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The sovereign drink of pleasure

March 22, 2011

mom, dad and other mom

I am a half-British woman/child.  My dad is from northern England.  He drops his Rs and glottalizes his Ts (I’m not going to explain these things).  He says things like “setee” for couch and “dinner” for lunch and “neighbour” when he means the people who live next door.  His other Britishisms include near-constant sunburns, disdain for poor table manners, and love of the drink.  And by “drink” I mean tea.  He also likes wine, but for this post, I mean tea.  So when I say “the drink”, you’ll know I mean “tea”.  Okay?

My dad drinks tea at least 3 times every day.  He drinks tea when he probably should just drink some water (oh my god, that sentence made me realize that I can’t remember ever seeing my dad drink water).  He drinks tea all summer long, despite the three-week stretches of triple-digit heat.  When I visit him, he says, “Cup of tea?” and I say, “Ok, Dad. Want to watch Gossip Girl?” and he obliges, holding his cat Abby in his lap and pretending to hate both the show and the cat.  Hannah, my sister, has a severe genetic predisposition to tea drinking.  She has 1,941 different cups, 1,929 different tea pots, 1,776 different kinds of loose tea and 1,492 different kinds of bagged tea. She has books.  She reads the books.

Me? Sure, I like tea.  But I’m too lazy to hassle with the loose stuff, just like I’m too lazy to roll my own cigarettes. And I’m far from snobby about it. I like the Bigelow Lady Grey tea and Choice jade green tea.  But there’s this new one that I was introduced to a few days ago. It is an orange-spiced Ceylon tea and tastes great with a bit of almond milk and has the best and race horsiest tea name: Constant Comment.

What does that name mean?!?! I read the box and there was no explanation! Does this tea think its opinion is worth that much? Is drinking this tea like looking at the viewer responses to the merengue dog on YouTube? Stop trying to tell me how to run my life, Constant Comment!

To find answers, I only had to look at a 1945 Gourmet article written by Clementine Paddleford (I know.), who describes its christening thusly:

The tea was ready for market, but no name seemed to suit. Then it happened this way: One of Mrs. Bigelow’s Park Avenue friends was giving an afternoon party, and it was suggested she try the new blend. Not a word was said to the guests regarding its novelty, yet everyone spoke of the tea’s aroma, its flavor—there was “constant comment.” A good name, why not?

I guess “Constant Comment” has a better ring to it than “Why Won’t These Bitches Shut Up? Someone Tell Them To Leave”. Drink this tea now, all of you.  Drink it with a shortbread cookie or a cucumber & butter sandwich or something Mrs. Bigelow would’ve given you. Drink it while listening to this:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2011 9:04 am

    I liked this one a lot! Due to imperialism (by your dad!), my dad also uses a lot of weird pesky Britishisms, like “footpath” instead of sidewalk, “zed” instead of zee, and “deadbeat” instead of son.

  2. March 29, 2011 5:11 am

    Yeah, fucking tea! shut up tea!!! leave me alone tea!!!I wrote about this one time. Its so true. Also,I like when your dad says “Hell’s Bells”

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