Psssst. *squeak*

Coffee cooling down
Vacuum bottle speaks to me
But do I listen?


One of the perks (pardon the pun) of my job is coffee anytime I want it.  The only problem is, the company has its own coffee machine and it's always breaking down.

Anybody who has written code knows that coffee deprivation is a calamity best to be avoided.  Fortunately I can bring a Thermos of coffee in when that happens.  My BIG Thermos. It tides me over until almost lunchtime.

My Thermos bottle is the secret to my success.  Oh, all right, it wasn't made by the Thermos corporation, but a different company. I have been brought up to call it a "Thermos", regardless.  It's an especially large Thermos, meant to hold half a gallon of soup.  It is assumed that the owner consumes its contents while sitting on a steel girder a quarter mile in the air, between turns of hauling in nets, or deep in the wilderness, communing with nature.

But I use it for that most mundane of things: coffee.

I bought the Thermos during college, for a camping trip that never materialized. Still, buying one's first Thermos is a big step towards independence.

It's usually around 10:30 AM when the remaining coffee in the Thermos cools and shrinks enough to create a vacuum, sucking air in past the seal of the lid.

Psssst. *squeak*

Sometimes it's a bit more complicated than that:

Psssst. chukka-chukka-chukka

One day I brought the Thermos in but found the coffee machine was working after all.  This allowed me to alternately take coffee out of it, or, if I felt like it, walk to the lounge to get a cup.

So it wasn't until about 1:30 that day, 12 cups of coffee later, that I heard the noise.


Sometimes it's a distraction, but I can usually blot it out.

Psssst.  Shhhhell your AccuWidget stock.


Itssssshhh me, the Thermoshhh.  Sell your AccuWidzhhhhet stock.

I tightened the lid and went back to work. When I got home, I found that AccuWidget had tanked in after-the-bell trades.

I decided it was time to start drinking decaf.   So the next morning, I made a pot of decaf.  I brought it into work and steadfastly stayed away from the lounge.  Then, about 10:30:

Psssst.  You know, you could put good shtuff in here oneshhh in awhile.  Jamaica Blue Mountain would be nisssssh.

I told my boss I needed a day or two off.   I was a little nonplussed when he said "Yes, I think you do, too." but I let it drop, and signed out.

On the way home, it started again.

Psssshhht.  I'm shhick and tired of being ignoredt-t-t-t. I'd almost rather let-t the afri-t-t-t get me *squeak*.

I said out loud, "You're going to have to accept the fact that you're going crazy, old chum. Your Thermos is talking to you."  I have this tendency to talk to myself under stress.

You're not-t-t going crazhhhhy. You did OK when you shold all that stock jushht before the big drop this year.

My broker had thought me crazy last January when I told him to sell the lot and convert it to tax-free bonds. I missed out on about 5% more growth before everything went south.

"My Thermos tells me it was responsible for getting out of the market at the right time.  Some sort of hypnotic suggestion, maybe."

That waszzzzh the day you put the mocha Kilimanjaro in here. I wazhhh grateful. You don't-t-t want to admit it, but you lishhhhened zhen.

"This is really gonna cost you.  It'll take years of therapy.   I can hear ol' Sigmund telling me now: How does a Thermos bottle know about the stock market?"

All right, if you mushhhht know, I'm not really the Thermos, I'm the djinn trapped between the inner and outer flasks.

OK, now I suppose you know what brand of thermos it is.

"So now I'm supposed to ruin a perfectly good Thermos, drilling a hole in the flask or something? Is that worth three wishes?"

OH NO! Don't do zhhhat.  I'm shafe from the afrit in here.


My lashhht mashter was the subject of a hoshhhhtile takeover.  The buyer had some supernatural help.  I wazh able to shhhwart it, but zhat made it angry.  So I ran away to shhhomeone I though would help me, but it turned out to be the Thermoshhh factory, and I got trapepd in the mashhhhinery.   All in all, though, I'm happy jushhht shtaying in here giving out shhhtock advishh.  It'shhh better zhan being shtuffed in zhe lowest level of Hell.

"I imagine.  I'd also imagine this "afrit" is going to come after you eventually, doing nasty things to me in the process."  I rolled down the passenger-side window and reached for the Thermos.

Shoot yourshelf.  Shtill, if you put good shtuff in here, I'll tell you how to get ritschhhh...

Not throwing the Thermos out the window was the best thing I'd ever done.  So what if I get fired for bringing in a thermos full of single-malt Scotch?  I'm wading in loot now.

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