Aladdin’s Cave-In

After five or six years of stalwart service, I have finally retired and replaced my trusty blue plastic Aladdin 16 oz. travel mug.   I made the decison to have it put down when I could hear sloshing sounds in the mug even though there was no liquid remaining to be seen within the depths of its inner cavity and nothing dripped out when the mug was inverted.   Since I couldn’t be too sure how long the invisible liquid had been trapped in the void between double-hull walls, and didn’t know which (or how many) bonus biological processes may have been underway therein, it was time for a new travel mug.

The Aladdin had originally been an emergency on-the-road purchase, when I carelessly left its stainless steel predecessor underneath my chair in a hotel conference room.   A nearby urban convenience store had a limited selection of travel mugs; the blue made-in-China Aladdin was only the best of a motley bunch.   Even so, it has two features that I like:  the lid seals tight using a screw-on-with-rubber-O-ring fitting rather than press-fit-with-silicone-gasket, and the spill-control feature is a simple pivoting tab (with registration detent) that covers/uncovers an oval hole in the recessed well of the lid.   Easy index-finger operation.

Perhaps because of its simplicity, like any genie, it discharged its duties faithfully  –keeping my coffee hot long enough for me to drive to work, boot up the computer, and organize tasks for the day.   I think I used a microwave to reheat its contents only once or twice before I realized that the oval aluminum ‘Aladdin’ escutcheon embedded in the side of the mug didn’t mix well with RF radiation.   The molten, bubbling black plastic was a dead giveaway.   Still, it wasn’t a fatal wound.

My new travel mug is a rubber-clad, stainless steel-and-glass, made-in-Malaysia 14 oz. Thermos brand marvel of 21st Century engineering.   In some respects, it looks more like a bloated karaoke cordless mic than a drinking vessel:   maybe the designers migrated from the world of consumer electronics into the housewares department.   Thus far I’ve only used it twice, and my knee-jerk reaction is that it works too well:   the coffee is still scalding hot half an hour or more after I’ve poured it in, and I’ve quickly learned to sip cautiously.   I haven’t yet determined whether 2 fewer fluid ounces of Yauco Selecto per day will make any great difference in my life.


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