The Tetley Ruckus


Here’s the story of moolah, Yorkshire, and bloomers.

It may be a clichéd thing to say, but really, England is the only place where you’ll find people engaged in a row about tea so fierce the police have to be called in. Especially here in Yorkshire. I mean, we gave the world Tetley and Yorkshire teas, and, to be a brutally honest, you can’t call yourself a fan of tea if one of those two isn’t your favourite. Tea says a lot about a person. For example, if you’re in Yorkshire and you’re not drinking Tetley or Yorkshire, you’re not from here. Of course, which you prefer is enough to split entire communities, with bloody tribal battles inevitably ensuing. I’m a Tetley boy. It’s older than Yorkshire, tastes and smells nicer, and it’s round, so it fits in your mug. Of course, dad stopped buying Tetley, amongst other things, such as real butter, in favour of low fat gubbins, in an attempt, in his older age, to lose weight and cut back on fat. But, you see, my parents won’t buy food for them and food for me. It’s one for all, like a forced Musketeers convention. I have low blood sugar and I’m two stone underweight! How’s that fair! So when they went to Australia, I started buying Tetley, in favour of this Bolshevik elitist inheritance scrimper’s magnet, low fat ‘Earl Grey.’ But when they got back from Australia, oh boy. “WHY THE HELL HAVE YOU BOUGHT TETLEY!” “BECAUSE I’M TWO STONE UNDERWEIGHT AND IT TASTES LIKE A ROTTEN SOCK!” “BUT IT’S NOT LOW FAT! WE ONLY HAVE LOW FAT IN THIS HOUSE!” “YOU HAVE LOW FAT, I’M TWO STONE UNDERWEIGHT! THAT EARLY GREY WILL KILL ME, YOU FOOL!” And I don’t want to die with a cuppa Earl Grey in my hands, oh no. I want to die with a mouth stuffed with bacon, my heart literally deciding it prefers death over another 10 rounds with a loaded bacon sandwich…

In case you’re wondering, I am writing this with a cup of Tetley, and it tastes magnificent. And no, I’m not hankering for some free Tetley. Actually, if they are reading, it would be very nice to receive several crate loads of the stuff. Imagine the look on dad’s face when he goes for his morning paper. “OH FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, THERE’S TETLEY EVERYWHERE!” Mwa, ha, ha, ha… love my tea! LOVE IT!

As you can imagine, this sort of ruckus is about as British as viewing 16 degrees as ‘shorts weather.’ I never wear shorts. I mean, dad always says it’s good to let one’s legs breathe, but I’ve never encountered a pair of legs with a pair of lungs. I mean, it’s not like they’re gonna stop being legs, is it? I don’t think I’ve owned a pair of shorts since I was 16, and even then, they were so long they were more like a pair of bloomers…

I did win the argument, but it’s left me in the foulest of moods. There dad was, telling me all about why he would not even contemplate buying two types of tea and telling me the low fat butter we’ve been buying will soon be replaced with an even more low fat butter, before topping off his health kick with a long diatribe against regular Coke in favour of this Coke Zero bullshit, and there mum was. Standing behind him, mouthing ‘ignore him.’ Shaking her head. Pulling funny faces. Dancing around like a clown. You see, they’re completely different, mum and dad. There dad was, I mean, properly angry about the Tetley, and there mum was, shaking her head and sticking her tongue out at him, behind his back. And there I was, trying not to laugh. Dad, of course, cottoned on to the fact mum was up to something and so turned around only to find her smiling ear to ear. “What? Me? I’m not doing anything…”

