The Stig is in my coffee.

Written by

Andrew Millar


June 12, 2011

There are phrases that are rolled around in conversations to make the talker seem more intelligent. Bon mots they’re called. Clever little drops that occasionally get uttered without the ‘as they say’ qualifier… so as, to some how make you think that the person who uttered the gem, might have just made it up on the spot.

Oscar Wilde was the proclaimed ‘King of the bon mot’. If you Google his quotes you’d get the idea he spoke nothing else.

I’ll resist quoting him endlessly here but there is one I particularly like…He said “Illusion is the first of all pleasures.” And though I work in a business that masters in creating illusion, I can’t begin to imagine the conversation he dropped that pearl into. Though you could argue it is a similar sentiment to my current favourite bon mot truism…

‘Astrology was created to make financial forecasting seem more legitimate.’ as they say…

The illusion that we know what is going on seems so important to us. It gives us hope that somehow we have control over our outcomes. Like putting fake steering wheels on a roller coaster. So we turn to odd things to give us this ‘one up on life’ confidence.

Well, I don’t believe in any of them. Astrology, i-ching, fortune cookies or tea leaves, much less financial forecasters.

But, of late, I have been looking deep into the froth of my coffee for visions. I am no skilled barister, so I tend to dump the milk into the wide cup. I can’t draw little flowers or hearts or such that the skilled on the other side of the counter can. Nope. Mine is a purely random art.

And we’ve taken to seeing what illusion they create in our morning java.

This morning we had a foamy rendering of a ‘mother sheep and lamb’ and mine resembled The Stig standing in front of an open window. Though when viewed from the other side of the table, I was told it looked like an angel with out-streatched wings. Other mornings I have had volcanos, bulls heads, the Mona Lisa, Sponge Bob and a brilliant city scape of New York from the Jersey side, pre 9/11, (though I had taken strong antibiotics on an empty stomach that morning).

So now how do I turn this to my advantage… financial advantage that is. What I need is one that looks like the Virgin Mary. I’d offer it on ebay and make a fortune! More realistically, if I am prepared for a little work, all I have to do is collate all of these visions into a book with some kind of meaning and a action for that day and I could make enough to retire. I could call it ‘Coffee Froth Astrology’, ‘Cappa-ching-o’, or something. It might just take hold in people’s minds. It could be the next fad for those who need a little help facing the day.

If Wilde was right and ‘Illusion is the first of all pleasures’ then this silly fun at breakfast might make my financial future clearer.