Tag Archives: Jennifer Aniston

No tea please, I’m British

You know, getting up at 7.30am on a Saturday is no fun. Especially when you’re only doing it to watch an ultimately fruitless match. And even more particularly when you know that your good friends are cooped up at a nice London pub with a nice cold beer to keep them company through the pain. All I had to comfort me in my misery was a steaming hot mug of tea.

Don’t get me wrong though, I love a good cup of char or Rosie Lee. Ever since I first sipped tentatively at a cup of murky brown liquid belonging to She Who Was Born To Worry or Brit Out Of Water Sr, I’ve been hooked on tea and its uniquely restorative powers. When I failed my driving test first time round, it was with a cup of tea that I was comforted. At university, Dr Gentle, Mrs Millmore, Towcester’s Finest and I put the world to rights over enough tea to flood the East Anglian plains. And when The Special One’s a little stressed (and who wouldn’t be, being married to me?), it’s a mug of tea that brings her back down to earth.

The problem with moving to America is that the tea is – and let’s be frank here – a bit rubbish. Actually, a lot rubbish. Standard teabags bought in US supermarkets have all the power of, say, Jennifer Aniston performing one of Ibsen’s darkest plays. In Norwegian.

Recent chemical analysis suggests that the tea content within each bag could theoretically have been derived simply from once being in the same room as some tea leaves. As a result, it takes at least three Lipton (or equivalent) bags to get a brew that tastes anywhere near the kind of thing you’d get in your average greasy spoon back in the UK.

Indeed, your average diners here in New York are categorically among the worst makers of tea in the world. Ask for a cup of tea with your eggs Benedict, and you’ll likely get a cup of vaguely warm water, with a tea bag and a piece of lemon alongside it. Oh, and if there’s not a little pot of six day old cream already on the table, you’ll have to beg for the milk. You’d have as much luck making a good cup of char by bringing along a dustpan and brush to the diner with you, sweeping up the debris under your table, depositing it into the lukewarm water and giving it a quick stir.

The relief is that if you know where to go (or if you can use Amazon) you can get hold of some decent tea bags like PG Tips or Yorkshire Tea, even in a tea desert like America. The resultant brew doesn’t quite taste like it does at home, but even I have to draw the line at importing British water just for the odd cup of tea.

Thankfully, the sun is past the yardarm, and I don’t have to worry about this any further today. Now, where did I put those cans of Boddingtons?

So sue me

No word sums up America quite as well as ‘litigious’. So conscious am I of the propensity of my fellow citizens to engage the services of a lawyer that I can barely bring myself to go to the toilet at work, for fear that the sound of me relieving myself will cause untold emotional trauma to some unwitting bystander who subsequently sues for $25m.

Of course, most Americans go through their lives without even knowing the name of a good attorney, let alone leafing through the pages of Money Grabbing Bastard Monthly in order to find one to employ. But there’s definitely a group of people who are prepared to sue at the drop of a hat. Especially if the hat is dropped on their big toe, bringing a tragically early end to their once promising tap-dancing career.

Now a New York resident Gokhan Mutlu is suing JetBlue Airways for $2m after being forced to sit in a toilet for three hours on a flight to California. Apparently he was turfed out of his seat by a flight attendant who originally agreed to sit in the jumpseat so that Mutlu could board, but then actually found it too uncomfortable for the flight.

Being honest, it’s difficult to find much sympathy for any of the parties involved.

Certainly there’s no sympathy for the pilot, who allegedly told the passenger that “he was the pilot, that this was his plane, under his command that (Mutlu) should be grateful for being on board.” I mean, I will barely say a rude word to the world’s worst waiter in New York in case they decide to sue for discrimination against serving staff, so it’s difficult to understand why the pilot thought that he could get away with attacking a passenger.

Nor for the flight attendant, whose poor little bottom got a bit more uncomfortable than she thought it would to get in the jump seat, and so had to persuade the pilot to make the nasty passenger sit in the toilet so that she could give her derriere the cushioned home it so richly deserved.

And don’t even get me started on the passenger. Sure, it’s possibly dangerous to sit with no safety belts in the bathroom. And it’s probably pretty humiliating too. But how humiliating does something have to be before you deserve $2m for your troubles? Frankly if I was paraded naked infront of a crowd of people that included my mother, all my ex-girlfriends and the entirety of The Special One’s extended family, maybe I’d think that I’d deserve a million or so.

But sitting on a toilet and missing the chance to pay two dollars to get the chance to watch yet another movie featuring Jennifer Aniston, doth not a couple of million dollars make.

Frankly, if it meant avoiding the sorry excuse for food that most American airlines serve, he should have shaken the pilot by the hand and thanked him for the best flight he’d ever had.