In search of a camouflage coffee cup



I own a camouflage coffee tumbler. I bought it several years ago when I was living in Tallahassee, Florida. I was in film school and had no reliable way to transport coffee from my apartment, down the creepy trail out back and to class, so I was in the market for a cheap, reliable tumbler that could also express my personality.

I found a camouflage one in the home goods aisle at Publix. It tickled my fancy because I found it so useless. Do hunters really think it necessary to have coffee cups camouflaged? Would a deer really be about to munch on some nuts or grass or twigs or whatever it is that deer eat but then perk up, the delightful aroma of roasted beans filling its nostrils, and scan the wilderness, its eyes locking onto a suspicious black mug with suspicious steam suspiciously wafting from its suspicious top, and then dash away?

Probably not.

It was ridiculous, but I supposed camouflage was more about selling you a lifestyle than anything actually prudent.

I bought the cup and was still using it on January first, two thousand and seventeen.

I had high hopes for the new year. I was three months into my new job and finally starting to figure things out. I didn’t have to work at Starbucks anymore, and I could afford the basic necessities that enabled me to be distinguished as a human being rather than one of our half simian ancestors: razors, shampoo, soap and groceries.

I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I firmly believe there is no time like the present to do what you want, to change your life. The only person stopping you from achieving that is you.

But I had also never worked a full time job that ate up most of my day and left me too tired to exercise or write or learn songs or trawl the internet looking for eligible women. These things were easy to do when I worked twenty hours a week. Working forty plus, however, made it quite a bit more difficult.

Resolutions happen when you aren’t happy with something in your life, usually a habit, and you want to fix it.

So I had decided to get back on the laptop and start writing again. It was a thrilling prospect.

So I sat at my desk, my camouflage cup steaming with turmeric tea beside me, and I wrote for about ten minutes, and then I didn’t know what to do next.

It wasn’t writer’s block. I don’t really believe in writer’s block. It was simply that the idea I was working on was so loose that I needed to give it a good back-of-the-mind think before I actually started putting keys to digital paper.

I decided to take a walk. I saw a graph one time that showed how much more active a brain is after a brisk stroll. The weather was perfect, fifty degrees and windy, but with a clear, blue sky and smogless air that promised a bright year indeed. It was also mid-afternoon, and the sun was beginning its descent. The sky was afire with beautiful colors. I walked outside and breathed in the chill. It was perfect.

I called my Mom. We chatted as I walked. I got home, invigorated and ready to tackle a new project. I grabbed my computer from my desk and went to the couch downstairs.

I realized I didn’t have my camouflage cup with me.

I checked my room.

There was no camouflage cup.

I checked the kitchen.

There was no camouflage cup.

Vanished.

I thought back and recalled that I had stopped at some point during my walk to take off my hood of or readjust my shoe. I remembered setting my cup down on a post, or a column, or maybe a low wall.

I also begrudgingly realized the humor in being unable to find a camouflage cup.

I must have left out in the neighborhood, cold and alone, waiting for me like an orphaned child in the quickly approaching Los Angeles night.

I had to go find it. I couldn’t get anything written, I couldn’t even scribble a single letter without my camouflage tumbler. It made it through film school, it survived the three-thousand-mile drive to California. It held beer and coffee and wine and tea and liquor and soda and just plain water. It’s seen it all, that weathered old cup, and it lived to tell the tale.

I rushed outside, grabbing only my keys, and power walked to the first street I walked down. My eyes were wide, taking in as much light as possible, trying desperately to spot my camouflaged, plastic friend.

The trouble with camouflaged cups resting on posts or low walls, I soon realized, was that they blended in perfectly with the local flora. I was taken aback with how difficult it was to differentiate a bushy outcropping from a possible camouflaged Tervis Tumbler. I had to walk up and inspect every bush to make sure I didn’t miss it.

My, what the neighbors must have thought as I rummaged through their shrubbery, cursing to myself and frowning.

I was feeling lightheaded too, but not in a bad way. It was more of a pleasant buzz from the antibiotics I was taking combined with the feeling of finally getting over my sinus infection. The shadows were long on the streets that afternoon, and there wasn’t another soul about. It felt like a dream, a terrible, beautiful nightmare in which I lost my favorite cup.

I turned down a new street and saw two people sitting on the roof of an old house. They looked like models and flashed perfect smiles at me as I passed. I waved. It reminded me of relaxing afternoons on Marco Island, drinking Jeff’s Mom’s rum punch and watching the world float by on white fishing boats.

