Java City Lid Instructions

Signs get an unnaturally strong reaction out of me.   They talk to me.  Sometimes they talk down to me. Take for example the signs that appeared in July 2000 at Sacramento's Java City franchises: Putting the lid on your coffee.

Complete with illustrations, the signs teach valuable lidding skills where they are needed the most; at the cream & sugar counter.

After grumbling for weeks about how stupid these little signs were, I decided to make up my own sign and mount it nearby. Leif and Gina helped me compose it. "How to stir your coffee" was one thought, along with  "How to wipe your ass".


Ultimately, I decided on a more subtle approach, in the hopes that my little signs would stay up for as long as possible. I made a little sketch of the sign at the Java City galleria, came home, and started to work. 

I mimicked the look of the original, but changed the text to be somewhat more sensual.  The illustrations developed into naughty masterpieces.

I printed out five, laminated them, and started visiting Cafés. I used double-sided mounting tape. As always, I struck in broad daylight (I guess I didn't really have a choice). Standing at the cream counter fiddling with something is a pretty ignorable activity, so I was fairly calm. 

 Within two days, I had my own signs posted at the Java City on Sunrise, in the Galleria, on Madison, and at the Weatherstone.  Next I hit Loemann's Plaza, the original Java City at 18th & Capitol, and Corporate Headquarters on Northgate. Seven Java Cities in total. I was pretty nervous about the Java City Corporate HQ Café, because they didn't have the original sign up at all.
As of today, August 15th, 2000, all the signs are still up.  The folks at Weatherstone even moved my sign from the back-wall bricks onto the front of the microwave! If you live in Sacramento, visit a Java City today...but don't let your kids read that sign!
the sign's new text

Follow these two easy steps to put your lid on safely.

1) Begin by placing your hot cup of coffee on a firm, hard surface. Run your fingers slowly around the rim, checking for unusual bumps or swelling.

2) Press the lid gently onto the cup, and slide your thumb down the lip, forming a tight seal around the top. Now the cup is ready for your eager mouth.

Our hot coffee will always send waves of pleasure through your body, but remember these steps to protect yourself.
Leif gets credit for "eager". That number at the bottom was's ip address.
the sign's original text

Follow our two easy steps to trouble-free coffee drinking

1) Place the cup on a flat surface while holding the cup in one hand, carefully snap the lid on with your other hand.

2) Check to make sure the lid is securely applied be running your fingers around the edge of the cup rim.

It's strange to buy an iced mocha when you already have 4 in your car.
In December that same year, I got an email from someone in their offices...I was busted.

The signs were all down within 2 days.

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