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The Civilised Tea Pary
by Bobby Morris

In their small wooden house in the American Midwest, British ex-pat IT workers Michael Mutton and Eric Hyde were enjoying afternoon tea. They were seated at a table by the wall, and they had before them a pot of tea, two filled cups, a saucer of milk, and a plate of cucumber sandwiches whose crusts had been cut off. They were sipping at the tea and nibbling at the sandwiches.

“I was thinking about the Tea Party the other day,” thought aloud Michael.

“The political movement?” asked Eric.

“No, the actual Boston Tea Party.”

“Where they tipped all those cases of tea into the sea?”


The two men shuddered at the thought.

“Well?” probed Eric.

“Well, I was thinking that those revolutionaries were fools. Not so much in what they were trying to say, but in the execution of it. You see, they could’ve made the political point without actually losing the tea, if only they’d spent a bit of time planning it. My specific idea was that they could’ve boarded the ships secretly in the first instance and substituted the tea for soil, and then boarded them again openly in the second instance and made a show of emptying the crates.”

“I say,” said Eric, putting his cup down, “that’s a jolly good idea. But you know what the sad thing about it is? If we shared it with our American co-workers and friends, they’d see it as a criticism of their revolution, not as the win-win situation for the revolutionaries that it would obviously have been.”

“You’re probably right,” muttered Michael. He picked up his cup and took another sip, before continuing. “Something else I once thought about the American War of Independence is that—”

He was cut short by a loud thud against the outside wall, which caused both men to dramatically slam down their teacups.

“What the!” they said in unison.

There was another thud, and the horizontal planks of the wall began to snap inwards. The men got up and backed away from the table at this point.

The wall bent further inwards in response to further blows from the outside, and the men froze in terror and gasped when a grizzly bear forced its way in. Its torso, its powerful arms, and its angry head came through, but its legs seemed to remain outside and below the level of the tabletop. The bear scanned the room superficially, before turning its attention to the table. It grabbed one of the cups and downed the tea, then did likewise with the other one. It then grabbed the modest pile of sandwiches and stuffed them into its mouth, unconcerned by the few slices of cucumber that slipped out.

Satisfied that it had consumed everything available, the grizzly bear extricated itself and headed back into the wilderness.