The models seemed like they were the last two members of a formerly large New Years party, soaking up the last electric charges of two thousand and sixteen and looking forward to what was to come.

They soon lost interest in me, instead turning the unblemished visages toward the golden-pink evening horizon. I passed with no incident, stopping only at their mailbox to ensure I hadn’t left my cup on top of it.

Alas, it was as cupless as the day it was cobbled together, an inauspicious start to a new year.

A gaggle of school girls approached from further down the street. I could hear their shrieks and giggles from half a block away. I could tell from their demeanor that wouldn’t surrender even an inch of sidewalk, and so, as they drew near, I stepped aside into the grass.

The last time I did this I fell in a hole and sprained my ankle.

This time I just stepped in dog poop.

I judged from the consistency that it was old dog poop, which was a blessing, since I reckoned old dog poop would probably be less pungent than the fresh stuff.

I tried to scrape my shoe clean as I walked, causing me to have a bizarre, rocking gait as if I were auditioning to play the part of Igor in a Frankenstein reboot. I reached the end of the street, still relatively certain the poo remained, and I realized that I was done.

I had gone down all the streets I walked before.

My cup was on none of them.

Someone must have taken it or thrown it away.

I could see it now, a quaint family coming home from church to find a mysterious camouflaged Tervis Tumbler with something insidious and orange brewing inside of it. The terror they must have felt.

“How? What?” The Mother would ask.

“Don’t look at it, dear,” the Husband would say, shielding his families eyes as best he could, “It might be the work of ISIS.”

“Do you think?”

“Obama has left us defenseless, I’m afraid. Situations like strange coffee cups appearing on people’s posts are only going to become more common.”

“But what can we do?”

“We can be strong. For the children.”

“For the children.”

They probably called the bomb squad shortly thereafter, who disposed of it with a controlled detonation.

A shame. My cup deserved better.

There was one more street to my left. I was relatively certain I hadn’t walked it’s length earlier, but I would be remiss if I didn’t exhaust all of my options.

The cup wasn’t there, either, so I headed home.

A man walked a good dozen yards in front of me. He wore a dirty hat and was angrily talking on the phone.

He stopped and turned. I saw he had no phone.

Ah.

I kept my distance, walking slow enough that he gained a steady lead. He eventually stopped to talk at an older couple walking their dogs.

“But that’s the things about kids,” I heard him say as I passed. He sounded like Droopy from Looney Tunes. “The thing about kids is that they like anything you show them. Like Donald Trump.”

“The problem with Donald Trump,” the old man said, “is that he doesn’t mean anything he says, or that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

“But what’s the difference between him and now?”

“Him and now?” The old man asked. “I don’t understand what you mean.”

“Before now and now. What’s the difference?”

“The difference is that he’s the president, and he can make some very important decisions.”

“Kids like anything you show them,” Droopy agreed.

I left them to solve the world’s problems.

The walk home was cold. Perhaps this year wouldn’t be any different. Perhaps it’s promises were already disintegrating into lies. Perhaps I wouldn’t write more screenplays or finish two more novels. Perhaps I wouldn’t sell another story or monetize my finished book. Perhaps the new job wouldn’t last. Perhaps all my teeth would rot out.

I poop-shoed my way into the apartment and up the stairs.

My camouflage cup was on my desk.

Waiting for me.

I just hadn’t looked

I picked it up.

The tea was still warm.

Dr. Who? Faustus, I think.


“I’m terribly sorry sir, but I can’t help you.”  The overweight Barista told me from behind the safety of her nigh impenetrable counter.  She probably wouldn’t be so impertinent outside of her fortress, down here with the rest of us.

“Yes, but I asked for a cappuccino, and you gave me a latte.”

“I thought I was doing you a favor!”  She said indignantly.  “The latte has more drink in it.  They’re pretty much the same thing, anyway.”   I took a step back in shock, looking both disgusted and horrified at the same time.  Such blasphemy couldn’t be tolerated.

“And you call yourself a barista?” I queried accusingly.  “The same thing?   I can’t believe I’m hearing this.”

“Sir, if you could please go enjoy your beverage somewhere else…”

“I shall do nothing of the sort until I have received a full refund.  I remember a time, maybe 8 years ago when you “baristas” would give a customer a free drink for nearly any mistake.  You’d even do it if you didn’t write their name on the cup…”

“Well, times have changed, old-timer,” she spat, “The economy’s in the shitter, and I’ve got $40,000 in student loans to repay, so if you wouldn’t mind, could you just fuck off?

