SILICON VALLEY – Dale Static, a low-level IT consultant at the CyberBites tech firm, has been sitting at his desk, eyes bloodshot and pale as a ghost, for the last four hours. Reports from employees on Dale’s side of the office confirm that he has done little to no work, and has been transfixed by the perpetual blue Salesforce login screen on his computer monitor. Dale’s sudden existential crisis seems to have stemmed from an apparent office prank, as somebody has stolen Dale’s favorite mug and is cruelly keeping it hidden from him.
“When he first got in this morning Dale was frantic,” recalled fellow CyberBites lackey Barbara Busybodes. “He came in humming like usual, put his coat away, then walked into his cubicle. There was a pause. Then all of a sudden, I see Dale rush out of his cubicle and run to the breakroom, where his scoured through every cupboard, drawer, fridge or trashcan he could find. About thirty minutes later he emerged empty handed, drooling from one side of his mouth, pupils dilated…It must have been a terrible shock. Dale loved that mug. I think it was his only true source of happiness at this god-forsaken place.”
We caught up with Dale in his lonely cubicle and asked him how he was holding up. Dale, never blinking and clammy in the face, whispered softly and sadly, “I feel…naked. Alone. Like a semi-truck going five hundred miles an hour just rammed into me, backed up over my body and dripped black crude oil onto my soul…and into my favorite mug. Oh Cuppy…Cuppy I miss you so…”
It was then that Dale, who actually named his mug, and on top of that actually named it “Cuppy,” lost all sense of self, reality, or any physical sensation. His body didn’t expire, but any remnant of Dale’s conscious awareness left his frail defenseless frame alone to cope with the true horrors of his new, cup-less reality. We left him alone, still staring numbly at his monitor.
As our staff exited the halls of CyberBites, we caught a glimpse of the janitor in the supply closet. He poured himself a drink of bourbon into smiley face mug that matched Dale’s description of “Cuppy.” The last thing we saw was the janitor shut the door to the outside world, smiling in self-satisfaction.