Why Is This Popular? Soda-Can-Tab Bracelets

By Steve Mullaney

Style is different everywhere, but nowhere is this more apparent in Guatemala where the majority of us fashionistas walk around puzzled. We try to bring you explanations behind the most confusing trends with Edgar, a middle school student at a local school. This month’s topic: soda-can tab bracelets.

XELAWHO: It seems like about half of the students that we see walking around are wearing bracelets made out of soda-can tabs. What’s going on there?
Edgar: Well, it’s a game.

XW: What does that mean?
E: Well, if a girl gives me a soda-can tab then I need to give her ten pop tabs back by the end of the week.

XW: Why?
E: Well, that’s the game. You get one and then need to give ten back.

XW: Does the one that you give count as one of the ten? Because, if so, then you only need to find another nine.
E: I guess it counts.

XW: So, what’s in it for you as either the giver or recipient of the soda-can tabs.
E: Then you put them on a bracelet and wear them.

XW: Uh huh.
E: Sometimes you’ll get a kiss.

XW: (makes obnoxious ooh noises)
E: Shut up.

XW: Sorry. So, did you get a kiss for this bracelet?
E: (silence)

XW: Never mind. So how did this tradition start? Who told you that you needed to start doing this?
E: I don’t know. Everyone’s just been doing it.
XW: So, if I showed up to school and I was wearing two soda-can tab bracelets, what would the other kids say?
J: (stunned silence) You wouldn’t do that right? It’s just…it wouldn’t be the thing you’d want to do.

ANALYSIS: Apparently the soda industry has been hard at work infiltrating middle schools and telling awkward boys that the way to get attention of the girls is to give them garbage. Well, brilliant job soda industry, you’ve just condemned us to fifteen years of trash bracelets as expressions of affection. I’m sure that the ladies are just swooning as you laugh all the way to el banco.

COULD YOU PULL THIS OFF? Right. And while you’re at it you may as well right a note that says “Do you like me? Circle one: Yes/No.

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