Monday, 27 March 2017

You Deserve a New Tea Bag

I have never been much of a drinker. Maybe it’s because as a child I watched my dad and he rarely had good experiences with alcohol. Every Christmas Eve my uncle and aunt would come over with a bottle or two and celebrate the holiday with our family. The next morning they would sleep in because they didn’t have children and poor dad would have to get up very, very, very early with two extremely excited little boys.

I also remember him dressing up as the Jolly Green Giant one Halloween. Mom used food colouring on his skin and I remember waking up in the middle of the night with dad still drunk and sitting in the tub while mom used a floor brush and bleach to try and get the green off of his skin. He had a greenish tinge for days and his arm hairs were green for weeks. I don’t think the men in my family were meant to be drinkers.

In high school, I had more than a few unpleasant run ins with the demon drink. Jose tequila attempted to show me my intestines by bringing them up into my mouth. Cheap wine allowed me to vomit all over myself while lying on a floor in a crowded basement. Beer just made me stupid and somehow managed to grow hair on my tongue at the same time. There are far too many incidents to relate before I came to understand that alcohol and I should stay nodding acquaintances for the rest of my life.

Luckily for me, my social group had other intoxicants available that just needed to be inhaled. My body could handle that just fine thank you very much. I could sit at a table just being mellow, listen to some of the finest music of the century and my drink of choice was tea. We would sit and solve many of the world problems at those tables drinking tea. The girls would tell me what shits their boy friends were and ask why there were no good guys out there. Look across the table!

There was something mystical about a pot of tea. Many years later, I was working at McClelland & Stewart Publishing and came across a book called “The Book of Tea” by Kakuso Okakura. It was a large and impressive book that covered the history and ceremonies involved in the preparation and serving of Tea in Japan. Could have been China, but I think it was Japan. I was into tea and thought that if I learned more about tea I would become a better person somehow. The road to being a better person probably shouldn’t start with the theft of an expensive book from your employer. My bad.
 Image result for the book of tea
It turned out that although it would have been nice to be that guy who knew all about the origins of tea and even knew how the Japanese prepared and served tea, I just didn’t really care that much about tea. Just so the theft wasn’t a total loss, I gave the book to my buddy John who would appreciate it. I don’t think I told him it was a “hot” book,,,sorry John.

Fast forward to the present. I am a tea drinker at home and a coffee drinker when I am out. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but there you have it. I find that two tea bags will make a decent pot of tea if left to steep just the right amount of time. We usually will make a pot when the kids come over to visit. When I am by myself, I just make a cup of tea by putting the bag in the cup, swirling it around and then a quick squeeze against the side of the cup and done. However, that teabag still has some life left in it. Well, assuming two bags are good for a six cup pot then one bag should be able to make a second cup. Often I will do that second cup. It isn’t always as good as the first and there is no chance of achieving that “perfect” cup of tea, but it works most of the time.
Image result for used tea bag 

Some days I look at that partially dry, squeezed out teabag and think to myself “With all of the pain and suffering in the world Ken, you deserve a new tea bag.” Every now and then we all deserve a new tea bag.
Image result for tea bag

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