I was aghast, shocked into utter silence.  Not only had this… this teenagee used colorful language, but she had called me an old timer.  I’m only 23, though my stupendous beard might confuse and/or bewilder the weak of mind into thinking I was far older.  I sputtered in rage for a moment, and then picked up my drink and stormed outside, being none to gentle on the door, let me tell you.

“The Nerve!  The Gaul!  The…” I paused, looking for a word that was fleeting away from me like a golden ticket from the hand of a pudgy and especially clumsy child during a stiff wind.  The child fumbles madly with the ticket, but the golden paper continues to slip through his grasp, despite the disgusting stickiness of his fingers, until it is clear even to him that he will never see it again. We sigh, the child and I, as we slowly realize that we would never get to tour the damn factory.

Impishness?” asked a peculiarly high pitched and impish voice.  I spun around and saw Hillary Clinton, much to my surprise.  Something was wrong, however, and it took me a moment to realize that she had remained completely motionless for the short time I had been staring at her.  And she was in Black and White.  And that I was staring at a newspaper that was completely obscuring someone, presumably the person who had provided me with my word.

“Why yes, that was just the word!  Thank you!  May I join you, good sir?”

“But of course!  And you are?”

“William, and you?”  I politely asked.  He laughed a maniacal, high pitched laughter, and then lowered the newspaper in a dramatic blur,  The first thing I noticed was that he had red skin.  The second thing I noticed was the horns and fangs.  The last thing was the tail.

“The Devil!”  He responded coyly, smirking.  “But my friends call me Mephisto?”

“Why?”

“Oh, they think it has a certain sort of Gothic chic to it…”

“No, I mean why are you hear?”

“To help you, William.  Why else?”

Please imagine the devil talking with the voice of the robot devil.

“Help me?” I asked, confused.  The devil was the first celebrity I had ever met, and I was somewhat uncertain as to what was going on.

“I couldn’t help but overhear you and the rotund barista arguing, and I was appalled by both her rudeness and poor customer service.”

“OK.  So what?”

“So this!  I could help you exact your revenge upon the pudgy brewer.”

“Really?

“Oh yes.  Revenge is one of my specialties!”

“That sounds great!  I can’t wait to… wait… this isn’t going to be on of those “deal with the devil” deals is it?”  I asked suspiciously.  Satan laughed.

“Of course not!”

“So you’re not going to try and steal my soul or something, right?”

“Definitely not.”  He purred as he pulled out parchment and a pen from… somewhere.  “Now, if you just sign  here, our deal will be struck.

“Fantastic!” I exclaimed, grabbing the pen and leaning over to sign.  The devil began a deep chuckle as I leaned forwards.  “I can’t wait to see the look on her face when… wait a second, how do I know you are the actual devil, and not just some alien or ghost or something?”

“Could an alien do…this?”  He pointed his finger at a car, which exploded in a ball of hellfire.  No one around seemed to pay any attention to the inferno raging in the parking lot, which was curious, but I decided it must have just been another facet of his amazing powers.

“I don’t know.  Probably.”  I answered.  The devil scowled at me, somewhat annoyed.

“What about this?”  He waved his hands at a pedestrian across the street from us.  Nothing happened at first, but then the concrete beneath him began to crack and smoke.  A flaming hole appeared, through which a demonic red light and some skeletal demon hands emerged, accompanied with the howling screams of the damned.  The pedestrian, who had been enjoying what appearing to be some sort of sub, noticed far too late that something was amiss, and was pulled underground, kicking and screaming as the hole closed.  Nothing was left but some scratch marks and a slightly burning shoe.

“Neat!  If that doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what does!”  I declared, grabbing the parchment and signing it.  “So, what next?”

“Simple.” The devil said, rolling up the parchment and secreting it… somewhere on his person.  He pulled out a small date book and began flipping through the pages.

“Whats that?” I asked.

“Oh this?  It’s just a little thing in which I keep all the hopes and desires of mankind.”

“And you keep it in a book?  What is this, 1831?”

“Very funny,” he said dryly.  ” So I suppose you have some sort of device that holds all of the hopes and desires of mankind, hmm?”

