We’ve all had them — those perfect tea moments where the tea is steeped just right and any accompanying treats are done to their best. We’ve also all had that tea time interloper, the person who says, “Hey, you busy?” or “Gee, that looks good, let me try some” or even “Put that down and come help me with this.” Years of experience have taught me a number of ways to deal with such people, but I will present here 5 that you can use and not have consequences that are too dire.
1 Use Excuse #27 for Not Sharing
There is a long list out there in the vast annals of human knowledge of excuses for not sharing some special treat you are having with someone who happens by and wants a taste. Excuse #27 is pretty simple: “Well, I dropped this in the dirt. I cleaned if off a bit. Don’t mind the dead bugs and things…oh, and that strand of hair is mine…at least, I think it is…yeah, pretty sure.” Warning: this doesn’t always work since some folks routinely eat things they’ve dropped and then brushed off. Some folks actually prefer a bit of extra “stuff” on their cookie, scone, or even piece of fruit.
2 Fake a Head Cold or Severe Hayfever Attack
Nothing is as off-putting as someone sneezing repeatedly over everything — teapot, cups, food, plates. If the interloper is someone who doesn’t know you that well and/or hasn’t seen you in a few days or longer, your fakery will be undetectable. Just make those sneezes and the resulting nose blowing as genuine as possible.
3 Keep Something Handy to Cover Everything
Stealth can be key to maintaining your privacy at tea time and putting off those interlopers. An old cardboard box turned upside down should be able to cover everything when that interloper shows up. Alternatives are tablecloths, cupboards, desk drawers, and a clever construction that looks like a big pile of file folders. (If that interloper is anything like my co-workers in previous jobs, they won’t want to go anywhere near the folders since it might involve actually working.)
4 Play Dumb
“What tea? That’s not tea. That’s my special anti-twitch medicine. And that’s not a cookie…it’s a…uh, a big pill.”
5 Find One of Those “Superfund Sites” to Hang Out in
A Superfund Site is something that realtors have to warn prospective homebuyers about. We should know if our future home was built on a location like the Love Canal or if it is more akin to the Tuileries Gardens at the Tuileries Palace in Paris, France. One thing is for sure — you have far less chance of having that tea time interloper show up if you’re surrounded by glowing green barrels of who knows what.
Of course, you could avoid the whole issue by going ahead and planning for that inevitable interloper. Steep some extra tea and have an extra treat available!
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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