Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Tea Escapades

Recently I've been volunteering at The Tavis Smiley Show on KCET. Today a certain British actor came in for an interview. Both my mother and I are big fans of this actor so I jumped at the chance to escort him around the set. Normally when we're escorting a guest, they're very polite and don't really know what to do with us. But before I was able to say, "If there's anything you need, please don't hesitate to ask," he had whipped around and requested a cup of tea. "English Breakfast or just regular Lipton, please."

Sure. Fine.

Except for some reason it was absolutely impossible to find a single bag of English Breakfast tea. What the eff is English Teatime?! Finally our craft services girl finds me a bag and I make the most ghetto tea tray with milk in a plastic cup and a somewhat clean kettle of hot water. I place it in his room with a smile. Then...

"There's something wrong with this tea. Nothing is happening to the teabag. The water is not hot enough. It has to be absolutely boiling hot. Boiling hot. I need a new teabag with boiling hot water."

Fine. I boil fresh water and pour it into a cup with a new bag of tea (which I had to steal from another green room) and hand it to him...

"Is there an empty mug so I can take this on set?"

Great. At this point the tea is getting treated better than a large majority of our guests on the show. So I find a mug. Clean it. Fill it with boiling water to keep it warm and wait outside his room until he is ready.

"Great. You can just transfer the tea into the mug then."

Sure. Fine. We're ready to take you to the set, Mr. Tea.

"Oh. Do I have to carry the tea myself? Yes, you can carry the tea for me. I don't want to spill it on myself, so you can spill it on yourself. Ha ha ha."

Ha ha ha. Then one of the producers rushes out to meet us and in a flustered state takes the tea like it is a stick of dynamite covered in nitroglycerin and presents it to him like it's his first-born child.

Whatever. It was a weird experience that has taught me three things:
1. British people are seriously weird about their tea.
2. I don't like this actor as much as I used to.
3. I need to write my final essay for my Colonialism class.

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