“Yeah, It’s called an iPhone 4 and the internet.”  The devil looked up from his reading and glared at me.  The ground began to shake and a small hole appeared under my chair.  A demonic arm snaked out of the hole and snatched my phone away, and then disappeared into the ground with a slight hiss.

“Hey!  That was expensive!”

The devil ignored me and continued flipping through his book.  It seemed rather small to hold all of the hopes and desires of mankind, but I suppose that the Prince of Darkness knows what he’s doing.

“Here it is!  Lauren Wicker, 18, Barista.  Let’s see… small dog, lives with her parents, just graduated highschool, excessively poor marks.  No, none of this will do.  Maybe… aha!  Says here that she is in love with Robbert Pattinson and Justin Bieber, and hopes that they will one day fight to the death over her.”

“Really?” I asked, leaning forward and trying to catch a glimpse at the page.

“Stop that!” Satan scolded, pulling the book away.  “That’s private!  And yes it does say that.  Now, William, watch.”  Satan gestured towards the inside of the Starbucks, and I watched through one of the giant glass windows that covered the half of the store and masqueraded as walls.

Lauren was reading a newspaper behind her counter, when she heard a bell ring.  she looked up to see none other than Robert Pattinson, Justin Biebeer, and the entire band One Direction standing in front of her, arms crossed and scowling.  Laurens scream lasted for a good 10 minutes, and managed to clear the Starbucks of the remainder of its patrons.  The celebrities waited, patient but annoyed, until the shrieks at last ended.

“We hate you, Lauren,” Robert hissed, uncovering his ears, “and we never want to see you again.”

“What?  Why?” Lauren rasped, putting a hand to her chest.

“Because you’re stupid.”  Justin answered coldly.  He glanced around and then knocked over the rack of CD’s in front of the cash register.  “What are you gonna do about it, four eyes?”

“But I don’t wear glasses!”

“Shut up.”

“Why is this happening?”  Lauren screamed, falling to her knees and beating her shoulders and chest as if she were in a Greek tragedy of old.

“Because you’re rude to your customers, Lauren.  Especially that guy.” Robert chided, pointing at me.  I waved back.

“I’ll never do it again!  I promise!  Please, no!” Lauren pleaded, but it was too late.

“It’s too late, Lauren.”  Said one of the guys from One Direction.  “In fact, you’ve so turned us all off of women that we think we’re gonna be gay for a while.  Come on guys, let’s get outta here!”  Justin made a threatening gesture as the rest of the crew left, and then he too went, but only after stealing a cake pop.

“Wow!  That was Stupendous!” I shouted over the sound of Lauren bawling.  “Thanks, Lucifer!”

“No problem, William.  Now, if I could just have your soul…”

“Hey!  You said this wouldn’t be a deal with the devil.”

“Yeah.  And then you went ahead and made a deal.  With the devil.”

“Oh.”

Yes.”

“But I don’t think it’s my soul you’ll be wanting.”

“Why not?”  The devil asked slyly.

“Check the signature, my friend.”  The devil eyed me suspiciously and then snapped his fingers.  The parchment appeared floating in the air, and he grabbed it and unrolled it, never once taking his eyes off of me.  After quite some time he finally looked down.

“BARACK OBAMA?” He screamed, glaring at the paper, which began to singe along the edges.

“Yup.”

“But that’s… that’s just dastardly!”

“Yup.”  The devil glared at the parchment a few seconds longer, and then crumpled it up and threw it away.

“Well fine, I guess I’ll take him.  Somebodies got to burn, after all.”

“It’s ok.  We don’t want him anymore.  You can have the economy too.”

“Ha!” The devil said as he opened up a hole.  “I got that years ago!  Till we meet again!  Muwahahaha!”

“Ok, see you later Satan!” I called after him as he leapt into the hole and it closed up after him.  The rest of my day was pretty good, too.  I went back into Starbucks, made myself a coffee, cleaned out all of the pastries (Lauren was too preoccupied weeping to care), and then went home and watched Stargate SG-1 until i fell asleep.

Idiots and Fools


If you are anything like me you like Football, and if you are anything like football you hate n00bs.  And if there is one thing facebook and even the internet in general whole have, it’s n00bs who run their mouth about things they don’t understand.  And they will pay for their misdeeds in time.  All in good time.

HA HA HA HA HA HAHAAHAHAHAHA!

