helen-louise (baratron) wrote,
helen-louise
baratron

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More tea, vicar?

Oh yes, the thing I said I was going to post that wasn't moaning.

I had a sudden realisation today regarding Hitch-Hikers'. I saw the movie last(?) weekend, with Tim & Peter, while mostly brain-dead. Like a lot of things I see or read while not terribly with it, it percolated round my head for a while before popping into mind today.

You remember back in July when there were the Tube & bus bombs in London. All our international friends were flapping, but most of the Brits and especially those who identify as Londoners were saying "Eh. It's just a bomb. Sad for the victims, but life goes on."? And there were all the jokes about tea, including the animated userpic which I'm currently not finding a link to (although I remember multiple people on my friendslist using it).

Anyway. So Arthur Dent is British. About as British as they come. There he is - his house has been destroyed by bulldozers, his planet has been destroyed by Vogons, he's stuck on the spaceship Heart of Gold with a loon with two heads and a depressed android, wearing nothing but a dressing gown. His life has been turned into a nightmare. But he's fine. Coping. Holding it all together, stiff upper lip & all that. Until he goes to the Nutrimatic drinks dispenser ("Serve and enjoy"). Where he is served something that is almost entirely unlike tea.

Then he stops coping. Because there is no tea.

You see, there is proof as written back in, what, 1980? of the importance of tea to the British psyche. It persists even in people like me who can't stand the stuff. Having a break from work in the middle of the day - is a "tea break". That snacky meal of maybe bread & jam & cake/scones that you have about 4 o'clock - afternoon tea, or just "tea". If you are Scottish or Northern, your evening meal is probably also called "tea". There are valid historical reasons for this, relating to the British empire and the taxing of tea and coffee. Remember that the thing that kicked off the American War of Independence was the Boston Tea Party. What did the Americans do to piss off the British? Threw tea into the harbour.

So it strikes me that if the terrorists really want to hit Britain, forget trying to blow us up. We'll be quietly sad for the people involved, and just carry on as usual. But if you took away the tea supply - my God, the country would grind to a halt.
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