Here you will find many of the insightful articles and books discussed at
our weekly tea gatherings.
1 April 2003
Ah, it seems like just last week that I was surrounded
by my good friends Yael, Chris-u-lonic, Fred, Brooke, Carla,
John (!), Melissa (!), Andri, my own self, Jason, Walter, Andrew,
Maureen, Maggie, Sacha, Robin, and first-timer Joe.
My memories of Tea are hazy, but I think it went something like this . . .
Gosh, I'm sure looking forward to doing another Tea Reader!
|| But David, isn't next Monday night the championship game|
of the NCAA tournament?
|| Gee, I guess it is. However, nothing is as important as writing
the Tea Reader!
|| That's true. Still, you're so awesome that you deserve to watch
the big game.
|| Hmmm, I don't know. What do you think, Carla?
|| You always do the Tea Reader, David. Take a break.
Watch the game.
|| Well, OK, but if the first half is a blow-out, I'll write the
Tea Reader during the second half.
|| No! Even if play in the first half is very one-sided, and a team that
rhymes with "Beer-a-cuse" is trouncing a team that rhymes with
"Kan-sas", you should keep watching. It could come down to the
wire, you know.
|| Say, Chris-u-lonic, that's pretty specific. Do you know something
the rest of us don't?
|| Ummm, no. . . I don't know what you're talking about.
||Hmmm, OK. No Tea Reader, then. I feel sad, but you've all convinced
me. You're the best friends a fellow could have!
Then we played some of our own favorite games, including Maggie-pass-around,
Ask Amir, and Incriminating Quotes of Andri.
Oh boy, I sure hope the game is entertaining! See you next week.
25 March 2003
irls and boys, do you enjoy stories? I know you do. Gather round,
then, as I tell a tale of tea, of men and women, passion
and pathos, of accusation, betrayal, and revelation.
Our story begins on a Tuesday evening, as such stories often do. Prince
David of Hyattsville and Princess Andri of Cyprus arrived promptly at the hour
of eight, where they found Lady Brooke, her squire Frederick, and
a strange man perusing the wares of Mr. Franklin's General Store.
"Greetings, Lady Brooke! Who is your gentleman guest this eventide?",
asked Prince David, bowing.
"Fred", she answered.
"Two Fredericks, one on each arm? Surely you jest my lady!" the handsome
"Please stop bowing."
At this point the servants, having prepared the grand dining table,
guided our friends to their seats. Soon they were joined by
Sir Christopher of Ulonia, Captain of the Royal Guard and master
of courtly intrigue.
"Hello, friends! May I sup with thee?" he inquired.
In a voice rich and exotic, Princess Andri responded. "Please do.
I wouldst ask thee to doff thy cap, sir, but I see that some knave has
hadst the better of thee, and taken it from atop they head! Who
shall guard thee, who wouldst guard us all!" she laughed.
"Do not mock me! Seriously. Our Queen, in a fit of rage and
bile, forbade me to wear my favorite hunting hat, though I know not
wherefore. Be kind, then, and stare not at my bare pate."
Before the Princess could inquire further, however, the fanfare of trumpets
filled the air, as Queen Carla the Cruel and King Thomas the Terrible
entered the banquet hall! All rose from their seats, and cowered,
knowing not the Queen's fickle mood.
"Be Well, subjects! Sit, then, that the King and I might enjoy your
noble company! Too long has it been since we have dined together."
And at that the others sighed a sigh of relief that echoed through the
chamber, and considered their good fortune. But no sooner had they
returned to their seats than the Queen, in her most horrible voice,
"Sir Christopher! Where is thine hunting cap? How darest thee appear
before us with naked skull!"
"But, your highness . . ."
"Silence! I will brook your insolence no more! Off with your . . ."
But at that moment, Shagstaphone Goatsward McPuffinstuff, the court
jester, entered with a crash, a bang, and a Bruce, who was the Royal Toymaker.
The Queen, most amused, forgot her wrath, and laughed, and so, too, did
her subjects. All smiled, but for King Thomas, who never smiled at all!
Then Lady Jessica of Columbia arrived, and curtsied. And at
this Shagstaphone Goatsward did smile, for he loved the fair maiden,
and would fain have kissed her then, but he was shy before her, and felt a bit
gassy as well.
So his heart did leap when he spied a smile upon Lady Jessica's
visage, a smile directed his way! So happy was he that he took
no notice of the august entrance of Lord Sacha and Lady Robin!
