Le Grail de Chateau Blanc has returned! Not since the days of the legendary bard Chrétien de Troyes has a story so captivated the imagination of people, as has the mysterious disappearance of my White Castle Coffee Mug. (or le Grail de Chateau Blanc as it is known in Arthurian Legends)
Yes, 10 days after its mysterious disappearance I walked into our cafeteria, and found my mug sitting on the counter by the sink. It was only then that I began to discern the ancient legends surrounding my seemingly humble coffee mug.
Legend holds that the mug was bought by Saints James and John when Jesus sent them out to pick up a sack of sliders for the Apostles at the Jerusalem drive thru. It was then used by Christ himself when he held it aloft and asked his Apostles to do the same in his memory. This began the long tradition among Christians of going out for sliders following a night of heavy drinking.
Following his death the mug passed into the hands of Joseph of Arimathea, who purportedly used it to capture the dripping blood of Christ as he took him down from the cross and placed him in the tomb. It is from these actions that the mug’s mystical powers began to appear. For after that day, whoever drank from the mug while having breakfast at Joseph’s place attained enlightenment. When Roman authorities learned of the magical powers of the grail, they sent their centurions to capture it, and bring it back to Rome for use by Caesar, but Joseph caught rumor of their plan, and sent the mug out of the country in the hands of Mary Magdalene, who was moving to Southern France to pursue work as a hairdresser, having given up her life of prostitution.
The grail then passes from recorded history for nearly 700 years, until it reappears in a dream to Charles Martel on the eve of the Battle of Tours. Inspired by this vision of immortality and White Castle Sliders, he led the Franks to victory over the invading Muslim hordes. Following the battle Charles began a long journey into the Pyrenees where he finally found the mug in the safe keeping of the monks at the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana, who used it for ceremonial games of quarters during parties and special occasions. Charles removed the grail and returned with it to Gaul, where it passed to his son Pippin the Younger upon his death, and later to his grandson Charlemagne, who carried it with him to Rome when he was crowned head of the Holy Roman Empire.
Charlemagne returned with it to his throne in Aachen, where he often used it for serving ale to his guests at his royal court. Following his death, the White Castle Mug passed to his son Louis the Pious, who disdained drinking, and no doubt hastened the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in the process. Louis lost the mug when his wife sold it in a garage sale to some passing Saracen’s who were returning to the holy land. From there, the mug passed again out of recorded history.
The mug reappears during the first crusade, when Godfrey of Bouillion gained possession of it during the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. It remained in the possession of the Crusader Kings until it was lost again during the battle of the Horns of Hattin. Since that time there has been much debate, and myth surrounding the location of the mug. Many claim that the mug has been in the possession of the Knights Templar, who have managed to keep it hidden for centuries, as they awaited the second coming of Christ.
During the sudden renewed interest in the grail legend following the publication of Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code, the mug was mistakenly left at a White Castle outlet in Paris by a deranged, drunken member of Opus Dei, where it became the basis of for an upcoming promotion. The mug was copied and distributed, along with hundreds of thousands of lookalikes, to White Castle chains worldwide until I unknowingly purchased it in 2007.
Until 10 days ago it had resided upon my desk until disappearing on Christmas Eve. No trace of forced entry, or break in was recorded at our offices, and for over a week the whereabouts of the mug remained a mystery. Until this morning when I found it slightly dirtied, sitting on the counter in our cafeteria. I immediately washed it, and have returned it to use holding strong black coffee and Irish Whiskey until such time as the remaining Knights Templar can be found to whisk it back into safeguarding, and protection.
Of course, it is also entirely possible that I just misplaced it, but what fun would that be?