Friday, May 7, 2010

My Drug of Choice...

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I’m going to be brutally honest. There’s one thing my wife really regrets about marrying me:


I hate coffee.

My beverage of choice: sweetened iced tea with an emphasis on the sweet and ice. Don’t put splenda, truvia, nutra-sweet or any of that other fake stuff in it either. No lemon and no straw.  I want it straight...and in a mason jar if possible, but not necessarily.

If it ain’t got lily white sugar just throw it out as far as I’m concerned.

Evidently it’s sort of a southern thing. Did you know you can’t get sweet tea for breakfast in some fast food establishments? Especially those north of the Mason/Dixon line. I first discovered this regrettable fact about ten years ago when I stopped early one morning at a McDonalds in Harrisburg, PA. When it was my turn at the drive up window, my voice rang clearly as I pronounced “sausage biscuit and large, sweet tea.”

“Excuse me, sir,” she said.

“Sausage biscuit and large, sweat tea,” I said again, and little more slowly believing all the background noise from the nearby interstate the source of the distortion.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t understand what you said last.”

“S-w-e-e-t, i-c-e-d t-e-a.” I said it slower this time, which my yankee friends say (and I use yankee in the fondest sense I can) makes it worse. The slower it is the more trouble they have in deciphering it. Their ears are waiting for three words in the time it takes me to say three syllables.

Oh, and please don’t tell any of my Alabama family that I have yankee friends. Some things are best left in the brutally secret category.

“Oh, you want tea?  We don’t serve it until lunch and all we have is un-sweetened anyway." Was it really necessary to add the insult to an already aggravating injury?

Maybe my wife has just been trying to help me get through life more easily with this coffee stuff-this beverage transcending all geographical boundaries .

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I’m still trying to overcome her love affair with a college professor who taught literature with a bow tie on his neck and a cup of coffee in his hand. To make matters worse for me, he said the word “schedule” by pronouncing it “shedule.” Heck, he probably drove a Mercedes, smoked a pipe and wore little, oval spectacles too. Must be European or something.

I realize I’m not what one would call a world traveler. I mean, Mexico, Canada, and New York City are the only foreign countries I’ve ever been to. But, what’s so romantic about all that? I think they spelled schedule wrong anyway, because everybody on this side of the pond (which really is much bigger than a pond. What’s up with that?) says “skedule.”

I’ve also heard people in Europe don’t put sugar or ice in their tea.

Think I’d just as soon drink skunk spray…or maybe even coffee.

There can’t be coffee in heaven…not in my section anyway. I bet there will be plenty in hell, however. I can just see old Sisyphus now. When he finally gets that ball to the top, Lucifer will be waiting with a big old cup of Joe.

By the way, who is Joe, and I wonder if he knows they named a beverage that tastes like motor oil after him?

Never understood the point in drinking something you have to “develop” a taste for anyhow. Why waste so much time and money doing that? There’s plenty of stuff I’ve already got a taste for and it took no investment to “develop” it. Beverages should be consumed from a clear glass container so you can see what the heck it is you’re drinking, not some decorative receptacle you have to hold with a handle. Besides, they taste better like that anyway.

But, on this upcoming Sunday, I've decided to show the mother of my children that she really is special. I’m going to make a sacrifice of monumental proportions. I’m going to sit quietly with her and choke down a cup of that hot, brown, bitter stuff she loves so much. I might even try to stretch my limited dialect and do some European pronunciations.  If I’m feeling really adventurous I may throw some French on her too. I still remember how they say “I love you” in Paris. Saw it on a foreign film once when I was trying to develop my taste for that.

Didn’t work either.

Come Monday, though, I’m going to sit back on the porch, pour a big glass of sweet tea, and toast all the other “skedule” pronouncing, real Americans like me who like their beverages cold and sweet.

Here’s to you guys….Bottoms up!




images courtesy of photobucket

16 comments:

S. Etole said...

I really, really hate to tell you this but I had never heard of sweet tea until about a year ago when I was reading someone's blog ... can we still be blogger friends?! I don't drink coffee if that helps!

Jeff Jordan said...

Susan,
I thought you lived in America:) And, of course this has no bearing on our friendship. I'm sure I have other friends who have never or recently discovered sweet tea...I'm just not sure who they are...The non-coffee drinking seals the deal anyway:)

Karen said...

Well said! I had the same culture shock when I left Georgia and went into exile in Indiana. Yay for SOUTHERN sweet tea!

M.L. Gallagher said...

Oh dear,

I say skedjule and I like coffee -- and iced tea too, but not too sweet.

As Flanders and Swann sang -- you southerners do know Flanders and Swann, Right?

