Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Coffee, Tea or Me?

As I walked down the hallway toward my office, burning my hand with hot water sloshing over the rim of my styrofoam cup, I was reminded of a not-so-fond memory regarding tea water...

I was around 9 or 10, and my sister and I were accompanying my mom to the hospital as she visited my grandma. We weren't allowed into the room, so we had to wait in the waiting room, and as I'm sure you're aware, time passes v - e - r - y slowly in a place like that, especially when you're nine (or ten).

There were three pots on hot plates at the edge of the room - one with coffee, one with decaf coffee, and one with hot water for tea. I decided I would make myself some tea, since I didn't drink coffee at the time, so I wandered over to the counter with my sister in tow. She would have been about 3 or 4 at the time.

I poured the water into a styrofoam cup, and replaced the pot on the hotplate. So far, everything was going according to plan. A wrinkle developed when I let go of the handle on the pot and reached for a tea bag. Somehow, I managed to backhand the styrofoam cup, spilling the entire contents down the front... of my kid sis. Needless to say, this would have caused an adult to gasp, as fairly hot water sprayed down your shirt and pants is uncomfortable, to say the least. To a three- (or four-) year-old, this was cause for screaming. Loud, sustained screaming.
Hey, good thing we were at a hospital, right? If you're going to sustain third-degree burns, what better place to have that happen? I suppose right in the burn ward would be better, but not by much...

Anyway, she didn't sustain third-degree burns, or even second-degree, but she did cry long and hard, and BOY did that make me blush in front of about 30 strangers in a waiting room. She pulled through, but every time I get tea in a styrofoam cup that memory plays in my mind like it happened yesterday.


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