Barry the Mug led an ordinary life. He woke, put the coffee on, fixed breakfast for his disabled wife. They sat together as he quietly sliced her pancakes into smaller pieces, it made it easier for her to tackle, one of the many difficulties that existed for her to experience and slowly handle. Then off to work at the canning factory Barry would go, his wife would be okay, for their son, Desmond, was her official carer, Barry had to work, the money had to come in somehow.
Then hours into the shift, he was afforded a short break, he puffed on a cigarette hastily, wanting to finish the entirety before it was too late. This daily smoke was his true luxury, he knew it was damaging to his health, yet the feeling of relaxation pressed itself upon him like a welcoming, insistent host.
And at three in the afternoon, time to clock off, to return to his family home, where the love was more than enough. Barry may have led a monotonous life, however what mattered was the life satisfaction and warmth that he felt for his worldly existence inside.
One particular morning, on his walk to the factory – for Barry’s luck was quite rotten and his current car had many things wrong with it – a man approached him with great curiosity.
“Why, sir! Please stop!” he pleaded, insisting with an irksomely eager tone. “Sir, please! Now! You have to know!” Barry ceased his trudging steps and glanced up with eyes possessing deep bags from overwork and stress, surely this man had enough gall to be speaking to the wrong mug, for his excitement was overt and too much. Barry softly responded, “Yes, how may I help?” Within the man’s eyes, glory now abounded, he wanted to share much, to allow Barry to know.
“You, my friend, are a unique piece of art, with your green shadings, and googly eyes, and intrinsically interesting mouth. Have you ever thought of modelling?” he suggested, with a wry smile upon his face. Barry could not believe this person, such discourse was not commonplace. Only beautiful girls and women were stopped in the streets for this, this man’s excitement was essentially an entire waste upon him.
“No, no, I think you have the wrong mug,” he said, smiling modestly, and making out as though to walk away. After all, every minute that one was late to work meant another dollar taken away. It was an unfair policy, to be sure, but that was the manner in which the bosses kept the workers in line, their managers smugly assured.
“Stop!” the man said, suddenly grabbing Barry’s handle with a vice-like grip of his hand as a hook. “You must believe me. You will be the next Booth.” (Booth was the world’s greatest supermodel, he had also been discovered walking the streets, and though Barry thought it was highly unlikely he was similar, this man had such breathiness and glee about Barry to speak.) Still unsure, he arranged to meet this man over the weekend, and have some photos taken. Apparently he was incredibly photogenic, the man said he could see it most certainly indeed, he was, “a viewfinder into heaven”.
Although the photo shoot made Barry uncomfortable, for he was modest and embarrassed by his grotesque appearance and odd looks, he allowed the man to become his agent, and overnight, why, would one believe, that he became an utter success! Soon his face was splashed across advertisements, the television shows, interviews with hosts, travelling the world, flying and meeting dignitaries and experiencing what life had to offer him and his family the most.
Who knew what made him so spectacularly successful, perhaps it was that he was different, something in the ceramics that made his glaze and character appear so utterly unique and different. Now he’s working on a biographical movie, named ‘Mugshots of a Famous Mug’, which details his life story from simple, hard working mug, to bright shiny model to be not only seen, but heard. For while Barry has his face well known, he is also passionate about world events, and human rights, and speaks widely of these does he, for his words and his looks he is renowned and his opinions can only develop and grow.
‘Mugshots of a Famous Mug’, is out in August 16th, 2022, and Barry is most excited for you to come and view.
© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.
*This mug is a real item in circulation, a gift from my mother, sourced from an op shop. As it only has “Made in China” written on it, I am unable to mention a designer or maker.