"Robin!", shouted Prince David, as Lord Sacha heartily
greeted one and all. "I bring good tidings, friends! For, upon
my good word, I didst see the royal carriage of Farringtonia
on the way! King Andrew the Awesome and Queen Maureen the Magnificent
do approach, and ask permission to join Queen Carla and King Thomas
"It is a fair thing," said Queen Carla, "that friends should
drink and dine together. All from Farringtonia are welcome at this table."
"You speak for us all, good Queen", replied Lord Sacha, "and well
said! How well said thou knowest not. For King Andrew and Queen Maureen
bring the newest member of Farringtonia, Princess Maggie!"
At this there was a great cheer, and a hurrah, and even Lady Brooke,
whom Prince David had spied sulking, did smile when the royal guests
There was a great feast, then, so great that to this very day it
is remembered throughout the land. Much was eaten, much imbibed, and
So thoroughly did the guests enjoy themselves, in fact,
that they little noted the late arrival of the Brothers Rust.
The siblings, Jason and Walter, had long awaited this moment.
Secretly, in the distant land of Damascus, they had plotted and schemed,
planned and prepared for what would follow.
"King Thomas, Queen Carla, ho!" Jason called forth.
"Gentle sir, I didst not see thou enter! You and your brother are
welcome here!", the Queen said, for she was very happy indeed, and
the spirit of the vine was within her.
"I thankest thou Queen Carla, and beg your pardon, your highness. Might
I inquire of thee, for a moment, your wise council?"
"Certainly, loyal subject. Silence all! Jason of Damascus does
wish to be heard. And, so, speak."
"Your highness, I bring grim news, and do require your help, but
I know not whether I am worthy to ask."
"You knowest I am kind, sir. Ask, and I shall answer."
"Queen, I am but a humble subject, and bother not a soul. Yet some
sinister fiend visits a plague upon the House of Rust!"
All gasped, and then silently listened.
"Fortnightly, without fail, I find a strange dust has been left
upon the lintel of my bedroom window. It is no ordinary dust,
though. It is dark, and soft, and it were well were it only so.
But this dust dost maketh me sneeze! I sneeze, and I sneeze,
and I sneeze and I sneeze! I become weak, nearly faint, and I shake
at the knees!"
Queen Carla was furious. "What evil scoundrel would do such a
"This, I wondered, Queen, for many a night. But I now knowest who torments
"But speaketh his name, and he shall be killed on the spot!" the
Queen declared, nigh unable to control her rage.
"Queen Carla, Queen Carla! This villain has a name . . . and his
name is . . . King Thomas!"
At this Queen Carla shrieked! Lady Jessica swooned, and fell into
Shagstaphone Goatsward's arms. Princess Maggie cried! Prince David
hid under the table and trembled. Sir Christopher was so surprised
that, forgetting he had no hat, did attempt to pull it down over his head,
only to give his ears such a tug that he cried in pain!
Meanwhile, King Thomas's eyes filled with a fiery rage. He
stood back from the table, and, with a bone chilling sound,
unsheathed Excalculor, his magical sword.
"Curses! You fool! How didst thou know it was I! Tell me this,
before I slay thee, and your death shall be quick."
"Ha HA!" said Jason. "It was but a lucky guess! Thou
art but a simpleton, King Thomas!"
The King with both hands lifted Excalculor high above his head.
All stood, fixed fast to the floor, and waited in horror
for Thomas to strike the fatal blow.
And, then, a most wonderful thing happened, boys and girls. King
Thomas, the king who never smiled, laughed. At first it
was a little laugh, a quiet chuckle. But it grew, and it grew, and
soon it was a giggle, a loud, high pitched, girlish giggle!
And an infectious giggle, at that. For soon Jason laughed, and then
Brooke, and King Andrew, and Queen Maureen, and the Jester, and Bruce,
and Sir Christopher, indeed everyone was laughing.
King Thomas sheathed Excalculor. In good humor he put
his arm 'round Jason's neck, and with his knuckles, did rub the top of his
"'Tis too bad I haven't a hat, like Sir Christopher, to protect my scalp.
Oh, but you have no hat good sir! Ha ha, ha."
As a single tear slowly slid down Sir Christopher's cheek,
everyone laughed anew, and a good time was had by one and all.
4 March 2003
Laissez Les Bon Temp Rouler!
Some have asked, "Tea Reporter: What has become of the Tea Reader? Why
is it seldom if ever updated? Have you been traveling? Drinking?
