I remember back from my earliest schooldays that we kids had what our parents called “crazes” — fads that became “must-haves” among the schoolkids — and it seemed like every three weeks or so one would appear:  yo-yos, poker dice, marbles and so on all became the standard stuff in our pockets.  And woe betide you if you were “behind” the craze;  you were an outsider, and we all know how injurious that is to the tender susceptibilities of a child.

Needless to say, just when you’d finally prevailed upon your parents to get you a yo-yo — and it had to be the right kind/brand, of course — the trend would change, yo-yos became yesterday’s news (until next year, maybe), and some new damn thing would put you, the hapless kid, straight back into the outsider camp.

Of course, that tendency to follow crazes — what’s politely called “fashion” but is really just some desperate need to fit in with the “cool kids” — manifests itself in the adult world as well, whether it’s shoes (Michael Jordan Air, Manolo Blahnik), clothing (Versace, North Face), sunglasses (Ray-Ban, Oakley) and gawd help us, colors (coyote brown, putty, cement).  I’d add that even guns (Glock, SIG) aren’t immune to this nonsense, but no doubt some people will get offended.  And don’t even get me started on “smart” water, as though that Perrier bullshit wasn’t bad enough.

And now we have Stanley insulated mugs and flasks.  Seriously?  Overpriced sippycups to keep one’s coffee hot or “energy drinks” (another stupid fucking craze) cold, and among all the Cool Kidz, they’re a gotta-have.

The problem with adult crazes is that unlike marbles or yo-yos, they’re really expensive (see:  Ferrari, Range Rover, Michael Kors and Gucci).

The fun part is that whereas the nonconformists used to just suffer the opprobrium heaped on outsiders, nowadays there’s occasional pushback:

Stanley cups have become the ultimate “it” item for Gen Z, with hundreds desperate to get their hands on the £45 ‘adult sippy cup’.  The tumblers recently launched in the UK to much fanfare, taking many people to take to Twitter to joke about the ‘millennial version’

‘These were my Stanley cup’ one person wrote, a picture of coloured Coca-Cola glasses that came free with McDonald’s meals throughout the noughties.

Yeah, whatever.  (And then there’s this, sent to me by Reader Mike L.)

I have to admit that I’ve never understood the appeal of crazes, and (certainly as a youngin) this has generally made me a permanent outsider for most of my life.

I also resent like hell the fact that crazes, by and large, are created by brand- and product manufacturers’ marketing departments (e.g. perfumes, where the marketing and container costs constitute about 90% of the retail price — and I can’t help thinking that the same is true for most trendy bullshit).

As far as I’m concerned, if I wear a shirt with a brand on it (don’t hold your breath), the brand should pay me for carrying their advertising, instead of me having to pay a (massive) premium for the privilege of wearing a stupid Adidas or (even worse) Dallas Cowboys t-shirt.  Yeah, I know:  the franchises need the additional revenue to help pay their spokesmodels’ outrageous endorsement fees — yet another topic that could engender a 20,000-word rant from Yours Truly.

It’s all marketing:  a specious (albeit regrettably-effective) attempt to boost sales of some product or other, or some brand which is almost identical to another in the product line.


I think I’ll just have another sip of coffee from my insulated container, compared with its premium (and not really better) craze competitor.

The coffee isn’t that awful Starbucks shit, just ordinary ol’ Dunkin Donuts Regular.

(Actually, I think those Coca-Cola plastic glasses are pretty cool, just not that kind of cool…)

Update:  literally two minutes after this was posted, I got one of these spams in my Inbox.

Coincidence?  I report, you decide.

However:  if it’s not coincidence and someone got busy with my data, let’s acknowledge that their little AI data-scraping bot isn’t that good — because on countless occasions, I’ve heaped scorn and invective on the horrible sponsor.  In fact, I’d rather inject boiling bleach into my scrotum than give Dick’s a single dollar.  Wonder if they’ll pick that up?


  1. My two cents on crazes:

    1¢: if you’re still drinking smart water, it’s not working

    2¢: back in The Day, I decided to get hip to personal investing, and subscribed to Money magazine. Which put me on the sucker list for all kinds of huckster investments and “insider” newsletters. Reading a few free samples, I was underwhelmed, then suddenly inspired. So I created my own Insider Investment Account. I opened a mutual fund account and made a minimal purchase of an S&P500-based fund. THEN, every time another huckstergram showed up, I invested the newsletter price in my new mutual fund, and binned the newsletter offer. I about 5 years, I had enough to pay off my mortgage. Takeaway: do the same with any craze you might be susceptible to, and build a nice nest egg. Perhaps one sufficient to support a healty gun habit.

  2. I drink water every day, and 2 cups of mud.
    That’s all.
    No soda waters, no juices, no teas.
    Just water and mud.
    I’ve been using the same 2 water drinking vessels for at least 20 years now.
    2 24oz clear Tervis tumblers, except they are not Tervis, but an off brand from the Publix grocery store.
    I don’t carry my drinking vessels around nor do I travel in my vehicle with them.
    Believe it or not, I can go several hours without drinking anything at all.
    I’m not much of a trendy dik.

