In response to K-Fenn's enviable mug collection, I'd like to submit a favorite cup of my own, and the brief history of how it came to exist in my life.

How do I like my coffee? Black, motherfucker!
  • DEREK ERDMAN
  • How do I like my coffee? Black, motherfucker!

Unlike a lot of my friends, I never really fell in love with the music of Superchunk. Sure, they had some hot jams, but I never really dug into their catalog. Well, except for Indoor Living, which became the unlikely soundtrack to my summer of 1998. Around that time I was working at a record store in Chicago under the masterful management of Scott Rutherford, who published a great car/music zine of that era called Speed Kills. A version of the mug in the above photo held pens on Scott's desk at work, the same desk where I ate Subway sandwiches while on my lunch break. When ownership of the chain of record stores shifted a few years later, Scott left the job and the Superchunk mug pen holder somehow stayed behind. I adopted it into my home.

The Superchunk Hyper Enough mug is a high quality mug. It's not like the modern transfer printed mugs made of thin ceramic. It has weight and depth and the image is superb. It became my main mug for a few years. Eventually, I gave it to my best friend who is a huge Superchunk fan. She also had the hots for singer Mac McCaughan, I figure she deserved it more than me. Fast forward a few years later to a going away party that I was having for another friend. I was living in a big house with the same best friend who now owned the mug. For some reason, I decided to invite all of MySpace (?!) to the party. Most of MySpace accepted the invitation and the party devolved into a total disaster. I knew it was going to be awful when I spoke to a giant older man wearing an over sized Marvin the Martian t-shirt. He was eying a shelf of CDs and didn't know that I lived there. "There's no way that I'd have this many people in my house with this much stuff," He said. "There's a lot of expensive things here." Hours later, the bathroom was covered in blood. Somebody strung dental floss webs around most of the house. The kitchen faucet was broken. Somebody stole the oven knobs and some random dishes. After all the dust settled, the Superchunk mug was missing. Somebody took it! What a dick!

Public appeals for the return of the mug went unanswered and my best friend was heartbroken. Somehow, miraculously, it turned out that a friend had the same mug and she was willing to send it to quell the sorrow. In another stroke of luck, the person whose going away was the reason for the party knew the drummer for Superchunk and was able to procure another mug! Two mugs!

Here's where I paint myself as a total worm: I never mentioned to the other person that we had two mugs coming. I just accepted both mugs so we could each own one. Today, they mean a whole lot to the both of us. And Liz, if you want yours back, I totally understand.