Getting it on with the ladies?" The answer to all these questions
is a resounding "Yes." But that's not why the Tea Reader has
been on hiatus.
Desperately, and for some time now have I wanted to update the Tea Reader.
Week after week I awake in the night with
a start, as brilliant Tea ideas dance through my head. I turn on the
lamp, grab my parchment and quill, and, then, just as I am ready
to lay down some cold comic genius, I remember ...
Carla. Carla won't let me update the Tea Reader.
I am haunted by these words, as Carla's floating head slowly
materializes inside a
thought bubble: "If the Tea Reader is updated, you will perish, David!
None shall usurp my fame! I will rain pestilence, burning hail, and Ensure
down upon thee.
Remember this, trembling scribe: you must never update the Reader!
Never update the Reader! Never update . . . Also, be well!"
Alas, no longer can I remain silent! There is too much to tell,
and too little time in which to tell it! Carla be damned! The
Tea Reader shall be updated once more!
The evil spell is broken!
And so: David, Andri, Chris, Yael, Carla, Thomas, Brooke, Fred,
Jason, Walter, and Jessi gathered upstairs at Franklins for the
first Tea of March, 2003.
Even now, some are unnerved by this report. "Where were
Andrew and Maureen?" these anxious souls wonder. What of Cliff? Sacha?
And who is this "Jessi"? Is she a mid-season replacement, or a figment
of the imagination?
This last question is most easily answered. "Jessi" is Jessica Burgess,
debutante, bon vivant, and heir to the Burgess shipping empire. She
joined the Tea crew last week, and hopes to make frequent appearances
in the future.
When not dreaming of ways to spend her inheritance, she pines for
her true love, Goat Boy, who made a brief appearance in Season Two.
Andrew and Maureen would surely join us, were it not for a very
special addition to their lives -- a cute, adorable addition, who
is not quite ready for Tea (but quite ready for milk!).
And Cliff? Cliff was in Australia. His journey down under was
the subject of some debate. Specifically, why would he abandon
his loyal friends for sun, sand, and women? Some argued that
Cliff simply wanted to have a good time. But this begs the question:
how can a relaxing day under the warm Australian sun surrounded by
scantily clad women with funny accents be more exciting than Tea?
To be precise, how can it more exciting than Mardi Gras Tea? To wit:
In fine Bourbon Street tradition, the women of Tea bared their
bosoms to the gentleman passerby with bead, trinket, or ten dollar note
As expected, the ladies were quite desperate to
see David's manly breasts, but he remained chastely defiant:
Interesting note: these images were produced with a pinhole camera
using Daguerreotype plates.
Other random bits: David shared a
mnemonic device for remembering
the Cranial Nerves. Carla brought a sacrilegious
puppet ( to learn more about Brahma, click
when told the technical term for a stamp collector, responded
"I would guess a philatelist collects blow jobs", to which David,
recording this quote in the Tea Journal, responded, "That's going down!"
Tom and Carla lent Jason a copy of
Capital IA: the
Industrial Archeology of Washington D.C. Yael suggested People of Tea trading
cards. Finally, Yael (guess who sat next to the Tea Reporter) brought this
very, very disturbing
Stay tuned next week for an all new episode of the Tea. Assuming
Carla doesn't smite me, that is. Be well!
27 February 2003
Listen hippies, I'm working on something.
In the mean time, this is a correction, courtesy of Tea's own
4 February 2003
[WARNING: This edition of the Tea Reader contains language
that some viewers may find objectionable. The Tea Reader is
intended for readers 23 and older. It is recommended
that parents of Tea participants "turn-off the Internet" and
watch Sixty Minutes II, or a special edition of 20/20, instead.]
Friends, neighbors, and countrymen gathered again from far and wide
to renew their spirits and enjoy some of that old time Tea religion.
This was not a "fancy" tea. There was no special occasion, no
birthday, no announcements, no births, deaths, and what have you.
No lollygagging either, for that matter. Just the basics.
We had a pretty good turn out, though it could have been better.
Sure, such fine individuals as Cliff, Andrew, Maureen, Brian,
Marvella, Brooke, Fred, Chris-u-lonic, Tom, Carla, David, Sacha, Robin,
and Jason showed up. But where was Yael? Why was Andri "not feeling well" ?
What was Walter's excuse? Chris and Jen? John? Melissa?
I'm talking to you! And what the hell happened to Dreen?
