen soda would be a welcome addition and a webcam to record it …afternoon break just got better.

      Jul 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #24   Rachel

    Now, usually, I don’t take things that don’t belong to me, but am I the only one who sees this as an invitation, and should I manage to open and drink the soda, believes that it is rightfully mine?

    Jul 23, 2013 at 9:27 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #25   Moose


    Jul 24, 2013 at 12:13 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #26   Ziaheart

    This needs a like button that isn’t Facebook.

    Jul 24, 2013 at 12:23 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #27   Lil'

    I think the fact that it’s RC should make it easier to track down the thief without a lot of detective work, but I do like this guy’s style.

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:15 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #28   redheadwglasses

    Please please PLEASE tell me someone in the office stole the whole damn contraption!

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:10 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #29   Lil'

    I was just thinking, he could patent this thing and market it as a gag gift. There’s a site (this is why Im that sells stuff like this. It would be really cool if he designed it to flash when someone touches it, like it’s taking a picture of the thief.

    Jul 24, 2013 at 10:57 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   H for Toy bang

      Stephen, if you make millions on this idea, we fully expect you to fund lil’s twins’ college education.

      Jul 24, 2013 at 11:25 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #29.2   Lil'

      Good lookin’ out, H!

      Jul 24, 2013 at 11:55 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #30   spacenomyous bang

    I would totally put my own lock through the loop (next to his) and make him defeat his own mechanism.

    Jul 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

  • #31   David

    I smell a Kickstarter Project!

    Jul 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #32   Austin

    The Alcatraz for sodas.

    Jul 25, 2013 at 3:54 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #33   The Kev

    Who steals RC?

    Jul 25, 2013 at 10:52 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #34   Bubba

    Two words, FRIDGE LOCKER!

    Jul 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #35   Tard

    Post picture of you licking the can top AFTER they steal it. Not another word said. If it continues, post picture of the can pressed against your naked ass.

    Jul 27, 2013 at 7:12 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #35.1   redheadwglasses

      HA! Love this!

      Jul 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #36   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

    I’d use a knife to lever open the ring-pull and then suck out the soda with a bendy straw. Where is your god now?

    Jul 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #37   SpicyMcHaggis bang

    Even if I wasn’t the thief (and I wouldn’t be), I’d see this as a challenge and do something just to irritate the person locking it up.

    I’d either pop the tab on the can or poke a hole in the side and drain the contents into a cup or something. The crush the can in order to remove it. Then I’d place the lock contraption on the counter, with a new can of matching soda sitting next to it.

    He’d be wondering how it was done.

    Jul 29, 2013 at 11:51 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #37.1   codeamberstar

      I would pop the tab just enough to get the air in it then poke a hole wait for the contents to drain then I would crush the can after its drained and pull it out then leave him a note daring him to build a better lock system. or pick the lock its a flimsy lock with the can still inside

      Jul 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up


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