On this day, October the 4th, 1995, at approximately 10:30 pm, Matthew Vanderzee, student at the California Institute of Technology, consumed forty-eight ounces total of Mountain Dew, a product of PepsiCo, Inc., in two sessions, each taking less than thirty seconds. The chalice used was one Monte Vista graduate mug, capable of handling twenty-four ounces of beverage at a time. It seems the consumption of such an inordinate amount of beverage in such a short period of time was a sort of endurance test, only the subject, Matthew Vanderzee, was not able to endure his self-imposed quotas. "It was funny watching him drink that much Dew, until he fell to the ground," said observer Charles Kim. The one-man contest took place on the Olive Walk, a main walkway at CalTech leading to the undergraduate housing, where Mr. Vanderzee was residing. The crowd that had formed around Mr. Vanderzee clapped loudly after he finished the second twenty-four ounces, but fell silent as his eyes closed and he collapsed. During his one week career at CalTech, Mr. Vanderzee was known to consume in excess of four twelve-ounce cans of Mountain Dew a day, only not all at one time. "I thought he would be able to do it, considering how much he normally drinks," said fellow student Matthew Hage. This kind of endurance test happens often at college campuses, only with substances commonly known to be more lethal than Mountain Dew. Doctors at the Sanai medical complex in Pasadena believe that the extremely large caffeine content of the beverage, taken so rapidly and in such quantity, went straight from his esophagus to his brain, exciting the brain cells to a point of meltdown. Then, the caffeine reached his heart, causing coronary arrest. "The schools do everything they can to prevent such acts, but there comes a point when no words can affect a person," claimed Dean of Students Rod Kieweit. Other sounces around the school marked Mr. Vanderzee as introverted, weird, even antisocial. He was known not to get along with any other students, and also to have performed similar displays to get attention. "Whenever he was in a crowd, he would always yell weird things very loudly," said one student. School psychologist Margaret Knossel said, "People like Mr. Vanderzee feel so different from others that they reach a point of breakdown. The Dew drinking was an obvious sign of a lack of attention, manifested in his self-destructive demeanor. He simply didn't care about his own life." One student at CalTech said, "Yeah, I talked to him several times, but he seemed so... detached. He seemed like he always had other things to do, and had to go do them right at that moment." Another student claims, "He was just a loser." Observers claim that Mr. Vanderzee's last words were, "Oh boy, that was stupid. Can't believe I did that..."
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