Those who did attend, including our waitress Melissa, and interested
are all invited to enjoy the following artistic
representation of actual Tea Quotes, courtesy of Chris-u-lonic.
Those who should have come, but did not, avert your eyes, or use
Post-It notes to cover the monitor. Laggards like you don't deserve
to enjoy the creative output of our productive Tea members.
(For extra fun, see if you can guess who uttered these bon mots!)
Now, imagine if you will that an adorable sprite or pixie hovered
over those gathered at Franklins last week. Here are some of the
amusing topics of conversation this bored creature might
Carla badgered David about not updating the Tea Reader, going so far
as to threaten him with the deactivation of his button on the
On the other hand, she got the business when David timidly suggested
that Thomas's undershirt would be brighter if Carla separated her whites
from her colors when doing the laundry. Needless to say Carla
was taken aback. The daughter of Amelia guilty of such an obvious
domestic blunder! Even humble Jason separates his laundry.
In further laundry-related Jason news, another package of
mystery lint arrived in the mail! Who would torment our dear
comrade so? And why? Speculation continues, and it has escaped
no one's attention that the lint samples have been uniformly dark.
This and other data lead TBI (Tea Bureau of Investigation) profilers
to the following conclusions:
- is between the ages of 20 and 35
- listens to Joy
- is probably male, but possibly female
- has a mustache
- drives a white van
- enjoys reading and hanging out with friends
- drinks Fanta
The Tea Reader will continue to follow this story as new developments arise.
Andrew informed us that Shrimping is destroying the Earth. However,
he offered no evidence to support his assertion. Chris-u-lonic
noted that a black
is decimating the world supply of bananas.
Some day soon there may be no bananas at all. This made Cliff cry.
Brooke made sure we all knew she has some part of her anatomy pierced
and adorned with a Tonic Girl, Sir. I don't think this kind of
topic is appropriate for our family oriented readership, but Brooke
Ahh, the never ending joys of gaming. Tired
of Catan have you in the doldrums?
Is "been there, done that" your world weary response to the question
"Sir, might I interest you in a game of
Too impatient to wait for the August release of
"Apartment Dwellers of Catan?" Fear not, for
Chris and Jason informed us that
Settlers of Canaan is on
store shelves now!
What's more, it is totally awesome. As one of the twelve tribes
of Israel, battle your kinsmen for control of the Holy Land.
"Take that, Zebulon!" "I never liked your stupid
haircut anyway, Naphtali.
Here, have a mouthful of locust." You get the idea.
Ahh, too much talk, too little space in which to record it. Our
discussion of the NPR PRSS
distribution system and David's treatise
on conic sections
will have to be left to the imagination.
Until next week . . .
14 January 2003
Another week with Tea, and another week without Internet.
Tea flourishes, while the Tea Reader suffers, a schism which
can lead only to greater and greater psychosis . . .
A robust crowd gathered this week for a special Birthday Tea.
David, whose birthday coincided exactly with the date, graciously
shared the evening's festivities with Andrew, whose birthday
would not occur for another four days, and Cliff, who may
have been born in late January, though no one can be sure.
As evidence of the warm regard in which he is held, just look at the
marvelous people who came to David's celebration: Carla, Thomas,
Yael, Cliff, Andri, David himself, Chris, Jenn, Brooke, her
friend Marvella, Brian, Marc, Christy, Jason, Walter-u-lonic,
Maureen, Andrew, and, making her first appearance in three
The love was palpable that evening. Before the formal
celebration began, Yael, who you may recall recently celebrated
a birthday with her Tea buddies, expressed gratitude to
Thomas and Carla for their lovely gift, a video recording
of PBS's The Way We Live Now. One can imagine a diligent
Tea reporter with Internet access heading now to pbs.org to learn
more about this remarkable program. However, if I recall correctly,
The Way We Live Now tells
the tale of two lovers: one, a neurotic nineteenth century British
playwright named Arthur Wellington, the other his licentious laundress,
Claudia Grimstead. When not fighting with each other or making
the two secretly pursue Jack the Ripper through the London sewers.
Worry not, I shan't reveal the ending!
Speaking of mysteries, Jason introduced a real life who-dunnit.
In the mail he recently received an envelope with no return address. Inside
he found a ziplock bag filled with laundry lint, accompanied
by an anonymous note suggesting he use the lint to make blankets
for his Star Wars figures.
