Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Cupdate (Pic of the Week)

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A rival shows its face.

For those who don’t know, the cup on the right has been stuck in that sewer drain since at least June 2006. That’s the month I started tracking it. Finally, in February this year, I took pictures and posted my first story about it.

A week later, I posted again, with more pics (including closeups to determine its origin).

Still not able to shake the thought of this cup’s sheer power to hang on, I mounted a rescue attempt (video included).

The cup that accompanied it for a few weeks in February is long gone, but a new contender has shown itself. The one on the left, whose only distinguishing characteristic here is the depression of its lid’s “Other” button, is putting up a good fight. It first appeared in late March and, along with Blue Straw, this young pup has survived a few torrential downpours — one of about three inches in a few hours.

Some reading this site have posited that drainage patterns might not direct much water to the cups. I was willing to go with that, but judging from the difference in detritus between February pics and this latest image, I beg to differ.

Regardless of all that, I still consider the idiots who threw these cups out in the first place. Here is a shot I took of a cup in my cup holder.

Cup in Holder

It dwarfs a cup from our kitchen. Usually one to order water with his meal, I felt like having something sweet and chose Fanta Orange. When I saw the size of the cup, I asked, “Is there any way I can get a smaller drink with that?”

“Not in combos one through six,” the Whataburger window lady answered.

Ridiculous. Still, although I didn’t particularly want to dispose of this monstrosity, I never considered tossing it into the street.

Now the question is, do I let the two cups in the top photo battle it out, or do I retrieve and dispose of them properly? Can one be busted for aiding and abetting litterbugs? Are any cops reading this?

Of course my curious mind wants to leave the corpulent containers to their own devices. After all, Blue Straw has only a month to go before it breaks the one-year mark. That seems like a perfect time to grab it, wash it up, and memorialize it somehow.

Well, at least to grab it, anyway. I wouldn’t want anybody to think I’m obsessed.

Continue reading the saga here.

To keep everyone abreast (ahem) of this saga, I’ve created a page especially for Blue Straw. It’s in the page link tabs at the top of this page, but you may also get to it by clicking here.

13 Responses to Cupdate (Pic of the Week)

  1. As soon as I saw the title, and then the top photo, I started giggling uncontrollably to myself. I didn’t stop until I reached the last line, when I actually burst out laughing.

    The fact that you’ve named it “Blue Straw” and have now gotten close enough to note that the companion cup has the “Other” button depressed is head-shakingly hilarious.

    For you to do the right thing, and dispose of these (or just Blue Straw, if Other Cup doesn’t have the tenacity of the long-term resident) seems like it would be a waste. There are countless thousands of these corpulent cups tossed by the wayside every single day with nary a good Samaritan in sight to do the right thing. For you to do so now, with these ones, would be a shame for those of us hanging on the tale. Go out and pick up a few stray pieces of litter if that will appease your overwhelming sense of do-goodery. Leave the cups. I have come to need them.

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  2. 1. Do NOT memoralize the cup. Either leave it there and see how long it hangs on, or trash/recycle it.

    2. I’d like to think of the new cup as more of “buddy” than a rival.

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  3. *L* Only a true geek has an Intel cup in his cupholder!

    I’m with Alvis… leave it there or trash/recycle it.

    Have a great weekend..!

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  4. Red Leader: All wings report in.
    Bigg: Red 3 standing by
    Porkins: Red 6 standing by
    Wedge: Red 2 standing by
    Mark: Blue Straw standing by
    Luke: Red 5 standing by
    Red Leader: Lock s-foils in attack…wait…did someone just call “Blue Straw”?
    Mark:Yeah. See, there was this cup in a storm drain and I really admired its tenacity and…
    [Red Leader turns off headset]

    The photo of your cup holders has made me nostaligic. I used to drive a Dodge Avenger and the controls were just like in your Sebring. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what they looked like before looking at the picture…but that’s them. [sigh] I miss that car some times.

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  5. This is hilarious Mark and I applaude you for your persistence in documenting its “story”….

    Great post…it made me smile!

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  6. I’m thinking other means root beer. That is my only other of choice since I’m mostly a water guy too.

    I say plan a rescue on the one year anniversary. Maybe have it bronzed like they do with baby shoes. How great would that look on a shelf or mantle and you would have conversation piece to pass on down to Ben or any other children you and Shannon have in the future.

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  7. Simon – Glad you got a good laugh, and it seems like others did, too. I would miss it, too.

