Portland, Oregon, USA

Handmade in Portland, Oregon.

Ode (or rant) to the guy who invented cone cups...

Periodically in my other life, as a seventh grade teacher, I find myself reeling over the most seemingly innocuous of changes. And, as is my nature, I react verbally. Often on Facebook. Many friends have suggested that I place posts like these in a blog, so that they are easier to find when one is in need of a little completely unnecessary reading...

Behold... a post from June 1, 2016:

To the guy who invented cone cups:

I know that you thought you were pretty genius when you figured out how to save .0001 cents per cup by making them into a cone shape. Besides, who ever heard of a SNO-CUP on a hot summer day?! That doesn’t sound like a tasty summertime treat. These cups scream efficiency and frugality. Employees will sip quickly around the water cooler and be back to work in a jiffy if they can’t set their cup down. Brilliant. Well done, sir.


Middle schoolers. At the end of the year. Much like a sleeping bear...we proceed with caution. Change nothing. Otherwise they might realize that the year is nearly over. And they outnumber us.

But back to the cups.

You see, middle schoolers love novelty. If it’s new, it’s awesome. And so...when questionable lead levels bring water coolers into every classroom of a middle school at the end of the year, suddenly every kid experiences massive, unquenchable, ten-days-stranded-in-the-Mojave-Desert amounts of thirst. Forget about school and learning...they have NEW water and it must be consumed!

And cone cups.

Yes...we can recommend that they bring water bottles from home. But water bottles aren’t cone cups. With a cone cup, you can sit, or stand, but don’t you dare put that sucker down. There’s no need to read...or write...or be on-task at all...because you can’t set down a cone cup! When the teacher redirects you, you simply tip your cup at her, much like an old guy in a beer commercial, communicating that you do, indeed see her, but that all available attention is currently focused on the preservation of the water in your cup and therefore school work is deemed secondary in order of importance.

Suddenly each class has turned into a mini cocktail party.

Cone cups sometimes leak out of the bottom. That’s my favorite. Especially when working near technology or a textbook.

You can color a cone cup like a rainbow, wet the rim, and stick it to your forehead to turn yourself into a unicorn. It’s magical. Really. Or better, use two and turn them into horns!

You can take one cone cup, cut off the tip, flip it upside down, and create a cone cup holder for another cone cup. (What can I say, we’re a STEM school.)

You can fold cone cups into every imaginable flying creature. They make a satisfying “thwack” when they land if they’re a tad soggy.

You can place cone cups on different parts of your body and giggle, while the elders among you recall 90s-era Madonna...or just shake their head and suppress a giggle themselves.

You can have contests with your friends to see how many times you can re-use a waxless cone cup before complete and utter cone cup failure.

You can precariously balance cone cups full of water in the center of four desks pushed together. This is genius...until someone moves.

And when the teacher starts to ration the cone cups - well then, you just interrupt the lesson at 30 second intervals to ask for MORE CONE CUPS!

Finally, when a mini-heat wave mugs up the joint and the power goes out for three hours, thereby disabling the barely functioning fan in an already A/C-free school, the demand for cone cups just goes up. Well played.

Mr. Cone Cup inventor, I have one question for you: Did you, by chance, also invent a more efficient bathroom pass?

FYI: I’ll be requiring a martini in a cone cup very, very soon.

It's Time.