Jason thought that David might be the mystery mailer, but I know
this to be untrue. Reliable sources suspect Carla, or Chris-u-lonic, who was
mysteriously absent that night.
Once Andrew finally showed up, we were able to commence the gift
giving. Cliff began by unwrapping Thomas's and Carla's gift, a
black T-shirt with the universal power symbol emblazoned on the front.
Brooke's beautifully wrapped present turned out to be a carefully
decorated cigar box, complete with furry lining and covered in a
David bought Cliff a solid-gold Byzantine wine chalice, believed to
have once belonged to Emperor Constantine.
Next Andrew opened his gifts. From Brooke he received another
beautiful box, and from Thomas and Carla, a Blickey. David gave
him the only existing copy of Da Vinci's Leicester Codex, and a movie pass
good at any AMC theatre, nationwide.
Lastly, it was David's turn. Thomas and Carla bought him not
one, but two books, The Joy of Pi, by David Blatner,
and The Elusive Quest for Growth, by William Easterly.
Brooke presented David with
the third and best box of the night, this one lined with denim from
a pair of her own Levi's 501 Blues. Finally, Cliff and Andrew
gave their friend a pack of Juicyfruit gum and a roll of Scotch Tape,
At this point, it appears I had a bit too much to drink. My handwriting
suddenly becomes that of a young woman's, and in it are recorded these
Brooke --> "tuesdays are dressup day!"
Jason --> "now that I'm unemployed Tuesday is bathe-day!"
CLIFF JUDGE is the most EXPLOITED member of tea. Each week he
dutifully counts the money, and his reward is to put in extra
money at the end as needed.
This is OUTRAGEOUS! The delinquent members of tea
must start paying up!
Other items of note: Yael is thoroughly enjoying
Sea Biscuit: An American Legend,
by Laura Hillenbrand. Our waitress was named Tricia. And
nobody could remember the name of Quincy's assistant (Sam Fujiyama).
Join us next week, then, as we return for our regularly scheduled
7 January 2003
Well, the mother f*cking cable modem is not working again. Another
appointment has been scheduled. Comcast blows. I ought to get
Let's see then, there was some sort of Tea last week.
I even scanned in original artwork from Brooke, and Ingrid, our waitress.
It's downloading as we speak, at about 1.28 kB/sec.
Untitled by Ingrid
Did I mention I'm upset?
Tea tea tea.
I'm just not in the mood.
Thomas, Carla, David, Cliff, Chris-u-lonic, Walter, Brooke,
Andrew, the mysterious "Chris M.", and your angry servant attended.
Maureen and her crew came to Franklin's, but chose not to sit
G*d Damn Mother F*cker I hate Comcast! We're now down
to 950 B/s.
Nothing happened at Tea. I talked about my trip to the
Spy Museum, until everyone grew bored. Brooke visited another
medical school, in Cleveland, and while there checked out
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The best part, she said, was the
bumper sticker on a van in the parking lot.
Andrew explained that he's a first adopter when it comes to PDA
and phone technology. There'd be more details here, but Brooke
was taking overly cryptic notes.
723 B/s. Seriously.
When I said, earlier, that nothing happened at Tea, I lied. Something
did happen, something momentous, something to warm the cockles of
our collective Tea Heart. Ingrid --
Stop the presses! I'm up to 999 B/s.
-- Inrid, a waitress new to the Tea group, informed us that the
kitchen and wait staff know us! The kitchen staff even expect
us, and are surprised when we mix things up. For example, they
couldn't understand why we didn't order Thai vegetarian pot stickers this
Carla #1 by Brooke
Our dear Carla believes we may be nearing the two year
anniversary of our little gathering. David offered to check
his email archives to find the exact date, but forgot to followup.
In other Carla news, we were told that while she was in Old Town Alexandria,
a man on the street approached her and asked for directions to a local
prison. It seems he had recently been discharged from his previous
incarceration and was expected to report to his new home behind
bars that day. Remarkably, the state of Virginia trusted him
to voluntarily deliver himself into custody.
Of course, he should have high-tailed it to Lanham, MD
and gone wilding at Comcast's regional offices. While there,
he would have had great fun smashing desks, breaking down
partitions, throwing computer monitors out windows, setting
things on fire, and so on. . . Ahhhh.
601 B/s! Hot diggity damn!
Listen, kids: I'll Photoshop the scans during lunch.
I give up. Happy New Year.