Of course, I’m not going to spend all this post talking about the merits and pitfalls of certain types of tea. I really want to talk about what happened at work this week. That said, A ROUND TEA BAG! That’s the work of a genius, really. Somebody who makes a square tea bag, COUGH, YORKSHIRE, COUGH, is only out to make moolah. Tetley were the first tea company ON EARTH to make a round tea bag. And the first to make ANY kind of tea bag, back in the ‘50s. The fella who did that looked at the tea bag and said, “This should be the same shape as the cups we drink tea from!” That is a genius right there, people! He should’ve been given a knighthood for services to magnificence. It’s the same story with the digestive biscuits. Somebody looked at that and thought, “What is the optimal shape for a dunking biscuit?” Why aren’t there statues of these people everywhere! Should be part of every Yorkie’s curriculum in school, that should…

Now, back to that thing that happened at work. No, wait, actually… talking of biscuits, dad wasn’t happy I’d been buying Kinder Buenos. ‘Buenos’ is literally Spanish for ‘good ones.’ But ‘oh no,’ they’re not ‘healthy’ and they’re ‘expensive.’ HAVE YOU TRIED ONE! Seriously! Have you actually tried one! It’s like sex in chocolate form! I’d assume. I saw a video this week of two American girls eating Kinder Buenos an English friend sent them. Their reaction can only be describe as orgasmic. That’s what will bring our divided world together. Chocolate! I ate the last Kinder Bueno in our fridge this week, a tear solemnly strolling down my bedimpled cheek. “It’s the last one. Sniff. I almost don’t want to eat you, but I must, you’re just too tasty.” Got home from work, boom! Mum had bought 20 more! Dad was not pleased. “LOOK HOW HAPPY HE IS, JOHN!” “BUT THEY’RE NOT HEALTHY!” “HE’S LITERALLY IN TEARS OVER THERE! LOOK AT THOSE TEARS OF JOY!” “I DON’T CARE! IT’S GONNA MAKE HIM FAT!” “AS HE KEEPS TELLING YOU, HE’S TWO STONE UNDERWEIGHT! WE WANT HIM FAT AND CHUBBY! WASH YOUR LUGHOLES OUT!” And so on.

Speaking of work, there’s that thing that happened this week that I really wanted to tell you about. You see… what’s that? Some of you are on dad’s side? WHAT! WHY? You can’t gain weight with apples and strawberries! Have you ever seen a fat vegetarian? Or one that does not look so ill they’re about to keel over into their tenth bowl of porridge of the day? They have about as much get up and go as a three-week-old baby after a feed. I have no criticisms of the lifestyle, but if I started eating healthy low fat shite, I’d be dead within a matter of minutes. My heart is mostly bacon. My body without bacon is like a pair of shoes without a sole. I mean, it’s still a pair of shoes, but your feet are all soggy…

I fell asleep on the bus this week, and on one day, several times. You know that thing where you can’t keep your eyes open and you only wake up when the bus driver slams his breaks so hard your head smacks off the window, not being the thing that wakes you up, but being the thing that causes the blood to trickle into your eye, that being the thing that wakes you up, because, let’s face it, blood in the eye is about as painful as a certain brand of tea. And you know why I’ve been so damn tired and stressed out, so stressed out I’ve actually fallen ill with a cold, IN THE MIDDLE OF BLOODY SUMMER! Damn you fate, you miserable wanker.

I was the only one in on Monday. I had to open up, take the deliveries, deal with the customers and close up. And I had to put up with that most of the week. Not my job, but we’re understaffed. So that’s the really interesting thing that happened to me at work this week. I had to go it alone for the first time, and with all that’s going on back home, I mean, really, it’s no wonder I feel like utter dog pops. What? That nugget of information didn’t live up to the hype I gave it? No, it didn’t really, you’re right…

I just didn’t want to spend an entire post talking about tea. I fear I may not have lived up to that promise I made myself and I also fear you might be pissed off about that. I understand. You need your spirits lifting. I have just the tonic for that, as it so happens…

Could I interest you in a cup of Tetley with a Kinder Bueno?

Japanese scholar, Okakura Kakuzō (1862-1913), once wrote: ‘Tea… is a religion in the art of life.’

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:

To Contrive & Jive
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