George Toubbeh was just sipping from a 24-ounce can in August 2015 when he noticed something was seriously off. According his lawsuit, he felt a “foul taste” in the drink, and rapidly felt extreme pain in his stomach and the urge to throw up.His daughter took a look inside the can, and found the lizards, or more accurately, young leopard geckos, which don’t even live in the United States, but are sometimes kept as pets.
Toubbeh’s lawsuit states: “When discovered, the geckos had not been decomposed at all and were likely alive when the beer was poured and sealed into the cans in the bottling and/or canning facility.” How exactly would geckos get into the brew? Who knows. We all read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in high school, and were given copious images of rats swirled into the vats of meat and food soon to be packaged and sold. We shouldn’t worry too much, however, and this shouldn’t stop you from drinking Heineken or any canned beverage. This incident seemed like a billion-to-one chance that just happened to come true, and scarred one man forever. Toubbeh, who lives in Fountain Valley, California, is seeking payment for medical costs, lost wages and overall anxiety and stress caused by the incident. We’ll be curious to see how the lawsuit pans out, or if the Toubbeh family will ever drink Heineken again. That’s the cost of an industrialized, mass-manufactured capitalist society – every now and then, an externality crops up that shocks everybody. You just can’t count on everything going to plan all the time, and sometimes, our expectations find themselves gazing down an aluminum corridor into the corpses of two dead geckos.