Monday, June 1, 2015
Wisconsin Pu Heads
Lately my online tea buddies say they feel sorry for me because I don't have a cadre of real life tea friends. Of course Wisconsin is not really a tea place, but more of a beer and sausage place. It's true that I'd have an unlimited social life if I enjoyed bar hopping, instead of the solitary life hunched over a gaiwan which I'm sure nobody around here can understand even if I admitted it publicly. But I gave the idea of a local puerh community some thought, and I know how this would pan out.
First, I'll have to put up with a whole new level of conversation around here, a nightmare to contemplate. If you don't know what the rural central Wisconsin accent sounds like, well it's close to what you hear in the movie "Fargo." The guy who gives the "up at da lake" monologue is pretty close, and the wife who gets killed is a dead ringer for the feminine nasal, "Daad, you stayin' fer supper?"
Now transpose all that onto a conversation about tea, and you'll hear something like "Now yas just don know where 'is tea's been'n'at, he's got doze ya know goats in de house all winter hey," and "it tastes like 'er basement and she's got back-ups donchaknow, I seen dat truck around."
For sure Zen-inspired tea meditators and "masters" will permanently lose every exotic oriental wet tea dream they've ever cherished, and you too if you hear a Rural Wisconsin person talk about your Qi. There is a reason I don't make tea videos. people. We can ruin your Tea Fantasies the moment we start talking. Trust me, no one wants to hear it.
On top of the bad accent, a new puerh culture in my area would unleash yet another host of local nightmares. For instance, let's start with any given Sunday where I happen to see pu drinker Susan in church. Last week was her turn to host Sunday dinner. Catholics play "pass the priest" seven days a week, and for some reason fight over who gets to have Father visit for a meal he isn't required to pay for. By Wednesday I find out that Susan happened to mention to Father the pubic hair she found in my shu pu, and that she discussed at some length why she'll never swap samples with me ever again. After that social disaster, I can expect to lose my part time substitute teaching job at St. Patrick's because now the entire parish thinks that Susan and I...well you can fill in the blank.
Next we have the local businesses where I buy foods and the pharmacy where I get my medications. The pharmacist will now include a lecture on sheng consumption every time I get a prescription refill. I go to great lengths to keep my doctor at a 75 mile distance where she can't find out what I'm doing in my copious free time. Once puerh goes local, every busybody I see on the street will be happy to tell me how I'm living my life wrong in my tea hobby along with every other facet of my life.
And then we have the meth heads. These are folks who steal anything not nailed down, and they'll steal the nailed down stuff when they find the time. When you put the trash out Sunday evening for Monday's collection, pick-up trucks hauling trailers stop at every curbside trash pile to take away the aluminum cans and anything else of value. Around here you can leave your house for twenty minutes and all your copper water pipes will be gone from your house when you get back. Most people finally got wise to all this and started using PVC plumbing instead. All that accomplished was leaving the meth heads looking for something else to steal. Imagine what will happen once sheng puerh becomes all the local rage. Fewer beer cans in the trash. So, talk about stealing... I'm gonna have to start watching my stash.
Instead of the peaceful existence I have now, my naps will be routinely interrupted by people stopping by for tea. I'll actually need to answer the door which will mean needing to install a doorbell and fixing the outdoor lights that never work right. I will have a revolving door of neighbors who expect to be served, instead of just my ex-husband and his mother once a year. And oh, "can I take a bit of that cake home with me?" If I don't say yes I can expect Mr. Stickyfingers to slip some in his pocket anyway. And forget about bringing anyone home for the evening. All it takes is one bad break-up and there goes my tea ware when I'm not looking along with my collection of boxer shorts and push-up bras. The cops won't give a tinker's dam about tea ware and so the only recourse I will have is haunting EBay, waiting for my stuff to get posted so I can buy it back.
So to sum it up, if puerh catches on big here I can expect to lose my job and whatever shreds remain of my reputation along with my entire collection of sheng and teaware. Eventually that will translate into a bad social life and rocks through my porch windows. I suppose my view of the locals isn't as positive as it might be. But just to be prepared, I'm gonna start packing up the house.
Requiescat in Pace.