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2003-01-17 7:06 p.m.

Me, Mug, and Mug's little sister, Cup.

So I have a really big mug. Its name is Mug. Mug's capacity: a staggering, bladder stretching 64 fluid ounces. For those who didn't pay attention in 8th grade math, that's half a gallon.

Mug is big and white and blue and bears the Pepsi corporate logo on it. I bought Mug for $4.95 at a gas station at Clear Lake. The cost included one free fill–up. Now I fill it up twice each day with free decaf iced tea from the cafeteria at work.

Here we see the mug, resting peacefully between the seats of my car.

At work I carry my beloved huge, handheld beverage–vat with me at all times. And as I walk through the halls with it people call out the most inane and empty comments.

Wow, that is big. Is that big enough for you? You must be thirsty! Do you have to go to the restroom all the time? Idiots.

Now, I must admit that there is one—and only one—comment I actually look forward to getting. Like a spider watching flies carelessly trap themselves in his web, I smugly enjoy when people ask me "What is in there?" Each time I coolly reply human urine. Then I immediately take a sip—casually, as if it was what I had planned to do right at that moment if they had not interrupted the flow of my actions with their questioning.

But aside from that one, most everything they say makes me pity the acute Down Syndrome and generally poor mental acuity of my coworkers.

In spite of my irritation, I always smile and try to say something polite and cheerful back. This can be hard, since I have heard their stupid comments countless times and I don't really want people to talk with me about something as uninteresting as a mug. But, I understand where they are coming from. They don't know that everyone else says something to me about the mug. They innocently think they're the first and only person to ever say something about Mug. So, I can't really blame them.

There is one comment that is so bad, though, that it makes me want to run, hide, try to explain myself, or simply forsake the high–visibility mug–beacon for good.

That's a lot of PEPSI!

The Pepsi corporation doesn't pay me enough to be their walking billboard and ambassador to the retarded employees of the major computer corporation where I work.

Furthermore, why would any intelligent person assume that a completely opaque cup—a cup which gives no hint as to its contents—would always contain only that substance whose name is printed on the cup? I mean, if you have a mug that says #1 Grandma or Cabo San Lucas do people rocket to the conclusion that you have your grandmother or a chunk of Mexico inside?

But, I know that I can not trust people to figure this out on their own. And, recently my patience was exhausted with trying to explain myself. So a few days ago I decided: It was time to paint the mug and cover the stupid logo.

I sanded the mug, masked the blue plastic pieces, and then began spraying it with neon orange paint. After each coat, I sanded it again. Then I smoothed the paint further with steel wool.

After three whole cans of spray paint and about 5 hours of work, the mighty mug was complete.

I carefully removed the masking tape to reveal the shining, glorious mug beneath!

The initial cost of the cup was $4.95. I had now spent another $20 in paint, sandpaper, tape, and steel wool. If we were to include the time I spent on the project, billed at my regular hourly rate, the labor alone would be over $150.

I now had a super elite, custom mug—valued (by my standards) at nearly $175. The truth is that I am not so sure I'm proud of this. And the worst thing is that I am an inexperienced and therefore crappy painter. Karina—the girl who gave me the famous horse testicles—took one look at it and informed me that I really suck at painting. She's kind of right. Even with my careful masking job and patient work, it just doesn't look that good.

Photo by Skot.

But, it no longer bears the name of the evil corporate mega–giant. And, now nobody can come up to me and assume it is full of any one thing in particular. Best of all (and in spite of the shoddy paint job), I feel very snazzy when I carry it because it matches the new neon orange jacket I bought in Sweden!

Photo by Skot.