Philanthropist Treats Friends to Dinner, Drinks
By David Eisner
HYATTSVILLE, Dec. 10
In what some here are calling the single most generous act of 2002,
local philanthropist Clifford Judge paid the entire check
after an evening of drinks, dinner, and desert at Franklin's
Restaurant and Brew Pub, sources present at the gathering said
Offering no explanation for his donation, Mr. Judge ignored
repeated requests that he pay for only his portion of the
evening's expenses. When thanked, the Maryland thousandaire
made dismissive hand gestures and insisted that his actions
deserved no special praise.
Although in the past some participants in the weekly gathering have
payed for items that others ordered, this is believed
to be the first time an individual has covered the complete bill.
While the total value of food and drink purchased has not been
disclosed, experts familiar with past bills at Franklin's estimate
the number to be between one hundred and two hundred dollars.
'Totally Awesome Guy'
Friends of Mr. Judge who were present expressed both confusion
and gratitude. "I was like, 'Cliff, you don't have to do this.'
But he insisted on picking up the tab anyway," said longtime
friend Andrew Farrington. "I gave him a big hug, and you could
tell he was embarrassed. But whatever, I would hug him again
if I had the chance."
Brooke Decker, who has known the evening's benefactor for
several months, expressed surprise. "I remember asking
myself, 'Why is he doing this? It must be because I
kept lifting up my sweater.' But then why would
he buy everybody else's food, too? So I think it's probably
just because he is so cool. I was really impressed.
Cliff is a totally awesome guy."
Longtime friend Maureen Smith shared her thoughts on why
Mr. Judge might have acted so. "I wasn't as shocked
as others. I've observed Cliff's generosity on many occasions
in the past. One time, for example, we were both at
the supermarket, and when it came time to pay for
my groceries, I discovered I was about a dollar short.
I was ready to put back one of the items I'd purchased,
an onion, but Cliff said, 'No, no, I've got it. Shhh.
I said I've got it.' Yes, this whole thing is definitely
a lot like the onion."
Birthdays Offer Possible Explanation
Event organizer Carla, who asked that her last name
not be used, suggested what many feel is the most
plausible explanation for her friend's charity: the
celebration of the birthdays of regular attendees
Thomas Edwards and Yael, who also asked that her full
name not be used. "I'm not sure why everyone is so
confused," Carla said in an exclusive interview.
"This was Cliff's birthday gift
for [Thomas and Yael]. I mean, yes, it's an
awfully large gift, but you can see why he
did it. Maybe he was making up for other
people, too. Like David. I don't think he
got them anything. He likes to tell people he
is getting them a gift -- he just didn't have
time -- but then he never does. Cliff would never
do anything that cheesy."
A source present at the meal confirmed that two
birthdays were celebrated, though Tuesday was
not the actual birthday of either Mr. Edwards
or Yael. "I think they had birthdays sometime that week,
which was close enough. People were like,
'Hey, Yael, I know it's not your actual birthday,
but Happy Birthday anyway."
Walter Rust, attending
his third consecutive Tea after an extended
that Thomas and Yael received other gifts. "Yeah,
my brother [Jason] gave Tom this geode, but I'm
not sure how he's supposed to break it open.
And Jason gave Yael this mug with all the
U.S. Presidents on it. It was pretty cool. How come I never get
anything that cool from him?"
When asked if any other gifts were delivered, Mr.
Rust responded, "Umm, I think Brooke gave Yael
something, too. She showed her her breasts.
Oh, no, that was for everybody.
I think she gave Yael a plant." Chris and Jenn,
a couple who often attend, confirmed that the
plant was a wintergreen variety of mint.
A Close Call
Mr. Rust's brother, Jason, expressed great relief when he
learned that Mr. Judge would be paying for his share of the
tab. "I had a lot to drink, and I kind of lost track of
how many beers I ordered. So when the bill came, I didn't
think I'd have enough to pay. I wasn't sure what I was
going to do. Walter told me I should say T'Pol [a character
from the "Enterprise" Star Trek series] was on TV, and then
jump over the rail when everybody was looking away. But
I have a trick knee. Anyway, Cliff is the man!"
Mr. Edwards, while admiring his geode, questioned
the propriety of Mr. Judge's actions. "I think it was a nice
gesture, but society is best served
when economic players act in their own self interest.
I worry that the Tea group will become reliant on Cliff's
services in the future, and may fail to consider the
true cost of menu items when selecting a meal. According
to a recent study by the Cato Institute, Norway had the
lowest rate of dinnertime charity in 2001, but the most
efficient allocation of appetizers, beverages, and entrees --
more efficient than Germany, in fact, which surprises many
people when I tell them."