And so we come to the Patriots and Broncos’ game last night.  Tim Tebow and the Broncos rode into Foxborough Stadium on a wave of Tebowmania so large that they almost washed away most of southeastern Massachusetts.  They felt like this was destiny, like Tebow was some sort of football moses leading the hitherto pitiful Broncos to a superbowl-tastic promised land of milk and honey, or beer and chicken wings, as it were.  In keeping with the metaphor Tebow moses would have to come against Pharaoh Tom Brady in an epic battle, except this time Pharaoh wins.

"Nice try Tebow Moses, now BACK TO FUCKING WORK!"

Since the broncos were fully routed, I can only assume that they have been put to work making Foxborough even more awesome, not dissimilar to what the ancient egyptian slaves of old did to the pyramids, but that’s not the point of this article.  The point is the response of the internet sports community after the game.  11 hours ago, espn posted a status update about the game.  It said

“Tom Brady has finally landed.

His performance tonight was ________.”

Facebook users were supposed to post intelligent or witty comments about how they thought his (Brady’s) performance was.  This didn’t happen.  It rarely happens with these sorts of things.  Here’s some examples of why the human race is doomed.  The first response I read was

1. HUNTER: “I’m a steelers fan and we beat the patriots and we won the most super bowls in the NFL and we got beat by the broncos but we don’t need to go to the super bowl 2 times in 2 years”  Hunter obviously was unable to acquire the ability to read to read as a child, and never picked it up throughout his adult life either.  His comment has absolutely nothing to do with the prompt.  He must have failed the writing section of the SAT’s really fucking hard.  I mean, he couldn’t read, but if he ever figured out what the prompt was he probably just wrote about the Steelers anyway, because who wouldn’t want to read that?  The internet is chalk full of people like this, who respond to something with something completely unrelated.  Here’s a picture of what hunter probably looks like.

Derrrrrrrp

2. John: “Impresive but not goingto last.”  John thinks the patriots are not going to last, much like John’s middle school spelling and grammar lessons.  He bases this on absolutely nothing, because he is most likely a poorly trained orangutan imitating a sports analyst.  Here’s what John probably looks like.

"Thems broncos ams gonna beet thems pats on staturdaiy by thiiiiiiiiiis much!"

3. Domenic: “overrated and without class – should have stopped throwing the ball once the game was clearly decided.”  Ok, Domenic, time to learn you a lesson.  You do realize that the broncos are the comeback kings of the NFL, right.  Do You also realize that everyone, and I mean everyone, in the NFL is really good at football?  It’s why they get paid so much money to play it, because they are awesome at it.  Therefore it is possible that a team can come back from a huge deficit and win.  Now, let’s remember that Tebow has been on fire and scored massive amounts of points, 20 to be precise, against the steelers in just one quarter, and that the steelers were supposed to win that one too.  What would you do if you were the Patriots?  Back off after you get a lead?  Run a lot and risk your players getting injured?  Let’s not forget that the Broncos were playing the dirty the whole game: starting fights and punching Patriots’ players when the refs weren’t looking.  If you disagree go and watch a game recap.  It’s very obvious and blatant.  The sad thing is there was probably even more stuff the broncos were doing that the cameras didn’t catch.  If you have the lead, you shouldn’t give it up.  This is probably what Domenic looks like.

We as americans need to help the disadvantaged teams in the NFL. We need to take a stand a say that it's not ok for 1% of the teams to hold 99% of the points!

4. Justin: “Brady is overrated and let’s see how good the pats will be we he retires.”  Let’s hope this guy was drunk when he wrote this, because it makes no sense.  If Brady was overrated, then the Patriots would be as good if not better than they are now if he retired.  So which is it, justin?  Here’s what justin looks like.

Yo dawg my name is either scumbag steve or it is!

Lastly, there were many people claiming that the Patriots cheated by hiring Josh McDaniels, denvers head coach from over a year ago, as their offensive coordinator, saying that they knew the denver playbook because of that.  Hmmm… let’s think about this: If denver fired their headcoach and then didn’t change the playbook at all for a whole year, don’t you think they deserve to lose?  How stupid would you have to be if your head coach went to a different team, the rams, and became their offensive coordinator and you didn’t think to change the playbook?  Its not like Bellichick and the coaching staff didn’t have access to all of the footage of last year’s Broncos anyway… O WAIT THEY DID.  As one of my friends said, it would be different if the Patriots were playing the rams when they acquired McDaniels, but they’re not.

In closing, people online are just a bunch of stupids.

I already done told you once, BACK TO FUCKING WORK!.

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