I love coffee, I love tea
I love the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the java and me
A cuppa cuppa cuppa cuppa cuppa. cuppah

Hope we can still be friends :) funny accent and all!

Jeff Jordan said...

Karen,
Georgia to Indiana...don't know if I could do it.

And Louise, I pride myself on having an eclectic group of friends which includes people with funny accents and those who have never even heard of sweet tea:) Judge a man or woman by their character not by their beverage...except to the extent it does reveal their character:)

Anne Lang Bundy said...

You do know that mosquitoes are attracted to sugar in your blood? Seriously. So stay away from camping LOL!

I'm so sorry to admit all this, but I drink my coffee black, I call white sugar the white devil, and I live closer to Canada than the Mason-Dixon line.

I hope we can still be friends, Jeff. I do so like what you write. :D

Laura said...

Oh. I can. not. function. without my coffee in the morning. it's terrible to be addicted to something. but i love sweet tea too. in fact, i've been weeding the flower beds all day and your picture of this beautiful jar of tea has me salivating.

Very fun, Jeff! Tell your lovely wife happy mom's day tomorrow. may she enjoy a good cup-a-joe.

Jeff Jordan said...

Anne,
We could be friends even if you didn't like what I write.

And Laura, that does look like one great jar of tea! Happy Mother's day to you too and I'm sure the Mother-in-Law will love the apron.(although, I must admit a little apron/sewing/home ec ignorance so my opinion should be evaluated in that light:)

Sandra Heska King said...

Funny!

I remember my first sweet tea when we moved to Georgia. Surprise! Now I love it. But we even put sugar on our grits back then. I don't any more--just salt and pepper--but hubby still does sugar. And I'm told after being back in Michigan for 20+ years that I still have a southern accent. I LOVE the south.

And about coffee. My husband doesn't drink it, either. Can't even make it for me. It's really had an effect on marital romance--and we certainly can't fight and make up over a cup of Folger's! Bummer.

Jeff Jordan said...

Sandra,
I don't know of anything that wouldn't taste better with a little sugar:)

I still haven't figured out what's so romantic about drinking coffee. I've tried drinking water from a coffee cup while she drinks coffee just to share something special with her...doesn't work. I've doctored that mess up with every kind of sweetner, condiment, additive known to man and I still haven't been able to hack it...she'll have to keep dreaming for Mr. Perfect I suppose...

Andrew said...

It is most unfortunate that it is impossible to get sweet tea in the Northern and Western States. One thing Sara always laughs at is how excited I get when I go back to VA/NC and can actually order sweet tea.
I also detest coffee, never liked it.

Jeff Jordan said...

Most unfortunate indeed, Andy. I feel like a fish out of water when I get north of VA and west of the Mississippi...well, really west of Nashville. I guess it's impossible for me to escape the chains of my bringing up:)

Anyway, glad you stopped in.

Elizabeth said...

It's hard to get down here too in Southern Florida! Sweet tea and in most establishments any iced tea is handled just like the sodas... instant, in a syrupy liquid to be mixed w/ water... Yuck! And if it is brewed... it certainly isn't fresh! Bleech... I judge restaurants on their ice tea... if they don't get it then they don't get me as a customer again. I have learned though... if they do have good fresh tea... I request it unsweetened otherwise they will put the fake gross stuff in it... which causes me to get sick.... And Lisa, sorry... but coffee is just bleeky.;b
Also... I never understood why the norm is a fresh brew of free coffee offered to customers having to wait at the mechanics... it should be fresh brewed tea.... as there are more people tolerant of tea than coffee... Just my two cents...Liz

Jeff Jordan said...

I agree with you on the tea instead of coffee. Let's start a petion...We'll be the real tea partiers:)

Grand Piano furniture still offers coke to its customers. Refrigerator is right inside the front door. We don't have soda at home or when we go out so I sneak over there sometimes for a quick fix.

When we were growing up we would put peanuts in our coke...don't want to make any of my yankee friends shudder too bad with that one.

I still remember my dad pouring a big glass of buttermilk and then crumbling up cornbread in it. He would slice a huge hunk of onion to eat with the lumpy mess and go to town...that stuff could probably be used as a biological weapon nowadays...

I'd like to hear some more stories of interesting food and/or beverages...Ya'll just speak right up...might make good material for a book.

Don't be bashful-we're all friends here!

Kelly Burkholder said...

Well I am with ya ALL THE WAY Jeff!! lol. I HATE coffee and think that there is nothing better than sweet tea! The sweeter the better! Yesterday I was just having a conversation with someone I was serving @ Cracker Barrel and she asked me why I didn't like coffee. I told her that my Dad always told me that "you have to acquire a taste for coffee" and so far I guess I haven't!

Jeff Jordan said...

Preach it, Kelly, preach it!