The word on the street is that I detest coffee. For once, they are right. The taste, smell, appearance, even culture of coffee leave me spluttering with rage. The US economy runs on coffee, turning mild-mannered office chaps into hopped-up arseholes of the highest order. Official statistics demonstrate that 67% of road rage incidents and 81% of homicides are caused by coffee consumption. Even worse, coffee houses provide habitats where suburban hippies and pretentious Brooklyn hipsters can gather, unmolested, discussing folk music and Jazz and spreading disease. This abhorrent beverage, sweat from the Devil's armpit, is now so ubiquitous a part of contemporary culture, that most can not even imagine an alternative. But there is, and it is Tea.
A Taste for Tea
As a very young man I drank tea at cocktail parties and family gatherings at which my presence was required, where I would be introduced to visiting international bankers and minor diplomats. Not that I wasn't fond of alcohol. I was. I was simply sensitive to drinking in front of my parents and their friends. The last thing I wanted was my face to turn bright orgasmic red from one too many cocktails or to start swaying at odd angles right in the middle of delivering my school report. But I'm sure they knew.
So I stood alone in my Polo blazer or Hackett jacket in Tweed, sipping tea, trying to catch the eye of the tea-lady for a refill, oblivious to the girls giggling at me, including the beautiful blonde daughter of a Brazilian diplomat stationed in London. My focus was on balancing the dozen or two scrummy canapés on the tea saucer. By allowing for maximum canapé consumption, the tea saucer is one of the advantages of drinking tea and not cocktails at parties--not that I would ever suggest such outlandish behaviour.
A Career in Drinking
I started drinking seriously at around age 15 in Chelsea in London. My chums and I would stand around the pub draining pint after pint of bitter and ale and lager and G&Ts and whiskys, quite literally holding on to the edge of the bar to keep ourselves upright, trying to engage in adult conversations with City bankers and solicitors in Savile Row suits and Tory hair. Afterwards if we were unlucky we were sick outside on the pavement, but not as unlucky as the lads caught urinating against the side of a mews house, or those poor chaps who were picked up and hauled away by the police squads that sometimes raided these establishments in white vans looking for underage drinkers.