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October 03, 2016

American kids declare war on parents with 'bottle flipping' trend

I went to Atlanta this weekend to see Run The Jewels headline the Project Pabst tour that’s coming to Philly this week, but with a different lineup. (You should go anyway; though RTJ won’t be there, the $3 cans of PBR remain a selling point unless they upcharge here).

I mention that not to highlight the benefit of a version of rap (that my bride deems “way too aggressive” for her taste) and cheap booze, or to preemptively apologize for the angry-ish post that follows, but rather to set the stage for a trend piece.

Namely, in the airport en route home, I Twitter-stumbled across a Boston Globe story about “bottle flipping,” which is something that the kids these days are doing and must be stopped to protect adult sanity.

To wit:

It’s not hard these days to find kids flipping bottles: at bus stops, at middle-school lunchroom tables, inside Little League dugouts, even on national television. At one point during last week’s Patriots broadcast, a camera cut to some kids in the Gillette Stadium stands, absent-mindedly bottle flipping as the home team rolled to victory.

“It’s an epidemic,” Alyssa Lefrancois of East Taunton said recently, as one of her four children attempted to flip a bottle into the cup-holder of her car. “My son went to the Little League World Series, and they were teaching the kids from Japan how to do it.”

For kids, the draw is simple. Even in an age of digital distractions, this diversion is quick, it’s portable, and while the science behind it is actually fairly elaborate — water, angular momentum, and gravity paving the way for a soft landing — it requires no training.

Fine, fine. Anything to get our children to disengage from their computer screens is societally beneficial. And if it doesn’t involve huffing or irresponsible driving for Snapchat views, all the better.

But having suffered through the audible impact of indoor bottle flipping on a couple occasions, it seems to be something those crazy kids are doing to get under parental skin.

The repetition of bottles slamming into our hardwood floors feels like waterboarding. It could drive a generation of parents up the river to talk about snails on razor blades with Col. Walter E. Kurtz.

This is what the epidemic looks like:

Sure, earplugs could remedy the detrimental effects for non-participants, but bottle flipping threatens to tear America apart at the seams, with the exception of Tom Cruise and his co-worker in "Cocktail," because they didn't let the bottles hit the ground.

If we don’t intervene now, bottle-flipping youths could become more irksome than jackhammers at all those roadway projects across Philly that always seem to be tied to election years. (Oh yeah, please don't tell my son that I wrote this, folks; I'll let him bottle flip in lieu of stealing my iPhone to play Pokemon Go.)

Do you have nightmarish bottle-flipping stories to share? Please send them my way. I intend to remain woke about this, and vigilant with pushing back against the trend.

Also, tell your kids to stay off my lawn.