As a pacific type, I like to feel that there are few things that can get me enraged. Whilst I may oft quote the remark attributed to Voltaire, 1See this link. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” you’d have to be saying something pretty damn meaningful. Indeed, being brought up as an Englishman, not only am I likely to stand and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, I’m liable to apologise for getting in the way of said arrows, and offer them back at the end for good measure!
Yet over the years I’ve discovered a couple of things in life that I’d be willing to bear arms for. The British Isles are not renowned for their cuisine, but some things have been honed to an art there. One of these is the pie. Now quite how the humble pie could come to be threatened is quite a stretch of the imagination. If something so base could be in danger of disappearing, then there are probably problems for its basic ingredients, in which case there are much greater issues to be worrying about. Yet the prospect of a pie tax or some other form of rationing has me sharpening blades in preparation for the event, a veritable cataclysm by any standards! But this is nought compared to my second item.
Tea. Of such basic necessity and ubiquity, it was named after a letter of the alphabet. To think of the inordinate amount of pleasure I derive from a cup of tea is to think me more than just a brick short of a load. If you were to tell me that all of the people I know and cared for had been killed in a plane crash, sitting me down by the fire with a cup of tea would make the whole situation seem visibly improved. The prospect of a tariff on tea keeps me awake at night; the scarring memories of the Boston Tea Party still leave me prepared to wage a second War of 1812 in retribution. To secure that supply of tea leaves, I would enrol to invade small countries, reinstitute slavery, perhaps restore the British Empire… but until then I’ll just pour myself another cup. Ahhh!