About a year ago I discovered a wonderful brand of night time tea containing a host of organic herbs including peppermint, chamomile, elderberry, lavender and licorice root.
I find the mixture is wonderful for guaranteeing a good night’s sleep.
I try to end each day with a cup of tea and start each one with a laugh.
For years my morning laugh came from Gary Larson via a page a day Far Side calendar.
Since that talented man retired I have had to look elsewhere for my laugh a day fix.
The calendar we have for 2010 not only has the usual cartoons on the front of every page but it also has things on the back ranging from word puzzles to what happened on this day in history to helpful outlines for things like grocery lists or instructions for babysitters.
Since Darcy is the first one up in the morning he is the one who tears off yesterday’s cartoon and reveals the new one for the day.
One morning, while flipping ahead to find the answer to a word puzzle I discovered that tomorrow’s cartoon had a list of all the moon phases for 2010 on the back. Since frosts often fall on the night of the full moon, that kind of information comes in handy for gardening.
“Don’t bother throwing tomorrow’s calendar page in the recycling,” I told Darcy as I prepared my tea for the night. “I want to keep it for the information on the back.”
“There’s information on the back? What kind of information?”
I served up one of my most superior looks as I asked, “You mean you’ve been tearing off pages for almost two weeks now and you haven’t even noticed all the word games and stuff on the back?”
He shook his head.
“Well!” I said as I dunked the tea bag up and down in my mug, “I guess we can’t all be as observational as I am.”
I was so wrapped up in thinking about my advanced eye for detail, that I accidentally let go of the tea bag and the little paper tab stapled to the string fell into the tea.
I hate it when that happens. I quickly pinched it out of the boiling hot water and in so doing, noticed some words printed on the tab.
“Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.” I read out loud. “Hey! There’s a quote on my tea bag tab.” Did all the tea bags tags have quotes on them?
And if so, were they all different? I ripped open another tea bag packet and read, “The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid.”
“I don’t believe this!” I said, reaching for a third. “Keep your words soft and tender because tomorrow you may have to eat them.”
By the time I read the fourth one, “When you realize you’ve made a mistake, make amends immediately. It’s easier to eat crow while it’s still warm.”
I was sensing a definite pattern and I didn’t like it one bit.
“Interesting selection of quotes, don’t you think?” Darcy said his face the very picture of innocence. “And you know what else is kind of interesting?”
“What?” I asked warily.
“You’ve been drinking that tea every single night for how long now?”
“A couple months or so,” I mumbled, though we both knew it was closer to a year.
“Yes, almost a year, and in all that time you never once noticed the quotes on the tab. It would appear,” he said, trying not to grin but failing miserably, “that someone’s observational skills aren’t so superior after all.”
After I had cleaned up the wrappers and finally sat down to drink my evening cup of tea I made yet another discovery; the only thing worse than eating cold crow is drinking lukewarm tea.
Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from northern BC. Check out Shannon’s new gardening blog as well as old columns at www.shannonmckinnon.com