There’ve been some idiotic products sold on television over the years. And at least one of them compounds its absurdity with an equal dose of danger. I’m referring to the “Plug Mug,” of course. Though I’ve never seen its commercial, I’ve been told the seller advertises it as a security device. The ceramic coffee cup contains a plugable hole in its lower side which, when uncorked, prevents one’s co-workers from “accidentally” using it. On the downside, however, the removal of the plug poses a substantial hazard to persons and property, should a pourer fail to recognize its absence.
I had no idea the Plug Mug existed until last night. My brother-in-law had received one from his office Secret Santa this past Christmas and promptly stuck it in his home cupboard, along with the other mugs. No one told me about the gag gift though, and I had no idea of its unique qualities when I retrieved it from the cabinet, or when I placed it in front of my father-in-law.
Sophia’s parents had invited us over after dinner yesterday, so she could witness the signing of their new Wills. The participants, including the lawyer, gathered at the Gambinos’ dining room table to review and execute the papers. Since everyone but me partook in the proceeding, I offered to help out by serving coffee. I set mugs in front of each prospective drinker, including my father-in-law, and went back to the kitchen for the coffee pot.
When I returned, I heard my father-in-law say “this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.” But Vito’s back faced me, and I didn’t know to what he referred. When I leaned over his shoulder and attempted to fill his mug, he yelled “wait!” and frantically waived an unidentified object in his outstretched hand. His theatrics so distracted me, I failed to immediately note the hot java gushing from the side of his cup as I poured … directly onto the stack of Wills resting beside it.
Ideally, my father-in-law would’ve removed the legal papers from harm’s way the moment I began filling his mug. Or he would’ve snatched the cup from the table before too much damage occurred. Instead, like the Little Dutch Boy famed for sticking his finger in a leaking dike, Vito desperately tried to re-plug the object where it sat, and failed. By the time he battened down the proverbial hatch, the pile of Wills had been reduced to a mushy, unrecognizable mass.
The attorney graciously volunteered to return tonight with a new set of documents: ones containing the unspecified modifications Vito threatened while glaring venomously at me. Sophia says everyone feels confident this second ceremony will proceed without incident, mostly because I’ve been instructed to stay home.