You never know where a tea reference will pop up! (image: screen capture from site)

You never know where a tea reference will pop up! (image: screen capture from site)

Nothing is better than cozying up on the sofa, a fresh pot of tea ready and at hand and piping hot scones nearby, and watching an old movie. Of course, seeing an interesting tea-related incident in that movie can add the perfect touch to that moment.

Hubby and I were all settled in and enjoying a movie that was part of a series filmed in the U.K. It was called The Verdict and was another pairing of Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre (they were in quite a few together, including a true classic The Maltese Falcon). Suddenly, up popped that tea incident. John caught it first and I, being faster on the DVR remote, backed up the movie to the scene in question. Yes, there it was most definitely — a tea incident! And very educational.

Finally, thanks to this movie, we have discovered the real purpose of cozies. All this time we thought they were to keep the teapot warm or even to serve as an impromptu hat (as Billy Connolly claims them to be). But no, these uses were too ordinary, too mundane, too expected and “on the nose.” A tea cozy was neither for teapot warming nor headgear. The real purpose was one of those things that, once pointed out, you go “Gee, of course!”

Here it is: tea cozies are really meant to hide things!

In this movie, the cozy was used to hide a bottle of some rather strong libation (possibly whiskey or gin). It was quickly employed by the owner of a London boarding house when some of her lodgers came in as she was taking a nip. She needed that nip apparently, since they discovered that another of her lodgers was dead, stabbed, in a room locked from the inside. The cozy, no doubt, got a bit of a workout through the rest of the proceedings (although they didn’t show this) as the case was investigated. Cozy off. Take a nip. Cozy on. Cozy off…and so on.

Let’s see — a tea cozy to hide things! The possibilities here are endless. You could, for example, use it outside the front door instead of that fake rock that everyone recognizes instantly for hiding your spare key. The would-be burglar will be totally confused, think it’s teatime, and head home to put the kettle on. At least, I would!

See how educational these old movies can be? And all taken in while hubby and I enjoyed the congenial atmosphere of our double recliner, that pot of tea and those freshly-baked scones!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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