"An empty man is full of himself." -- Edward Abbey

Friday, July 10, 2015

Idle Minds

     The other day B and I were standing around the kitchen. She was making a pitcher of Arnold Palmer -- a mixture of iced tea and lemonade. She had a fistful of teabags in her hand, dipping them into a pot of hot water. Then she looked at me and said, "I wonder who invented the tea bag?"

     I pondered a moment. "Gee, I have no idea."

     "I bet it was the British," she said. "Probably a guy who was the Earl of something."

     "Or, it could have been the Chinese," I countered. "Maybe they figured it out a  thousand years ago, and Marco Polo brought back the idea to Europe."

Did the English invent the tea bag?
     Suddenly, B was out of the room. A minute later she came back with her phone. She googled tea bag. "Actually . . . it was an American," she reported. "A man named Thomas Sullivan, a tea and coffee merchant in New York. He invented the tea bag in 1904."

     So, we learn something new every day. Then B continued, "But it was an Englishman who invented iced tea. Or, at least, it says the first recorded serving of iced tea was by an Englishman, Richard Blechynden, at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis."

     So I learned two things the other day. Then, this morning, I was lying in bed and for whatever reason I started thinking about two other things. Don't ask me why, but in that blurry time before I was fully awake, I began to run down a list of all the euphemisms we have for dying. And then . . . if for dying, why not sex? The beginning and the end.

     Here's what I came up with; but surely there are others.

die                                                                     have sex
croak                                                                 make love
meet your maker                                               do it
perish                                                                sleep with
expire                                                                make whoopie
buy the farm                                                      go all the way
pass away                                                         do the dirty
reach the promise land                                      screw                                
go to sleep                                                         bang
kick the bucket                                                   get laid
go toes up                                                          hump
lose your life                                                      have intercourse

     So anyway, don't blame me. Who knows what random ideas pop into our heads in those murky moments when we're swimming back up to the surface of consciousness? Maybe it was the caffeine in that Arnold Palmer I drank last night.


Anonymous said...

Amusing post.
My favorites:
"Make love" for sex.
"Passed away" for dead.

Olga said...

Caffeine is a quirky substance.

Meryl Baer said...

During the summer I visit our local farmer's market every week. One stand sells a variety of freshly made iced teas and lemonades. aMy favorite is the half and half - iced tea/lemonade drink. Never knew it was called an Arnold Palmer.

DJan said...

It is amazing to think we have the entire collected wisdom of the Universe right there in our smartphones, isn't it? And I enjoy thinking about things like your euphemism list, too. :-)

Linda Myers said...

Great lists!

I think the kids say hook up these days.

stephen Hayes said...

One for the sex list-----boink.

Tabor said...

hook up? give up the ghost? I am sure that there are many more. You seem to have trouble sleeping as I sometimes do.

Tom at Sightings said...

I forgot the most interesting one of all: La petite mort, which is French for ... well, you can look it up on our always-handy smart phone if you're not familiar with the phrase.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, and yes an idle mind is the Devil's Workshop. I know a few more phrases, but I was military dependent for 22 years and probabably heard it all. Amazing how many phrases don't change. Check out Shakespeare. The words in his plays are downright bawdy!

Anonymous said...

I had two cups of English breakfast tea at a wonderful ocean restaurant in Newport Oregon yesterday it was cool down there only 70's we have had 100's in our tiny town in Vancouver Washington oh, my it felt good..The ling cod and the fries and coleslaw some of the best we ever have been served the English breakfast tea is my go to tea, it came in a neat pot when I poured it the grounds were on the top, the restaurant air conditioned and the tea mighty yummy! As for slang expressions, we live by a high school and I have heard them all. I know parents don't teach their kids manners anymore because when I went to school no one said the things the kids do in public like they do..Have a nice weekend! Drink some tea and wake up peacefully and happily and joyfully, get up and get out, the summer only lasts for so long and the beauty outside is the greatest gift, here in the pacific northwest we have a big drought but the mountains are lovely and accessible and they make living a heaven, the shore toooo!

Barbara said...

I always heard the English don't use much ice in their drinks, so I find it surprising that an Englishman invented ice tea. The whole thing is kind of strange. Not at all what I would have thought.