Vol. 3, Issue 6, March 1, 2005
Dodo: the Other Other White Meat
No Apologies Press

Not My Cup of Tea

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

Though I modestly declaim myself an individual of somewhat Eclectic tastes, I admit that I have become rather Circumscribed in my habits as of late. It must be Confessed that my suits are all rather of the same Color (though Brown does become me quite well!) and that my Walking-sticks bear strikingly similar Handles; though I have found that an Overly-large variety of sticks makes it hard to Remember where the Flask is hidden in any particular one. Efficiency for efficiency's sake.

It is thus that I found myself musing, as I read of the latest exploits of the East India Tea Company (in which I hold some small Financial speculation), that it has been quite some Time since I have actually Drunk any tea. Scotch, of course, in Healthful Abundance; coffee, one pot Daily (for the Vitamins); sherry, port and Brandy in appropriate quantities as Suitable to the occasion. Some six years Back, I also partook of some American whisky, as part of a Wager. But Tea? Actual, factual Tea?

It is simply not on my Horizons. Ever since those lively lads took it upon themselves to Dispose of the hated British imports at the Boston Tea Party, it has not really been a fixture of the American spirit: and when it is drunk, it is generally Chilled first and enhanced with a few pounds of Sugar. It persists in our culture in name Only, a ghostly vestige of our historical ties to old England. I have been to many an "Afternoon Tea" at the Club, but we always take stronger Spirits with our scones and Biscuits. If one is going to drink a pale brown Fluid, one might as well make it a Worth-while one, I always say.

But my Curiosity is Piqued. With a decisive Sweep of my arm I consign these noisome Legal briefs and Bills to appropriate Pigeon-holes in my desk (or at least I shall Assume they are appropriate: at least all the papers have a place to Be). I then find the Tea-service, somewhat Dusty and with a few more Dormice inhabiting the pot than I anticipated. No matter: a brisk Shake does the Trick and empties the pot. Any stray Hairs will doubtless not survive the Boiling. I find a Kettle, divest it of the Cigars and put it on the fire. (Water, you see, is a Necessary Component; I have learned my Lesson with brewing hot beverages the Hard way.)

Water boiling! Tea-leaves - mostly they are Tea-leaves, I confess a bit of shag tobacco may have gotten mixed in there: no matter! I cannot remember the Proportions, so I make sure a good round Cup of the leaves goes in the pot. Lemon? I have None, but perhaps this Quince will do as a substitute. Sugar? There ought to be some left over from the Coffee-service, but Elisabeth has cleared it already; I shall dissolve some Horehound candy drops in the cup, it shall come to much the same thing.


Do you know, I really don't know What people see in this beverage. Perhaps it is time to Divest myself of these East India Tea Company shares after all.

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