Timing Your Humor When Drinking Tea

I’ve said it before and will say it again — laughter and drinking tea don’t mix. Unless you need a good rinsing through your nose of hot tea. So, timing your humor when drinking tea is essential. And if you are around others while they are imbibing this wondrous brew, you might want to refrain from telling that real “knee slapper” until they have had a chance to swallow.

How to Determine When It’s Safe to Tell That Joke

Jacob's Jaffa Cakes (ETS image)
Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes (ETS image)

The key question here is how do you know when it’s safe to venture forth with your story about Aunt Sally and her errant, teabag-wielding herd of cats that upset the tea trolley and sent Jaffa cakes and Walker’s shortbread flying every which way? Watch for the signs. Yep, just wait and watch.

They lift the teacup. They put it to their lips. They take a mouthful.

At this point, it’s good to remind you that the goal is not to make them laugh and squirt that tea out through their nose, or even spray out their mouth all over other tea time guests. I repeat, the goal is not to do this!

Since we’re all being good here, you need to continue waiting and watching. It is at this point that tea drinkers are their most vulnerable. It is also a point in the tea enjoyment process that can vary quite a bit from person to person. Some folks are gulpers. Some are dainty sippers. Some like to slurp in the tea to get a fuller appreciation of the tea’s aromas and flavors. Some like to swish the tea around in their mouth to be sure to hit the full range of tastebuds (sweet, sour, salty, bitter). In short, you may have difficulty telling when the “coast is clear” (or the palate, in this case). Be patient. Listen for things like “Ah!” or “Ew!” (hopefully, more of the former than the latter). Now’s your moment. Let the humor flow!

Acceptable Humor Topics at Tea Time

Before you start blasting out the funny stories, groan-inducing puns, and knock-knock jokes, it’s good to know that there are some acceptable humor topics at tea time and some that should definitely be avoided.

A few safe topics:

  • The weather
  • How to arrange flowers in a vase
  • Your children (but not other people’s)
  • The recipe that went awry
  • And, of course, tea!

Some unsafe topics:

  • Your gallbladder surgery
  • The weird growth on your uncle’s big toe that he likes to show everyone at family gatherings
  • Divorce
  • Marriage
  • Housecleaning

Here’s wishing you many safely humorous tea times!

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

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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