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When is a paper coffee cup just a paper cup? Can DNA change the dynamic?

David Moye has a dilemma. What should he do with the used, mocha-stained, Starbuck's coffee cup that is currently smashed into the inside panel of his passenger car-door?

Moye works for Alternative Strategies, a local full service marketing and communications firm where one of his clients happens to be Anthology, the live music and fine dining venue in Little Italy.

As such, he gets to promote Anthology's entertainment and often is responsible for entertaining the entertainers. So you could say his day-to-day life is kind of a combination of Brian's on "Queer as Folk" and Lloyd's of "Entourage," but a very straight - and admittedly gay friendly - combination of these two fellas.

So back to that coffee cup.

Moye discovered the collapsed little white cup - with its heat protection sleeve still clinging to it - while cleaning his car last week. He has purposely left it exactly where he found it, until he decides what to do with it next. He is taking his time, carefully brewing all of his options.

So what's the big deal? Just toss it out, you might say. Ordinarily, that would make sense.

But this is not just any old, ordinary, Starbuck's cup. This was a hot, grande, mocha espresso ... slurped down by none other than .... Jon Secada.

Hmmm. Now that I write that out, I realize the drink sounds like an extension of the drinker; a metaphor if you will.

Yes, Jon Secada, the Cuban-American singing sensation who serenaded us throughout the '90s with seven Top Ten hits. Secada started out as a back-up singer to and later began composing for Gloria Estefan before she helped him get his big break as a soloist during her Coming Out of the Dark (post-accident) tour. Since then he's written for J-Lo, Ricky Martin and even Mandy Moore. He has also continued to record on his own and even had a very successful series of starring roles on Broadway ("Grease," "Chicago," "Joseph and the "- oh you know the one).

A quick perusal through Secada's Wikipedia post uncovers a random, but oddly connected fact - his parents managed a coffee shop when they first emigrated to Miami in 1971. But I digress ...

So let's get back to that coffee cup.

The Latin singer was here in town March 11 for a gig at Anthology to promote his new jazz release, and it was Moye's job to book him a couple of television appearances and drive him around. First stop, NBC San Diego. Then it was a quick swing by Starbuck's for some caffeine and then on to KUSI.

Moye, the father of two and a Helix high school graduate, bought Secada the drink with one of the coffee store's gift cards he received on his recent birthday, because he says, "gifts are best when shared with others."

It now appears he did himself more of a favor in the long run, because that discarded cup, "chock full of Jon Secada's DNA," as Moye describes it, might now very well be worth much more than the $3.90 that was debited against his gift card. His little act of graciousness just might pay off something fierce.

The two men had a pleasant drive around town, spoke about music, singers, including Sinatra (Secada recorded a duet with Sinatra's voice once) and Perry Como, and a number of other uneventful, mindless topics to fill time. After dropping Secada off at his hotel, Moye went about his other public relations duties and probably didn't give that day another thought until the cup resurfaced the following week.

Knowing his "find" was not an every day occurrence, he first queried his Facebook friends as to what he should do with this now rather abstract little piece of trash he found crushed inside his car. He received a barrage of mixed results: Some felt he was a little obsessed with the cup, others thought he should put it on eBay and still others just wanted more info or a picture of it (like me).

What might be worth even more than the cup is the container of Carmex that Secada evidently purchased at the Hillcrest Rite-Aid on their way to the KUSI studios. Too bad that used container wasn't left behind in the car - but - I bet there is plenty of Carmex residue on the rim of the cup to satisfy even the most rabid fan.

After the schtick lost steam on Facebook, he then presented his dilemma to his media connections via email, along with the latest Anthology line-up, of course.

"This crushed cup is still there with a chocolate stain around the rim. I don't want to remove it until I do the proper forensic analysis," he wrote.

"So I am asking you being a respected member of the media: What would you do with Jon Secada's leftover coffee cup?

* Should I put it on eBay?

* Should I get a cloning expert to see if they can make another Jon Secada from it?

* Should I put on rubber gloves and dispose of it properly (the least interesting option)?

* Or do you have something else in mind?"

He may be on to something. Should we get out the swabs and call Dr. Perper? Yes, the one with the strangely shaped head who became famous upon Anna Nicole's demise, thanks to Nancy Grace.

Obviously, I couldn't resist taking a bite out of his hook, asking for both a picture and permission to write this piece. Now I am putting the question out for all of you all to decide. Does he really have something here or is this merely a short stop for an otherwise discarded paper cup, en route to the circular file?

Shall we start with an opening bid?

Morgan M. Hurley is the Copy Editor for SDGLN. She can be reached at (877) 727-5446, x710 or at morgan@sdgln.com