Although Mr. Judge was unavailable for comment, a spokesperson
from his office read a prepared statement this morning.
"Mr. Judge would like to thank his friends
for their kind words. He knows they would do the same
for him, and suggests that all breathe deeply, relax, and come
over one day for some of his pancakes, which are excellent."
3 December 2002
who is a nerd, saves
the day with
I'm afraid there will be no issue published this week.
Yours truly is moonlighting as a volunteer webmaster, and he
has a deadline to meet.
Here's a photograph from a recent tea, though. Is that
26 November 2002
A brief report his week, as your humble servant's Internet
service has taken a holiday break. Grumble grumble. No links this time.
It is just as well -- nothing of great interest happened at Tea.
The bare essentials, then. The people: Carla, Brooke, Thomas,
David, Andrew, Maureen, Brian, Jason D., Sacha, Mikey, Janet,
Jason, Walter, Cliff, David, and newcomers four: Bruce, Susan,
"Gecko" Sue, and Jason D. Melissa, our waitress, served us capably.
The birthdays of some Tea participants were recorded. For posterity,
Maureen was the best dressed. Some otherwise sane people had some
crazy ideas. Andrew patiently explained that the world is actually
controlled by the secretive
[Bilderburg Group]*. Everybody else knows the [Bavarian Illuminati]* are
running the show. Thomas sincerely believes that the Bush administration's
primary foreign policy goal, after September 11th, is to promote
democracy throughout the world by means of a Democratic Domino Theory.
Apparently we're going to war with Iraq to promote democracy there,
after which all the other
autocratic regimes in the world will tumble, one by one, sometimes with the
aid of a little American military persuasion.
I still can't read [Slashdot]* on Andrew's new cell phone.
Carla is fascinated by the [Necrocam]* concept: a web cam mounted
in a coffin, so that all could watch a human body's gradual decay.
Andrew has never seen a Star Trek movie.
Gecko Sue has a bug bag, just like Brooke. Sue also wins the
Most Shocking Behavior Contest: she lost her virginity with
two guys and a Philipina Hooker. Jason came in a close second,
having lost his virginity with only one guy and a Philipina hooker.
We spent $173.15 at Franklins this week.
By far the coolest event of the evening came after Tea, when
all were invited to see Maureen and Andrew's new house. It is
utterly amazing, and just plain awesome.
This past 30th of November many gathered for a special Holiday Tea at
the newly opened [Lupo's Italian Chophouse]* in College Park. What
the gathering lacked in that olde time Tea feeling it more
than made up for through the presence of very special guests Karen (!), Laura,
and Alex, who traveled from Michigan, Brooklyn, and Brooklyn respectively
to join in the festivities. Brian brought with him the equally
special and always entertaining Skyland, a new Tea participant with both
the coolest name and the lowest age -- younger even than Brooke!
Also present were Yael, Walter, Jason, David, Thomas, Carla, and John.
Please return next week for our regularly scheduled report. Woo ha.
* Do it yourself hyperlink: Perform a Google.com search on the
enclosed text, and then click on the first link that looks promising.
19 November 2002
Another Tuesday night, and another Tea. Some said this institution
was a fad, a flash in the pan, that we were fickle, that we would grow
bored, lose interest, and abandon our weekly ritual. Those nay sayers
were sadly mistaken, and no further evidence need be gathered
than this impressive
roster of those who journeyed into the chill November air to share in
conversation and comraderie. They were: Andrew, Andri, Brian, Brooke,
Carla, Cliff, David, Jason, Maureen, Mikey, Robin, Sacha,
Stacey, Thomas, Yael, and newcomers Janet and Chris-u-lonic.
From the Head Department
In a transparent attempt to emulate his hero Chris-u-lonic, Andrew came
to Tea wearing a stylish Irish cap. Together the two looked as
cute as buttons and had heads at Franklins turning all night long!
Yael asked, "What color is my hair?", to which she received a resounding
"Brown!" The question, our friend soon revealed, was prompted by the
comments of a Washington, D.C. Sushi waiter. Yael and some friends
had attended Uni, A Sushi Place recently, and
on that occasion conversed
with their server. On a subsequent visit, Yael was surprised to
hear the same waiter greet her with a hearty, "Hello, Yael!" When she
her amazement and asked how he had remembered her name, the waiter
responded, "Oh, red-headed Jews are easy!" Tea readers may
rest assured that at least two of the three attributes ascribed
to Yael are inaccurate at best.
