Sunday, May 14, 2006

HumpTea DumpTea

Teaing Off
Forgive me. I’m not usually this direct. It’s the chai, you see. The lack of subtlety, the insipidity, the sheer lactoseness of it all. It had been simmering for a while, and now the whistle blows. To-Wit. To-Wit. Lift me up and pour me out.

All Aboard!
It's been a while since I last visited thecuttingchai. In fact, truth be told, I had almost dismissed it as a fad, a whim, rather like me playing bass for the Lungi Tambis

The Lungi Tambis
Peer closely, kind reader, for your eyes are not what they once were. Look beyond the bald warbler, the one whose oesophagus is preparing itself for the sudden arrival of a cordless microphone.
Let your eyes wander not to the kurta-clad knave on the ostentatious guitar - a mere masquerader, he.
Look, instead, for the man in the middle, the one with the black guitar and the blood-and-tear soaked t-shirt. What's that you say? No, he is not asleep, you impertinent young whippersnapper.

The Lungi Tambis was a band that grew out of one bass guitarist's dream, a dream to come hurtling down to flights of stairs and break his leg in two places. And that was when I stepped in. Much like the Performing Flea I have always admired, I made the gathering of innocent onlookers laugh till they cried till they laughed again!

Part 1: The Performing Flea
Michael 'Flea' Balzary plays bass for Red Hot Chili Peppers. I don't like RHCP. I think Chili should have a 'y' at the end. Or at least two 'l's. Flea has also acted in the movies 'Back to the Future II and III' and 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. Fear and Loathing, I did like. It was directed by Terry Gilliam, the only American in Monty Python. Monty Python was predominantly British and, to a greater extent, funny. Which is exactly what the other Performing Flea was.

Part 2: The Performing Flea
"The playwright Sean O' Casey", says Wikipedia, "was a major Irish dramatist and memorist". And while the working classes of Dublin will, no doubt, say a little prayer for him between pints of Guinness, he will forever be remembered as the man who called Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse a small wingless insect of the order Siphonaptera.

Ol' PG rather liked that, of course; he named his memoirs 'Performing Flea'. As far as he was considered, a performing flea was something to be. (John Lennon thought that about a Working Class Hero, but by then, of course, the Yoko was on him! Ono, not again!)

Wodehouse made it all look so easy. The casual transferred epithet ("I pronged a moody forkful of eggs and b"), the magical turn of phrase ("He was a tubby little chap who looked like he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say 'when'") - so simple, yet so out of reach. The kind of writing that would make you want to scream "Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey". And mean it!

English tea is terrible. It has camomile and lavender and some of last night's Turkey and Gravy in it but it still tastes almost, but not quite, exactly unlike tea.

We're back. It's then end of the road, or, if you will, the Beginning.