Saturday mornings of old, pre-kids, my husband and I would beg each other to get up and make the tea. We soon forgot whose turn it was and we would end up spending more time and effort trying to figure out whose go it was than it would have been to make the darstardly beverage. Soon we began to bet to sort out the tea making duties…
“I bet you don’t know my star sign?
“I bet I do…. erm…. is it …. Pisces?”
“Ha! No loser, it’s Aquarius, no sugar thanks.”
The following Saturday…
“Who won the world cup in 1994?”
“No, you jammy git, you are unbelievable I made it last weekend.”
“Shame, still no sugar thanks.”
Eventually the betting became a thing that we did for any chore, so it stood to reason there had to be some ground rules.
A Standard Tea is a tea you are making anyway. It’s common decency to offer the other person a drink, that’s only normal.
A Bet Tea is a tea that can be claimed at any time. I’ve lost. I’m in bed. He can wake me up and demand that I make the tea I owe. I’d have to do it, but be warned, don’t play this game if you can’t take it back. Your winning streak will come to an end and you will rue the day you demanded a 2am beverage let me tell you.
Over the proceeding years we have honed the Tea Game even further. One of our favourites is The Antiques Roadshow. Closest to the price wins. The tea maker is the person with the overall fewest wins.
“Five grand for that bit of tatt!”
On a wet weekend we can sometimes be found betting on the greyhounds/horses on the telly. Our kids often join in, so the structure of the game changes slightly. Person who wins can either nominate the tea maker (this can cause rows and accusations of favouritism), or keep it simple, the loser is the tea maker. You can keep a tally if you’re betting on multiple races.
This reminds me, years ago, shortly after 9/11, I had heard on the grapevine (old social media) that the Queen Mother had passed away.
“No way”, said he.
“Yes way,” said I “it’s not being announced because the country is already heartbroken and it’ll be too much.”
“I don’t believe it. They’d have to tell us, she’s the Queen’s mother!”
“I’m right. I bet you.”
“OK I bet she’s alive for 100 teas.”
“Deal,” we shook on it.
A week or so went by, the country was in mourning, the news was devastating on a daily basis. I was confident that the QM was no longer with us and was actually quite looking forward to 100 Saturday mornings of tea, that’s nearly two years I had calculated.
The Queen came on the telly to address the nation or go to church or something. We stood poised, breath held, staring and then… along came Mrs Pepperpot, the Queen Mum, all resplendent in a dark suit and very much alive.
He was jubilant. He was high-fiving himself. He was quoting my two years of tea statistic back at me.
“Two years of breakfast teas, I’m so going to enjoy every single one of them.”
I think I cried a little bit.
Then, as fate would have it, he got man-flu. A nasty case of my-mum-would-make-me-hot-Ribena-and-bring-it-to-me man-flu.
“Shame she’s not here then isn’t it? But I’ll do it for ten teas.”
“Ok, I really need it,” he managed to whimper.
“Where is the Ribena?”
“In the shop.”
“That’ll be another ten teas to go out especially to get Ribena.”
The man-flu lasted just long enough for me to break the back of my teas, leaving just a manageable twenty or so to pay back. Which I think I paid back in a few hot beverages and a few nominated driver nights at the pub. Either way it was a scary time that’s for sure!
So the moral of this tale is – don’t gamble if you can’t afford to lose, especially if you like a lie in on a Saturday.