Monday, January 02, 2006

Tea and The Shire

I found this little deal the other day. It's really a coffee press, but I will be using it for the fine art of making tea. I have almost always used teabags, but I thought it would be fun for my palate to get some loose tea. I always thought it was more civilized to use loose tea. That's what elevates it to an art form, in my mind anyhow. Of course, now this means I have to find some loose tea for sale in this frostbitten little Shire.
Many times I refer to my small town in Upper Michigan as a Shire. That would be a direct link to TLOTR movies. Often, I feel that our neck of the woods is lacking in a lot of the refinements found in civilization. Like loose tea, for one, and people who use their turn signals on a consistent basis. But in exchange for the loss of some things that city dwellers take for granted, I get The Shire. Most people here live in a Microverse. I personally know two people who have never left the County I reside in. Green Bay Packer games are more important then any other televised event (win or lose, no matter). Most believe all things evil or bad are beset upon us by The Trolls. Trolls are people living "Downstate" in Lower Michigan. They live below "The Bridge" (being The Mackinac) and thus, are Trolls. They are jealous of the rest of us Yoopers, living up here in God's Country. Bad things The Trolls punish us with would be high fuel prices, poor snowmobiler etiquette, poachers, any and all economic decisions regarding the U.P., since they are made by Trolls with Evil Intentions and usually to the detriment of The Shire. Never mind if any of this is true, the Shirefolk believe it is so, therefore it must be. Everyone needs a whipping boy and Downstate is it for us.
Cheddars, people from Wisconsin, are usually viewed with mild affection, like second cousins with buck teeth. They view us as second cousins with buck teeth and freckles. They are much closer to Shirefolk in the genepool, as they are all farmers (aren't they?) and the homestate of our Beloved Packers. Also, one of the better FleetFarms resides just south of Greenbay. I wonder if they have loose tea there?
So, the People of The Shire live in a sort of self-imposed obliviousness, that sometimes, really is For The Best.

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