Everyone has a favorite coffee mug.
I maintain that the mug you choose says something about you, or at least about the day your having.
When I was in college and in the the worst ever 8 am math class (Modern Abstract Algebra–shudder!), my mug sported a lovely pastoral Christmas scene. The mug was a holiday gift from my roommate, who had broken all the rest of my mugs and who thought I needed cheering. It was cheerful. It held coffee. It was fine. Until I lifted it up and it jangled out a Christmas tune. Loudly.
Professor: “There is an element e such that for all a in R–”
Liz’s coffee mug: “Oh! The weather outside is frightful…”
Professor: “A times e equals e times a–”
What Liz Hears: “Blah blah blah blah”
Liz: (internal) “Must…have…caffeine.”
Liz’s coffee mug: “But the fire is so delightful–”
Liz: (Muffled) “Crap!”
Professor turns from board and sweeps baleful glance over classroom. Liz has yet to have a sip of coffee…
Professor: (going back to writing on board) “Equals a, then the–”
Liz’s coffee mug: “And since we’ve no place to goooo”
Professor: “Miss Jasper, would you please turn off your coffee mug? Some of us are trying to learn.”
Liz: “Sorry, professor.”
Liz’s brain: “Caffeine! Caffeine! Now! Now! NOW!”
Liz’s mug: “Let it snooooowwww.”
Liz: “Crap! I mean…Whoops! Sorry, professor. I thought if I covered the bottom it wouldn’t sing–nevermind. Sorry. Won’t happen again.”
Liz: (internal) sigh!
Professor: “Blah, blah, blah, Q.E.D.”
Thankfully, for all concerned, my coffee always went cold and undrunk in that mug so it was only a matter of time that I hit desperation and stuck it in the microwave to reheat and fried the music chip.
Which brings me to the coffee mug I am using today. Today I have lots of mug choices. Also, today I have roofers overhead. So far as I can tell, they’ve got fifty 400-lb linebackers up there with oversized power tools, nails the size of baseball bats, and cement boots.
Which means I am desperately clutching my Shakespearean slurs mug and trying to get coffee down my throat.
(Good gad what are they using now? The hammer of Thor?)
In between gulps I’m muttering the rudest slurs on the mug that I can find. “Canker-blossom!” I yell at the ceiling. “Roast meat for worms!”
The slurs seem inadequate. I’m going to do what murder mystery writers do. And, frankly, what I’m sure Shakespeare would have done, at the very least, if he’d had to deal with this kind of stuff. I’m going to fire up my pen and kill them off.
(First posted at The Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers blog Jan 2008)