The Lazy Man Self-stirring Mug (£7.95, geniegadgets.com) is a specialised cup implanted with rotored vanes. The button-activated mechanism agitates fluid to vortex, in place of manual mixing.
Gender cliches are back, and boy, are they causing a stir!
Generally, I scorn man-branded anything, whether it is tissues or noodles or hand soap. I never once bought a Yorkie bar without also picking up a copy of Mizz and some fresh flowers. It was a point of principle – but also “behaviour attracting police interest”, and I had to stop doing it. So my heart sinks at the Lazy Man Mug. Haven’t we moved past these dated stereotypes towards fresh, new stereotypes? The gimmick here is a button that, when pressed, rotates spokes in the cup, swirling your drink. Why is it only aimed at slobby men? What if you have carpal tunnel syndrome? What if you’re a lazy nan? Gendered cups are nonsense (with the noble exception of the Mooncup).
Yet this complacent goblet of patriarchy is not totally without interest. “Get the perfect stir, without lifting a spoon,” it says. At first, I felt an irritation-migraine coming on; there is no “perfect stir’. Then I saw the picture on the box: a cyclonic whirlpool, like a storm in a teacup. It looked amazing. Maybe there is a perfect stir: slosh-free, blending power and control, milk and tea, at a cellular level? I had them send me one by first pigeon. It was oversized and flimsily plastic, with unpleasant weighting, owing to the AAA batteries in its bottom. It didn’t work. Pressing the grungy button did nothing. I had another sent. The second grubby rubber button worked once – without liquid, its tiny spokes whizzing through air. I put in tea, pressed the rotten grubby bugger – nothing. Had to stir my chai myself like a bloody pauper.
A cup for men – so lazy it works once and never again – is a refreshing feminist joke, but a wasted opportunity. I dream of a world in which politically correct punchlines and mimimal-effort milk drinks coexist, for all. The quest for the perfect stir continues. The Lazy Man is a glass barely raised to the virtue of idleness – ironically, its creators shouldn’t have bothered at all.