It is my wont to spread information as I acquire it: hence, my desire to teach. When I was in third grade I had a large blue hardcover book entitled “The Big Book of Facts”: the bible from which I preached, incessantly, gems of knowledge to my family.

Sitting at my pulpit (the lunch table, typically) I would open with “Here’s something you didn’t know…” Feel free to take a moment to appreciate my family’s restraint, as evident by my continued existence!

I have long since outgrown such childish evangelism; now I have a large repetiore of phrases with which to begin the enlightenment of my captive congregation! Take another moment to appreciate my fiancee’s restraint.

One such piece of information (there should be a noun: informatum, as for data / datum) involves walking with a full coffee mug. I was taught at some point (in keeping with the theme I should say it came to me in a dream, borne by blue hardcover angels) that it is best to keep one’s eyes straight ahead while carrying coffee. One’s natural inclination is to watch the liquid to ensure it doesn’t spill, but as per The Big Book of Facts, or whichever prophet wore its mantel that day, this leads to overcompensation. The best strategy is to walk slowly without looking at the coffee.

I have rigorously adhered to this “fact” and repeated it many times. It was only during the last few weeks, while walking between buildings with my daily second cup (the first being at home with breakfast) that I dared question its validity. You see, for as long as I have been faithfully marching, eyes front and center, I have also been routinely covering myself in coffee.

I attributed the spillage to my own clumsiness, or perhaps simply walking too fast. But during my second cup ritual I have noticed that when I transgress and stare intently into the mug as I walk, I reach my office with nary a drop upon my shirt.

Heresy! cries The Big Book of Facts. Heresy! echoes the congregation. And so my faith, my unblinking adherence, to the Big Book is shattered. My apostasy is apparent, my excommunication imminent. I am no doubt damned to an eternal coffee cup of bitter grounds; no sweet brew awaits my passing.

Will this disproof of coffee cup canon lead to a stop in my obscure fact evangelism? Of course not! “The coffee cup passage is a metaphor”, I will apologize. “The liquid is symbolic; the mug, a vessel representing the soul. Let thine eyes dwell not upon thine soul or surely thou will stumble.”

Go ahead, take another moment for my fiancee; her patience is incredible!