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The title is not exactly true. I do not have a Batman coffee mug. I have 12 of them.

Excessive?

Obsessive?

Does a man who has 12 Batman coffee mugs have some sort of psychological problem?

No. I do not.

I am simply prepared.

Prepared for what?

A Justice League of America meeting?

A gathering of comic book coffee drinkers?

Prepared for when the Caped Crusader dinnerware is finally released?

I would only be prepared for the latter if the dinnerware was black and had the iconic yellow oval with the black Batman symbol in the middle. Because that’s what my cup looks like.

I have 12 of the Vandor 20 oz Batman coffee mugs. The mug is all black except for the bas relief Batman symbol.

And I have 12 of them because I used to only have one of them.

There is logic behind that. There always is when it comes to all things Batman.

I started my current job in December of 2002. One of the first things I discovered was that the company had Keurig K-Cup machines and supplied its employees with free coffee.

Nice.

So I brought in my 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mug and, twice a day, I would fill it up with 16 oz of free coffee and add free sugar and free creamer.

And life was good.

Until…That. One. Fateful. And horrible. Day.

I was in the office kitchen getting my first huge cuppa joe for the day. Everything went as smoothly as it usually did. Sugar in, 2 K-Cups (one high-test, one decaf) brewed. However, after my 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mug was full of coffee and ready to remove from the Keurig K-Cup machine so I could add the creamer, a co-worker came into the kitchen and said ‘Hi’.

I turned to to say hello to her as I hooked my index finger into the handle of my 20 oz Vandor coffee mug and lifted it from the Keurig K-Cup machine.

It slipped.

I tried to grab it…screwthehotcoffeeTHISISMY20OZVANDORBATMANCOFFEEMUG!!!!!

It fell to the floor and shattered, taking my Gotham City Heart with it.

 the shock…THE HORROR!!!

My…treasured…cool…magnificent…20 oz…Vandor…Batman coffee mug…lay in pieces at my 12EEE feet.

My co-worker was almost equally devastated. I was known for that mug. People loved that mug.

Then a thought came to me. This was unusual in that I had yet to have my first cuppa joe for the day, but dreaded, awful, horrible events like this can often move a man to action.

I hurried to my office and did the Google thang for a 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mug. You see, I have a reputation among friends, family and co-workers of being able to dig through the garbage on the Internet to find whatever I, or they, want to find.

EBay…Amazon…The Vandor Company page…nothing…nothing…nothing.

NOOOOOO!!!!!! THIS COULD NOT BE!!!!

Well, I was at work and figured I just needed to dig a little deeper. So, after work, I hurried home, fired up my laptop and started in. And still got plenty of nothing.

The only thing any search turned up was plenty of sites that had it listed but also had it as “Out Of Stock”. I should mention that Vandor also makes a 20 oz Superman coffee mug. And there were plenty of those! There were hundreds of those!!! There were billions and billions of tall blue coffee mugs that had the bas relief Superman symbol on them.

But not one 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mug.

I called comic book shops. Nothing.

I went to several malls that had Warner Brothers stores. I went to their web site.

And it was all in vain. I was 20-oz-Vandor-Batman-coffee-mug-less.

Now you might think that I would sink into a deep, blue funk. That I would sulk. That I would go to my doc and beg for a prozac-zoloft-xanax fix.

But I’m a man who waited 42 years for the New Orleans Saints to not only win their first Conference title, but also win their first Super Bowl.

So I filed it in that part of my brain where I keep things stored so I can access them by setting up an autonomic reflex arc that kicks in when one of my senses detects the item.

I then went on living my life as though nothing tragic had ever happened. And, once a week, I would do my search.

42 years. Remember?

One Saturday, just before the Green Lantern movie opened, my wife, Leslie, and I went to our formerly favorite Barnes&Noble. It used to be a great place to write. It’s not any longer. But that’s for another blog.

I sat down in one of the comfy chairs they USED TO have in the store, and after settling in, I looked up and saw a display rack filled with Green Lantern merchandise. Well, I like Green Lantern. I even wrote a Green Lantern screenplay that’s better than the movie.

Yeah. I’m bragging. But it is. It has a solid character arc and is more about Hal Jordan beating his personal demons than it is about CGI stuff.

But I digress.

I figured that I wouldn’t mind having one of the Green Lantern coffee mugs that I could see from where I was sitting.

I set aside my laptop and went over to check them out. I picked one up and saw that it was a 20 oz Vandor Green Lantern coffee mug. Very cool. Not as cool as a 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mug, but all things Batman are cooler than all things anything else.

I decided to walk around the display to see if there were any other Green Lantern things that might tickle my fancy. Maybe a ring that glows. Something like that.

I moved to the right side of the display and saw a shelf that had several 20 oz Vandor Wonder Woman coffee mugs on it.

The next shelf down had several of the 20 oz Vandor Superman coffee mugs.

And way down there, on the bottom shelf, sat three 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mugs!

I grabbed them so fast that I created a vacuum. I ran back to my chair and stashed them there. Then I quickly found a bookseller and asked him if there were any more. He went back to the storeroom and brought me three more!!!

I paid for them, ran out to the car and put them in the trunk. I made sure that they would not be jostled on the way home. Then went back inside and packed up my laptop and Leslie and took off to the next closest Barnes&Noble. When we got there, I looked all over the store, or thought I did, and could not find any 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mugs!! I sped over to yet another bookseller and he knew exactly where they were…6 more of them!!!

I drove home that day and carefully stored 11 of them away. Number 12 was shoved, very tenderly, into my work knapsack. And, when I returned to work on Monday, I showed all my co-workers my brand new 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mug!!

They were all happy for me because I work with some very cool people.

Barnes&Noble no longer has these mugs.

Maybe when the next Dark Knight movie comes out, they’ll get them back. And you are probably thinking that I will make a run on the stores again.

In fact, you might even wonder why I did not spend the rest of that Saturday and all of the next day going from one Barnes&Noble to another so I could buy ALL of the 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mugs in Maryland, DC, and parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware. And maybe southern New Jersey.

Well, I am not obsessive. I do not lean toward excess. But, like I said, I AM prepared.

Prepared for 11 more instances of shattering mugs.

And you can be damn well sure that, these days, when I remove my 20 oz Vandor Batman coffee mug from a Keurig K-Cup machine, I have a tight grip on that handle.

I watch the mug as I move it off to the side for the creamer.

And, if a co-worker comes into the kitchen and says something to me, I do not look at them.

Instead, in a hoarse whisper, I simply say, “I’m Batman.”

And they know it.

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