Soda Fountain

My mouth is full of soda
when someone tells a joke.
At first I try to swallow
but I fear that I might choke.
Can't keep myself from laughing
and the pressure's really mountin'.
Then out the nose that fizzy goes.
Soda fountain.

-B.C. Byron
Quick, get a cup! Gotta’ save that soda coming out of her nose.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the phenomenon described in this poem, the nasal soda fountain happens when someone tells a really good joke right at the moment when you’re trying to swallow a big gulp of soda. The laughter pushes the liquid back up the pipe, past the mouth, and straight up into your nostrils. At first there’s a bit of panic as you feel like you’re going to choke on the bubly drink. Then you try desperately to force it back down your throat. When then doesn’t work, you squeeze your lips shut for fear of doing a spit take and shooting it out of your mouth. You’d think the laughter would stop at this point, but it just gets bigger. Before you know it, the soda has made its way up to the only exit available and sprays like a fire hose. It burns, but it’s pretty darn cool and totally worth the experience. Just make sure to grab a cup as soon as the soda launch sequence begins. Better to catch it there than on the floor. You woudn’t want to waste all the sweet root beer and I bet it would be extra foamy, just like the nose soda fountain machine I drew (this drawing gave my family the chills).

For some reason, root beer seems to be the most frequent nasal projectile. I’m not sure what it is about this particular flavor of soda that makes it so prone to laughter-induced spraying. Perhaps root beer somehow assists makes jokes funnier. It would be cool to prove the root beer hypothesis by trying this trick with multiple different types of soda in a more controlled scientific experiment. The difficult part would be surprising the test subjects over and over again as you go through the experiment multiple times in a row.

This poem makes also me wonder. Just how hard would a person have to laugh to make pancake syrup come out of the nose? This is a great way to rank the quality of a joke. The higher the viscosity of liquid that’s forced out the nostrils when it’s told, the higher marks the joke gets. Water out the nose is dad joke or pun level. Forcing soda out the nose is class clown level. Milk spray is maybe 1 million hits Youtbue video level. If it works with syrup, then you’re ready for your own streaming comedy special. Yet another set of important scientific investsigations to add to my long list. See you next time.

Published by B.C. Byron

I’m a children’s author, poet, father of 3 girls, and electrical engineer. My first book, A Cat Named Lump, is available on Amazon,, and Google Books. I post new poems and illustrations every week.

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