Brooke brought the DSM with her, and some took
the opportunity to compare the findings of web-based personality tests
taken earlier that day in preparation for just such a discussion.
In a result surprising to many, Carla was found to be the sanest
of those who took the test. Brooke,
in a result surprising to fewer, was the craziest. The rest,
in a result surprising to none, fell somewhere in between.
Table Troubles, Take Ten
Once more, the shear size of the group presented a challenge
to Franklin customer and employee alike. The ten-top at which
we were seated soon proved inadequate when late-comers like Brian
arrived one after another. Mr. Franklin, the proprietor, apologized
when he saw that some were forced to stand, and confided that
earlier in the day he and his staff pondered whether to save
a section for us, even though we had not made our
It was our good fortune, then, when a large group at that very
moment left the restaurant! Arrangements were made, and soon
all took their seats at a sprawling ell-shaped arrangement of tables
that followed the natural contours of the dining room. This took
the conversational conundrum to a new level, though, as those seated
at the far ends of the table were aware of their mutual presence only
through word of mouth.
Several novel solutions to this problem were proposed, but only
one was in fact used. In the theoretical realm, David first
suggested a system of bulky ear-pieces, like those used in
the U.N, to wire together the group. He then changed his mind and
802.11b wireless-enabled laptops be brought to tea
and connected in an Ad Hoc network. Each laptop would
serve as a hub of communication for those in the neighboring service
area, and long distance discussion would then be mediated through
inter-laptop chat. Thomas suggested an even better solution: equip
the laptops with webcams, and setup live video-conferencing between
the ends of the table. But only Andrew had a plan both practical
and practicable: for much of the evening, he and others
in the cell-phone set called each other and passed around their handsets
that we might share witty insights and trade pointed barbs
no matter where we were seated.
Two of the phones present that evening were Andrew's and Sacha's spiffy
new 3G handhelds; Andrew's a Samsung
SPH-a500, and Sacha's an Ericsson
Equipped with color screens and fancy ringers, these technological
marvels were all the rage.
Of Yael's return to Tea, Cliff commented, "Yael's absence lessens us,
and her presence morens us!" Sacha asked "Carla, why is your
water brown?" to which Carla responded, "Because it's ginger ale."
And Andrew inquired, "Why does it have to be long and skinny?"
Maureen (and Andrew)
Maureen wisely chose to seat herself by the Tea Scribe, and
he recorded much that she said. Early in the evening she observed
that our waitress, Kira, was
Tony Soprano's type. Later Maureen let it be known
Word Racer rating is an astounding 2189. And
if that weren't enough, it seems that Maureen is also a very poor
At some point in the evening, Maureen and Andrew hijacked the
Tea Ledger, that they might clutter its pages with their drivel.
For the record: Tea is about
Andrew and Maureen. The two noted that "Jason 'Phatt Beatt' Rustt
regaled Stacey and other lucky members of tea w/his mad beat
box skeelz." Maureen would like us to know "Andrew looks
really hot in silk long johns," and that "Chris speaks in
crazy gov't gibberish. [He said] Nigeria has a naturally occurring
critical mass of Uranium." At this point Andrew took the helm
and remarked: "Andrew & Maureen get keys to they new hizzy next
Tuesday morning -- come by after TEA!!!" Harrumph! In all seriousness,
though, Mazel Tov to the new homeowners!
Fonts of Knowledge
Finally, Andri and Yael were kind enough to share some
of their expertise with those who would but shut their
mouths, and listen. At David's request, Andri the economist
patiently explained the difference between Socially Optimal Outcomes
and Efficient Outcomes. Yael, on the other hand, discoursed on
the deficiencies of Microsoft's Arial font, with it's poor
kerning and lack of character (no pun intended!). To
use Arial simply because it was "thrown on" a computer, she said, would
be akin to buying a picture frame and leaving the sample portrait
in place. She suggested the
Frutiger font as a suitable
replacement. Yael, who is never lacking in character, was also
voted Best Dressed Tea Member, 19 November 2002.
As the hour grew late, and the Franklins staff asked
us to kindly leave, another successful Tea came to its conclusion.
Having payed the $288.48 bill, we ventured homeward, some in pairs,
and others alone, but all eager to return next week to our friends'