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October 11, 2001


Tea for Two

She loved tea. He hated it. It made him nauseous...or so he thought. She couldn't get along without it...or so it seemed. Every morning of their still budding relationship she'd be up with the birds going through her absurd little rituals while he tried to sleep, tucked amongst his pillows with thoughts of their latest nocturnal rumble...'let me sleep' he would implore...but she had to have it...and it made him smile as he thought of her opening her small bad of un-fermented green leaves-obtained only on the internet of course-and preciously loading the soft fragrant bundle into the tiny mesh sphere that she went nowhere without.

But tea was weird. Sissified, arcane and needlessly involved, like pipe smoking. Those sticklers for detail, the Japanese practically make a religion out of it with tea ceremonies that last for hours...a fact he had dazzled her with back when she still hung in his every word.

Those times had cooled of course, but-still trying to impress-he let her drag him to Tea Planet. Geez Louise...what am I doing here? He thought, but the manager was friendly and the waitress accommodating...even if dealing with a couple of skeptical occidentals. They looked as perplexed as a vegan contemplating the offering at Big Mama's Rib Shack as they perused the confusingly short menu. Nothing made much sense, dominated as it was by green tea this and black tea that. Even the chicken soup tasted like Smokey Green Tea, and the Green Tea Tapioca drink was weirdness itself as dark, gelatinous pearls rolled into you mouth like a slick gooey marbles sucked through a .44 Magnun straw-truly the essence of an acquired taste. A platter of small, deep fried fish cakes that looked like something the dog left behind, completed the bizarre repast...but both of them liked this tiny trip into another food universe even if it did play the worst Chinese Rock and Roll on the planet. Even if this tea thing had to cease, both the relationship and the restaurant deserved another chance. a is not John's cup of tea.

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