The Taxidermist preserves what she loves. In doing so, she creates an uncanny shrine so convincing it might still blink. I cannot claim to possess the skills of an animal stuffer, but I have managed to immortalise a small fetish object in order to produce the same startling effect.
I’m generous, so I will share my process with you. It was pretty easy to drain the body cavity by tipping it gradually and ingesting the liquid via the oblong opening created for that purpose. I gently prised off the lid with a thumb. The cavity was then stuffed and weighted with a few screwed up serviettes. Once that task was completed, I replaced the plastic lid onto the coated paper lip, and mounted the whole thing realistically onto a ceramic drinks coaster. The skin shows a beautiful bold example of modern graphics – typical of the breed. The font itself is sort of literary industrial. Looks right at home on my desk.
The taxidermy latte is most commonly seen on TV dramas. (For the record – I don’t care how great you are at acting – I can still tell there is nothing in that cup.) Sometimes they can pile up unintentionally in the car, although these are not good examples of display-manship.
The point of this exercise, (aside from practising the art of taxidermy of course) is to suspend consumption. To create the permanent illusion of a recently purchased vice. Like all good drugs, coffee has it’s paraphernalia. When caffeine becomes deeply ingrained in the mental reward feedback loop, just seeing a corrugated cardboard insulating sleeve or a roaring coffee machine is enough to give a sense of the high. And so it is with the cup.
The takeaway cup is a wonderful prop. It gives you something to anticipate, cradle, use as a shield when walking past paparazzi, wave around while punctuating a conversation. Don’t throw that baby away!
Create and display your own personally stuffed taxidermy latte and no one can accuse you of stepping outside the overwhelming status quo of the coffee buying majority. No one can quietly sneer at you for being an amateur who doesn’t appreciate the good things in life, or (heavens no!) someone who would rather save money than spend it on an overpriced hot drink. If you’re feeling especially subversive you could continue to sip absentmindedly from it at intervals during conversations.
My own pet coffee ghost has been sitting empty on my desk for several months. Each time I see it, I could swear I’ve just finished a superb flat white, brewed by a fawning tattooed barista in some thumping coffee worship hole. In reality I have just boiled a double shot instant in the kitchen. All by myself. With no foam or trumpets.
Maybe I’m smiling because I have an early afternoon coffee buzz, but it’s probably just because I saved another $4.50.
P.S A blog on personal finance would not be complete without a small rant about how you can save over $1000 a year if you stop buying coffee every weekday. But you knew that already.
P.P.S – try cream instead of milk in your instant coffee. I swear it will not make you fat, and it feels European.