(Migraine Impending; No Hitherby Tonight)

It is a scene everyone is familiar with.

The host spends a great deal of time preparing a tea ceremony. The guests are shown into the waiting room. The host’s assistant offers them hot water.

The guests do not accept this first offering. Instead they say, “My God! When that water hits the nitroglycerin leaves—it’s bye bye Seattle!”

Then they dive for the door. The host’s assistant tackles them and uses the traditional rope to bind them securely. Once again the host’s assistant offers them hot water. At this point it is appropriate to accept.

It is of course polite to say, “I thank you for this water that shall bring my death.”

But more and more often the younger generation says instead, “Such scalding water is truly a credit to your deathtrap.”

Whence comes this shocking rudeness?

It is the position of the Cultural Study Board on Nitroglycerin Tea Ceremonies that this ongoing cultural decay derives principally from the adoption of nitroglycerin and other explosive compounds as a substitute for natural, holistic teas.

Many people believe the samurai dramas and assume that when the West imported tea from Japan and China it was already a death sentence.

This is in fact not so. When the tea god gave tea to the mysterious Orient, it was made by boiling dead leaves and other things found nearby. The resulting drink calmed the nerves and enriched the kidneys. It did not kill.

It’s time we abandoned the practice of explosive tea, so corruptive to the moral norms by which the American tea ceremony should function, and return to the old ways.

We have gone astray.

Tea that kills is bad.

This has been a message from the Cultural Study Board on Nitroglycerin Tea Ceremonies.

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