In 2005 or so, I bought a bug at discount-department retailer Kohl’s.  I spent about $3 on it, perhaps less.  It’s a fun upsloping conical shape and it has smiling cartoon pigs on it.  In fact, here’s a picture of it, full of Starbucks hot chocolate:

I kept said mug at my office.  It made me cheerful, be it filled with green tea or cocoa.  I got lots of compliments on it. Sometimes it was the brightest spot of color in a dreary work day.

Last Friday, I saw this mug for the final time.  (And I didn’t even know it to say anything!) Monday, it was no longer in the cabinet at work. All week, I trolled both floors of my office space, peeking into private offices, walking through cubicles, hoping for a glimpse of my familiar mug.  I sent the above picture to friends in all corners of the office so they could watch their respective areas. I obsessively checked the dishwasher, like, six times. This little piggy went somewhere other than the kitchen.

So stupid I was to not keep it at my desk under lock and key!  But how stupid someone else is to assume clearly whimsical mugware is the property of our company and there for anyone to use; the initials on the bottom of it are also a clue.  Or maybe it was broken being unloaded from the dishwasher and no one had the heart to say anything.  Point being: either it has ceased to exist or has been sitting on someone’s desk coated in half-and-half and who knows what else for days.

The mug was $3 and is half-a-decade old.  But it is irreplaceable.  Google “Pig mug Kohl’s” and the results are vaguely terrifying. If it’s gone forever, it’s truly gone forever.  And while cheap and silly and ultimately trivial, it does make me sad. I may just have to print out the picture above and keep it in a frame on my desk while I drink out of my cheerless paper cup.

Or maybe some good Samaritan will return it to the kitchen sometime soon.  No questions asked.