    1. 1. Do you know who needs to carry 30oz of water around? A goalie competing to win the real Stanley Cup. Those guys sweat buckets under all that gear.

  3. I am proudly indifferent – and most often contemptuous – of pop culture & its associated conceits. Indifference = ignorance, in the case of Stanley cups. I overheard a couple of associates talking recently about some local douchebag busted for the theft of multiple Stanley cups. I was left scratching my slant-eyed Polack head, wondering how this clown managed to boost multiple NHL trophies. Honest to god. The dawn didn’t break til just now. Ye gods. Although it occurs to me that I have a Stanley thermos gathering dust somewhere at Casa Kotowski; I’ve had it forever & recall that it was more than sufficient to the task back when I was using it regularly.

    America’s Test Kitchen is a go-to source for me when it comes to acquiring cooking/eating/drinking gear. They don’t do sponsorships or endorsements; their equipment reviews are as objective as you’re likely to find. This is the the mug they recommend<which I have.

  4. From ATK’s review of the aforementioned mug: “Because it’s so good at retaining heat, you may want to cool your favorite beverage to the temperature you prefer before sealing the mug or you risk a very hot surprise on your first sip.”

    Not an exaggeration. I’ve been known to drop an ice cube into this bad boy after brewing my genmaicha.

  5. I’ve had a couple of travel mugs and thermoses over the past several decades. Usually I have Stanley or Thermos brands because they work well. I bought them well before they became popular. I do keep water around because i found it very easy for me to get dehydrated. We got Hydroflask bottles when they were on sale. I bought it because it is effective. The hydroflask thing is nice to have cold water in the truck waiting for me after I take the dog out for a nice long walk in the woods.


  6. They’re great for travel on planes, since you can carry a 24 oz one and not have to worry about spilling it in your lap.

    I’ve been using insulated flasks for a few years now – but I use the Contigo ones. Decent quality, and cheap. $11 for a 16 oz at Wal-Mart. They also sell a real mug-style 14 oz with a handle for about $14.

  7. I have two Stanley steel thermos bottles which I purchased back in the mid-70s. they have some rust on them, and a few dents, and once I lost the cup/cap for one of them, but I still have them. I’ve taken them to work and on camping and fishing trips. They both worked well back then, and they work just as well fifty years later. I wouldn’t trade either of them for those plastic pretenders.

  8. When I first heard of this craze–in fact until I saw this post–I thought the “Stanley Cup” thing was about hockey.

    We have two Stanley 16 ounce insulated “spill proof” cups. One that bought from Eddie Bauer probably 10 years ago, and one that I bought the next time I saw them for sale.

    They’re simple, double walled steel vessels with effective, but simple to operate lids that actually *are* leak proof. They have a loop of wire to hook them onto a carabiner for retention.

    The oldest one is dented, and all the paint is worn off. But the gasket on the lid still works, it still keeps coffee or tea warm long enough, and most importantly it fits in the wand pockets of a backpack and in the cup holders in every car I’ve tried them in.

    They don’t make that style right now. Maybe never again. But the next time I see them for sale I’m buying four.

  9. Watch out Kim!
    If your bot is anything like mine you will be receiving packets of spam for syringes for scrotum injection before the day is done.

  10. In response to this cup craze, a rather famous YouTube channel known as “Project Farm” ran a thorough comparison on all the major insulated cup brands. He’s been testing shop equipment, power tools, oils, etc, for years and his results are usually spot-on perfect. He tests everything in real-world scenarios, then torture-tests them to their failure points.

    When he tested 12 of this style of cups two weeks ago, including Coleman, Stanley, Yeti, Camelback, HydroFlask and several others, I hate to say it but the Stanley product was considerably better than the rest in terms of how long they keep your beverage hot or cold. I don’t care about what any “influencer” drones on about, but if I’m buying an item for a specific job I want the best product on the market. And in this place these social media twerps happened to briefly intersect with the real world.

    Here’s the Project Farm test.

  11. Being a wife, Herself has a Yeti vacuum insulated mug.

    Being a husband, I have the Ozark Trails (Walmart house brand, about half the price of the Yeti) equivalent mug.

    Being an experimental engineer (I made a nice living for over 30 years taking lab data for a chemical company.), I measured the warming curve for both mugs. They were the same.

    Caveat: I didn’t do precise measurements, I only measured one curve for each mug, and I only took data for one mug of each type. Therefore, this result is open to challenge by someone who is more anal than I am and more interested in the results.

  12. I had no idea this was a craze.

    My GF bought me the RTIC version for Christmas, and until this minute I didn’t realize it was a pricey gift.

    I use it to take water to the gym. Well, once, anyway; I usually take disposable 12 ounce bottles.

  13. I haven’t used it in decades, but I still have an intact thermos in my Green Hornet lunch box.

  14. Just about all this stuff is silly but I’m a fan of the occasional energy drink. When I need the pick-me-up equivalent of a big cup of coffee but it’s hot or none is readily available, they do the trick. Some have enough caffeine and other stimulants that excessive consumption makes heart go brrrrrrr so tread lightly.

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