Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Storm in a Tea Cup

You often hear people refer to something as being “a storm in a tea cup.” By this, they usually mean that the matter in question has been blow up out of all proportion and is, in fact, quite trivial. Consequently, the inference is that it needn’t be taken seriously. When you think about it, however, this is quite wrong: A genuine storm in a tea cup actually has the potential to become very serious indeed.

For a start, the storm itself would normally be initiated by a low-pressure area, formed directly above the surface of the tea. At the very least, therefore, an unwary tea drinker might find himself buffeted by winds as he put his lips to the rim of the cup. Showers of boiling tea droplets might even rain into his face. But these are mere inconveniences compared to what could develop.

If the storm were really severe, for example, the tea drinker might well be electrocuted by lightning, conducted up the length of his metal teaspoon (this would, of course, be "spooned" lightning as opposed to the more common "forked" variety). In a worst case scenario, the combination of the low pressure area combined with any subsequent stirring of sugar cubes or Sweetex into the tea could result in an extreme vortex which would have the potential to suck the unwary drinker (and, for that matter, anyone standing nearby) into the cup and thence the boiling liquid.

So what can we do to guard against this and minimize risk?

In my opinion, tea cups should be mounted with flags. A green flag would mean that there was no storm in the tea cup and therefore its contents would be safe to drink. A yellow flag would indicate severe ripples on the surface of the beverage, such that only really experienced tea drinkers should risk it. A red flag, on the other hand, would indicate a full-blown typhoon tea. In this instance, one would be well advised to stay clear of the cup until conditions improved.

Naturally, human nature being what it is, some foolhardy types would probably try to drink their tea regardless of the flag colour. To save these idiots from themselves, I think it might be necessary to station lifeguards in people’s kitchens and living rooms, ready to dive into the tea cup at a moment’s notice and extract the stupid dumb fucks from the tannin maelstrom before they become over-stewed. I suppose the cost of having such lifeguards on duty, 24/7, would add to the overall cost of the tea, but this is a small price to pay for public safety.


K. McEgan said...

I was caught in one of these once when I was in the Icelandic Merchant Navy. In July 1989 I was sleeping rough in Reykjavik. This led directly to Otis Redding penning "Dock of the Bay". After (cont pg 10)

K. McEgan said...

Screaming "Emma you fucking bitch..." but the roar of the Atlantic muffled the sound. Soon only seagulls were heard off St Kilda. THE END.