    That brings me to why I think I’m leaning more toward Blitz’s suggestion (although the actual bronzing process might melt the cup — I could get a hot wax mold made and then have a cast made. Something tells me my budget would lean more toward cement than precious metals).

    I’d rather do something like that than let it just wash down the drain, forever lost (and continuing to trash up the world).

    Alvis – I guess misery loves company, and that cup has to be in misery.

    Dave – You were close. The cup actually reads “IntelliMark.” It is from a northwest Arkansas technology consulting firm. Got it free at a conference years ago.

    MG – I’m still laughing from that sketch you wrote. I’ll probably read it again later and laugh again. And how appropriate is it given that this is Star Wars’ 30th anniversary?

    Anna – I think I’m making up for all those pictures I took as a reporter/photographer that had to be totally serious.

    BK – Root beer is my main downfall now when it comes to sodas, too. Pop, cokes, or whatever you call them. Although, that Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi my mom didn’t drink when she and Dad were in town wouldn’t go down until I spiked it with some Jameson Irish blended whiskey.

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  8. Ok…I’m a bit confused. A wax mold of that cup would be…a generic, non-descript cup shape. The graphics wouldn’t show up. You’d have a vaguely cup-shaped chunk of concrete. I say frame one of your pictures. Or make a t-shirt (I might even buy one). Just leave Blue Straw where it is.

    Hmm..maybe two t-shirts…”Rescue Blue Straw” and “Protect Blue Straw” Turn it into a vote.

    Also, who’s to say the cup is in misery? It’s got pretty nice digs…for a cup. I mean…there are even other cups coming by periodically to fight for the spot and it keeps defending its turf. Are you really going to pull it from its hard-won home?

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  9. Delightfully nuts, that’s what you are ;-) All of you.

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  10. MG – Oops. Of course, you are right. It wouldn’t be the same at all. A t-shirt. Now that’s a grand idea.

    Linda – I know you wouldn’t have us any other way!

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  11. I think it is absolutely hilarious that you’ve named it “Blue Straw.” It gives the story some warmth. I totally agree with Alvis on the new cup being more of a friend. Blue Straw can share some insight on how to “hang in there,” while Red Straw can keep him company and reinforce his will to soldier on. Together, they will see the cup as “half full.” (insert rimshot here)

    As a guy who can sometimes appreciate a friendly wager, I feel the need for a little action. These would be my proposed options, and a simple vote for one would be enough to generate some interest.

    1. Blue straw makes it until Christmas, 2007.
    Odds: 2:1
    (it’s obviously anchored in there…probably a pretty safe bet)

    2. The cup makes it for 2 full years, which would be measured from your “discovery anniversary,” meaning it would last roughly another year.
    Odds: 4:1
    (surely there will be a prison cleanup, or someone doing community service that will hit that area at SOME point in time)

    3. The cup lasts longer than your stay in McKinney.
    Odds: 4:1
    (It’s a tie for 2 full years in terms of odds, which might make this a solid bet)

    I’d go with option three, and put $5 on it (not a big gambler, obviously)

    There would also be a separate “pick one” bet for “Red Straw” outlasting “Blue Straw.” I guess you could make an argument that Red Straw may be newer, and less susceptible to cracking from becoming brittle….but let’s face it, in the world of plastic cups, Blue Straw is a BMF.

    Mark, I have to admit that if I lived closer and knew precisely where the cup was, I would move it one day, and move it back before the next morning just to f_ _ _ _ with you. Then you’d have to lie awake wondering if you just accidentally looked at the wrong drain or dreamed it.

    Oh, and when you move, if the cup is still there…then you will be obligated to fulfill your civic duty to remove the litter. I wouldn’t bronze it, but perhaps you feel more of a bond than me. :-)

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  12. Charles – Red Straw is clearly Sith. Come on…the color coding is pretty simple!! ;) There is an epic stuggle of good vs evil raging in Mark’s storm drain. Red Straw has wedged himself higher and in a more visible spot than Blue Straw. His sinister plan is apparently to attract attention to the storm drain, thus ensuring that one of those cleaner people finally take note of Blue Straw’s valiant struggle and remove him. The sooned Red Straw dies…the better as far as I’m concerend.

    And the remove/replace game would be a riot. Or maybe wedge another cup in there with “Take my picture, Mark!!” written on it.

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  13. Moksha…I like the way you think! I think maybe you’re onto something with the threat from Red Straw. He/she may be the “straw” that breaks the camel’s back with regard to having someone notice them both and ending Blue Straw’s reign. That darn Red Straw….

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