Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tea, Is a Magic Wonder

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tea, Is a Magic Wonder

Article excerpt

Byline: GARY BAINBRIDGE One man's struggle with the 21st century

THE only perk of doing my job is that occasionally people send me things that I have mentioned in my column.

This isn't a confession of corruption. It is not as if I mention Porsches, or breakfast television presenters, or running shorts which don't fall down when I am actually running, in the expectation that somebody will send said items as a consequence.

Obviously if that worked, I would definitely do it, but there's no use dwelling on that.

But for example, a couple of years ago, I wrote an entire column on the uselessness of every pencil sharpener I had ever had, and a pencil supplier sent me a large packet of terrible-pencil-sharpenerproof pencils, as if I were some sort of pencil obsessive.

And for another example, a few months ago, after I'd written a column about tea, a tea bag manufacturer sent me a dozen boxes of tea bags, which I keep mostly under my desk just in case.

Actually, they are the only examples I have - pencils and tea.

So I was quite annoyed when I got home late last night to discover that I had precisely one tea bag left. "Annoyed" is understating the issue. What I said to myself is, "Gary, how on earth do you have only one bag left? You spend the day literally ankle deep in boxes of tea bags, like Scrooge McDuck with tea bags instead of money. You are a moron."

And then I realised I was faced with the most appalling choice a man like me should ever make.

Should I have a cup of tea there and then, and go without in the morning, like some sort of bleary-eyed tea-less half-wit? Or should I go to bed parched, but safe in the knowledge that I wouldn't actually have to put some trousers on before I had a cup of tea in the morning? The only time recently I was similarly tea-less was in a hotel. I am occasionally forced to spend time in hotels by my job, like Rihanna, or the late Sir David Frost.

And on this occasion, I checked in, went to my room, dropped my bag on the superfluous deckchair-like bag holder thing, figured out how the lights worked, sought out the drawer in which the "tea and coffee making facilities" were hidden, and made a cup of tea. …

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