Press Talk: It’s cold, but ‘Stupid Stuff’ mugs are hot!

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



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State Sen. Ann Rivers says she likes the mug.

When I headed to Florida a few days ago, my significant other had to come with me.

That would be my “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” mug.

We keep selling out, but we have our last batch of the year in now.

Come by Monday if you want to use a credit card. If history is any gauge, the $10 mugs won’t last long.

I bought one myself. I probably need two because I do so much stupid stuff.

They’re a fun gift that most people — but not all — appreciate on varying levels. But what exactly are those levels?

All sociology and psychology classes are welcome to use this as an exercise. Please let me know what you come up with.

I’ve got my own theories, of course.

And what about those who don’t like them?

After the first batch sold out, I received a call from a 92-year-old woman who wanted me to hold several for her.

A couple of days later, she called back and said she would have to cancel.

“I told my daughter I had ordered them; but she told me if I gave them out, people would not like me.”

Well, if your daughter says so.

And it looks as though many politicians agree. I originally thought they would quickly buy in. I was wrong. I suspect there is a certain sense of insecurity that many politicians have about admitting they make mistakes.

Noticeably absent are the now infamous M&M boys. You know, Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke.

With all due respect, these poor guys have done so much stupid stuff, they could be founding fathers of the cup. But the mugs were not made solely with them in mind. There’s plenty of stupid stuff to go around. The left and right, the short and the tall, the young and the old. Stupid stuff is an equal opportunity trait.

OK, so why would anyone want to advertise that they do stupid stuff by buying this mug?

Professor Brancaccio would say this: If you’re comfortable in your own skin, if you can admit that you goof up at times, folks gain respect for you. They can see that even though you don’t take yourself too seriously, you can take your job seriously.

And it’s likely they’re also willing to admit that it never hurts to be reminded when making decisions to think hard first. That should lessen the chances of you doing stupid stuff.

Still, some political types have bought in. And I have great respect for them — and others — who bought the mug for themselves. Others are having fun with it. One local coffeehouse bought six, and when certain folks come in, they might get their coffee in the DDSS mug. What a hoot!

But could the cups go national? My old buddy from Florida, Bob Ferguson, said this after hearing of the mugs.

“After thinking long and hard about your coffee mug and the things that are happening in (D.C.), I think all of us should expand the campaign and take it (to D.C.).”

Well, as noted, the last batch this year is here. If you come in next week to get one, ask the front desk if I’m around. I’ll come up and say ‘Hi.’ That is, if I’m not busy fixing something stupid I just did. Like calling the mug “my significant other” when my lovely wife, Maley, was along on the Florida trip. I better buy another mug for me.

Don't Do Stupid Stuff Mugs