Benevolence In Beverage Form

Items found on the run now include a flowering tea pot complete with flowering tea. Running through the village on Saturday morning I crested the final hill on my path home. Just as I began my glide down the back side I heard a voice calling my name. I stopped and turned but saw no one. Facing my route again I took a step and heard it again. Turning once more, hands on hips, I scanned the horizon for a prankster. Within a moment a fat dog came waddling out from behind a cottage. I know this dog but I’ve never heard her speak human English before.

“Hey, Doggy. Did you call my name?”

The voice came again, this time from the direction of the cottage, chuckling. “No, I did. I want to give you something.”

A villager stepped out from around the same corner as the dog. He is also known to me. Bearing a glittery bag emblazoned with Have A Fabulous Birthday, he approached to six feet and placed it near the road I traveled, then backed away again, keeping COVID distance.

“I don’t want this,” he explained. “It was regifted to me. I am regifting it to you. It looks like the kind of thing you would like. As soon as I saw it I thought of you.”

Intrigued, I peered into the bag and beheld a glass tea pot and a box of tea. Blooming tea, to be specific. Flowering tea pods which blossom inside the tea pot when brewed as tea. I patted the dog and offered my thanks, grateful I wouldn’t have to run more than a few feet home with my regifted gift. In 20 years it’s the first time anyone has stopped me on the run for anything other than to ask for directions or to offer/ask for sex acts.

Upon inspection at home I could tell easily enough this unwanted gift had been regifted many times. Although never opened the box had sustained considerable wear and tear (including spills upon it). It carried the dust and dents of repeated storage and travel, and deep inside the gift bag, debris and detritus. The villager’s mother had passed it to him, making passage to me the third exchange, but who knew how many times before?

I don’t need another tea pot but considering how orphaned this one was likely to remain, I opted to adopt it. It might be fun. The villager from whom it was received would definitely ask about my enjoyment the next time we meet on the road, so this was journey’s end for a bad gift rejected in multiplicity.

This afternoon I decided to try my first blooming tea. I unpacked and cleaned the pot while heating the water. Parts included the pot, an infuser (for loose tea), and the tiny lid.

I chose a tea pod. Smelled faintly of jasmine. Looked like a small ball of yarn or string. This one was called Lovers Blossom. Sounded passionate.

At precisely 180 degrees I dropped the pod into the pot, filled it, and watched. The box promised I would see blooms such as these:

At around the two and a half minute mark, this happened:

I waited the full three minutes prescribed. Not much change. Kinda scary looking. Not incredibly appetizing but I’ve consumed scarier things, for sure.

Nothing more seemed to be happening so I stepped away to get a teacup. When I returned a neck had appeared.

Okay, creepy tea. Time to taste.

Very mild and … ahem … floral. Pale in the cup and light on the tongue. Didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. Not at all how I imagined a Lovers Blossom would taste but considering how seasoned the box looked, maybe the tea isn’t super fresh anymore. Their love has gone bland, perhaps? Time will do that.

I’ll try all the wads/pods out of curiosity and then use the teapot for tea I actually like. I’ll provide a polite review to the kindly villager who sent it home with me instead of sending it to the landfill. As foundlings from the road go, this is definitely one of the most useful, though I technically didn’t find it. Heading out to tennis I found a purple brassiere in the fringe, and these days discarded face masks litter every block and mile along the road to everywhere. All useful if one was so inclined but eewww. I’ve picked up some wacko stuff over the years but I do draw the line at garments designed to cradle genitalia and/or mucus membranes. Had the tea tasted better I could call this refreshing by comparison but this is the Year of Honesty so let’s just say it was … neighborly.

Be well, friends.

— Mercy

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