Hunka Burning Styro

Ladies and gentleman, Elvis has left the building. But -- hot diggity damn! -- it seems he forgot his Styrofoam cup. And on Tuesday, January 25, the polystyrene wonder will be on display at the Boulder Theater as part of Nutballz Night Out, a fundraiser for the Center for Celiac Research.

Though now kept in a protective suitcase labeled "The Elvis Cup Tour," this relic of rock has been on one long, strange trip. According to its owner, Wade Jones, he snagged the cup after sneaking on stage and rooting through a trash bin following a Presley concert in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1977. With nary a bite mark or fossilized nose hair embedded in its surface, the Elvis cup isn't exactly the type of memorabilia that sets the hearts of souvenir hunters a-flutter. But for true believers, the disposable demitasse qualifies as a near-religious artifact. The cup (formerly housed in Jones's freezer) also contained three whole tablespoons of backwash-infused water, which the crafty collector auctioned off last month on eBay for $455. The bidding wars continued as Jones promoted a "visit" from the sacred vessel.

That opportunity, which drew national attention from the likes of Fox News, intrigued former pro-snowboarder Kyla Duffy of Boulder. The 26-year-old owner of Nutballz Inc., a health-food company, says she had her doubts when she heard about the offer: "I was like, 'Who the hell would buy something that stupid?' Then I realized it was perfect for Nutballz -- from Boulder!" In addition to paying for the privilege of showcasing the moldy oldie, Duffy agreed to fly Jones and his wife out for the benefit.

Hosted by local Elvis impersonator Charles King, the 21-and-over event includes food, a raffle, and entertainment by DJ Ivy, Jyemo & the Extended Family and others. Guests can have their pictures taken with the coveted cup for $1, while Elvis and Marilyn look-alike contests round out the evening's fun. And who knows? Maybe the King will return to party down -- or at least finish his drink.

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Jared Jacang Maher

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