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Wednesday, 8 August 2007
George's 8th Strand (2007); Day Number 8
Now Playing: Tea Room & Me

Good Morning!

I had trouble accessing The Hay Diaries yesterday, so there wasn't an entry (for which I apologise).

Was it Dadda's 'Puter and Maman not getting along? Could be. She called it enough Bad Names to make it never want to type for her ever again when she couldn't get into The Hay Diaries the Furst Time. The Fing is, she has a Rilly Short Fuse when she is werking on the 'Puter, especially if it is not Her 'Puter (which she pretends to Unnerstand).

Lucky for her (and by extension, me) the parts to fix her 'Puter are sus'posed to be here by This Evening.

Yeah!

So, Ennyways, this morning, she and I were reading The Telegraph Online Edition Newspaper, just like she always did when she lived in England. And we found this article about a Tea Room in Brighton,  that began a conversation between Maman and Dadda.

The Tea Room, which is named "The Tea Cosy" is owned by two men named David Daly and James Green, and they have Established Rules of Etiquette for those who wish to patonise their establishment. The Rules state plainly: no cell-phones in the tea rooms, no dunking biscuits (hoomins' treats), keeping elbws off the table (I have heard Maman Speak to Phil and SistaBeth about this!), hold your tea-cup and saucer properly, and do not speak insultingly of Her Majesty, The Queen or other members of the Royal Family.

(MissyBun says that this "not speaking insultingly" should extend to her, as well, and she will look into how "one" has this kind of "Rool" written into a "Code of Behaviour".

I told her "Good Luck with that." and she told me I should mind my own business about learning Top Bunning and she would mind Hers. Just so you know how *that* went.)

So Maman read this article out-loud to Dadda and he said, "Good luck to them! I would go there."

And Maman said, "I agree, although some people are calling them 'Tea Nazis' because they feel insisting upon a Code of Etiquette is restrictive."

"I hope their place is heaving." Said Dadda. "Just wall-to-wall. And that those fellows make a mint."

"It says here that if you order coffee, the waiter will show you to the door and point out the three near-by 'Starbucks'." Said Maman. "As he should do. Imagine the nerve of some idiot ordering coffee in a tea room. Stupid people. It says here that one guy banged his head because he was using his cell-phone beneath the table when the owner came in."

"Serves him right." Said Dadda. "People need manners."

"I used to have manners before I married you." Maman went on, flipping through the article with the mouse-pointer thingy. "My coffee table in Waddington never had a thing on it so I could serve tea instantly. I always brewed tea in a pot, and used proper cups. It's only since I returned to the States that I've dropped that like a live grenade. My Grandmother would have said I should have trained you better."

And Dadda made snorty noises into his Big Blue Tea Vat. "I don't train." he said.

And Maman said, "Yes you do, and I have let you get away with murder. You drink tea out of an over-sized cup."

"I've been doing that for ages." Said Dadda, setting his vat down on the floor beside the futon where he was reading.

Over across the room, Cokie-the-Fat-Cat stuck his head up and looked. So did Beep-the-Udder-Cat from where she was sitting in the doorway to Maman's Study, where she was being watched by Da Dawg, who was in Herding Mode this morning. I stretched out full-length on the futon and looked down over the side into the vat. This was because we all knew the same Fing at the same Time: Dadda's tea-cup had four spoon-fulls of sugar in it and it was on the floor now, within reach of four-foots!

And of course, food-stealing is Not Legal. You can axt ennybunny and they will tell you that. However, Search and Recovery *can* be, if you can get away with that. The Rules are not Certain and sumtimes you can manage the Recovery part and sumtimes you can't. A lot of it depends on Dadda's mood at the moment he catches you and how good your Cute is going when that moment comes.

So Cokie gave a preliminary "Chirp" and started across the floor wearing his "Innerested" look. So he got to within claiming distance of the Big Blue Cup before ennybunny else. 

"What would you have done in my Grandmother's house, then?" Asked Maman. "Because she would have given you regular-sized tea-cups and had the pot served, with a chinz cosy and sugar tongs, too."

"I would have done however she wanted." Dadda replied.

"Yes, well, I've let you get away with having that horrible one-pint vat." Said Maman.

"I've been drinking out of this cup," Said Dadda. "For more years than I can count, even before being married to you, dear."

"Yes and well, I should never have let it into the house."

And there was Cokie-the-Fat-Cat, sitting with his paws in front of him, and his head extending outwards towards Dadda's cup as far as he could extend it. And I was looking down, over the side of the futon, and so was Missy. And also, by this time, Da Dawg had figgered out that sumfing was going on behind him, so he was looking over his shoulder with his 'Lert Look on, trying to figure out what was so "Inneresting" to Cokie, and keep an eye on Beep (who was also looking over Da Dawg's shoulder) at the same time.

It is very inneresting to watch a collie-dawg try to get their eyes to go in two different directions at the same time.

"If I had started training you in the beginning," Maman said, "I would never have let that tea-vat into the house. And I would have kept the coffee table clear so that I could serve tea in an instant, and not followed the American convention of using it as some kind of display table for useless ornaments. A coffee table should have nothing more on it than a pane of clear glass that can be easily wiped up in case of spills. It is a serving piece *only* and not a display piece. If I had started you out that way, you would be trained by now; I have only myself to blame that we don't have proper tea all the time."

"But I have always had these big cups." Protested Dadda.

"And you shouldn't. In Waddington, I didn't have a beaker in the house. Not one. Now I seem to have thousands. The bloody things reporduce on their own in the cupboards. And look at me - I drink coffee - brewed coffee! I never used to do that. If I wanted coffee, I drank instant, like a proper English woman."

And by that time, Cokie-the-Fat-Cat was well into "Recovery", with his head stuck into Dadda's tea-cup - which is big enough to swallow Cokie's whole head. And Missy and I (who were looking overboard from the futon) could hear the lap-lap-lap of his little, pink tongue.

And right about that very same moment, Beep-the-Udder-Cat (who is admittedly slow on the uptake) finally figured out that Cokie was "recovering" Hoomin Food (a subject that always innerested her, even though she rarely joined in), shot past Da Dawg (who was trying his level best to look in two directions at one and the same time - and failing) and bounded to a halt at the bottom of the futon.

Which made Da Dawg turn-and-bolt in the same way for which Border Collies are justly famous the werld over, but since he did it in such a narrow space, he banged his butt into the door between Maman's Study and Dadda's Office, and riccocheted offa the book-case, came careening into the Office and somehow managed to fetch up next to Dadda's tea-cup.

So, of course, Dadda looked down and noticed Cokie with his head in Dadda's tea cup and his little, pink tongue going like mad in Full Recovery Mode.

And Cokie was so absorbed in his Recovery that he did not have his Cute on at all!

And Dadda reached down over the side of the futon and smacked the Cokie-the-Fat-Cat-head with the flat of his hand and said, "Whack-a-mole! Get out of there, cat!"

And Cokie came up spluttering with a whole face full of tea. And he swore at Da Dawg as he went by and took a swipe at Beep and went to sulk unner'neaf of the table in the corner.

But he spent the next hour or so cleaning tea-with-four-tea-spoons-of-sugar off his face while niether Da Dawg or Beep had enny. Which goes to show you...sumfing.

And Maman said to Dadda, "See? That cat has no manners. No etiquette. And that would never have happened if you had trained him right."

-------------------------------------------By George


Posted by Our Warren at 7:53 AM EDT
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