Thursday, March 14, 2013
Comfort Inn, we have a problem
Remember that scene in Apollo 13 where engineers in Houston must come up with a method of attaching the square CO2 filters from the Command Module to the round receptacles in the Lunar Module, using only those items available in both spacecraft? Well, making your morning tea in a North American motel room presents a similar challenge.
You must make a cup of tea using only those items available on the in-room beverage station. Those items are; 2 polystyrene cups, 2 Lipton Yellow Label tea bags, a miniature drip-coffee maker, 4 packets of Splenda sweetener, 2 thin plastic coffee stirrers, 2 large foil-wrapped coffee bags, and 2 sachets of coffee whitener.
There are a few crucial items missing; a kettle, a teaspoon, milk, and proper tea bags. I’m not sure who Liptons are, but I’m guessing they’re the beverage industry's equivalent of The Gideons. They will not rest until they have placed a couple of Yellow Label tea bags in each and every hotel room on this continent. That’s laudable, but the fact is a Yellow Label tea bag is like those scratch-and-sniff perfume samplers you get in fashion magazines. Sure, you get a faint aroma of tea, but there’s far too little product in there to create any tea-like flavour.
So my engineer’s solution is to place the tea bags in the polystyrene cups, heat the water in the miniature drip-coffee maker, pour in the water, mash as hard as possible with the wafer-thin stirrer, remove the bags with burning fingers, and simulate milk with the white powder sachets. The result is so disgusting that your wife refuses to drink it, and you have no option but to make black coffee instead.
Maybe I’m wrong about Liptons. It must be a front for the American Coffee Traders Association.