September 29, 2023

Just Pop Out That Cup Holder by Brendon Marks


How did we ever manage BCH (Before Cup Holders)? I’m sure that the inspiration for the first automotive cup holder was a direct result of a prolonged bout with ADD (Another Drink Dumped).

The truck I drove for years was PCH (Pre-Cup Holder), so I know of what I speak. I had one of those neat little console things that sat on the transmission hump and collected screws, nuts, bolts, gum wrappers, and used tissues, mocking me with those indentations that were supposed to pass for drink holders. They could handle a soft drink can all right, but forget about anything larger. If the can is empty however, it would still fall out and roll under my feet or behind the gas pedal. I?m sure this problem led directly to the development of the pickup truck rear window that slides open allowing empty cans to be pitched directly into the open bed.

I also had no carpet in my truck, so those pointy knobs on the bottom of the after-market console caddy didn’t have anything to grip into, and the whole thing would skip around like a flat rock on a pond with every bump in the road.

Some of the new giant bladder-buster cups had a tapered bottom that was small enough to fit in the holder, but the top was the size of a ten-quart pail. This design makes it so top-heavy that unless you’re driving one of those cars that go a hundred miles an hour with champagne glasses balanced on the hood, you don’t stand a chance.

I left home for work one morning with a giant, insulated, plastic cup full of coffee sitting on the seat beside me. I had it propped up with stuff?I’m not stupid, but apparently it wasn’t enough (or I am stupid). As I went around a corner just a couple blocks from home the cup fell over, the lid popped off and dumped hot coffee directly into my hip pocket.

Now as most people know, unless your butt is as big as a Federal Express truck, a hip pocket won’t hold much coffee, not even close to a quart. Well, I’m not that big, so mine overflowed pretty quickly. I suppose you can imagine that I grabbed for that cup without too much hesitation. (I would have stood up, but the steering wheel was in the way.) Unfortunately while my attention was directed towards the cup and its contents there wasn’t anyone paying much attention to where the truck was headed. When the left front wheel jumped the median curb, I turned the wheel sharply to the right and regained control. I pulled over to the right, stopped, got out, and pulled the oleander bush out of the bumper. My right butt-cheek and thigh were hot, wet and steamy. Not exactly characteristics I find desirable while standing in the street at five in the morning. Since I was going to work alone, and my pants would be a lot dirtier before I got home, I just went on.

Besides, being in Phoenix, the seat cover and my pants were dry before the coffee got cold. But for months, every time I got sweaty in the truck, the seat cover smelled like coffee.

A week or so later, it was the same situation, only this time I had water instead of coffee; same corner, same result. But my wife says she doesn’t care how many times it happens; it’s still not reason enough to buy a new truck.

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