Thursday Tea: September 10 (King Dork)

Thursday Tea Thursday Tea is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly. To play along, all you need is some tea, a book, and the answers to these questions: what tea are you drinking (and do you like it)? What book are you reading (and do you like it)? Tell us a little about your tea and your book, and whether or not the two go together.

The tea: I’ve got this mysterious Chinese tea my coworker gave to me last year. It’s for allergies and general aches (including bug bites!), and it works really well except that it tastes horrible. Even with sugar it tastes horrible, and I think it’s because the instructions are wrong. The instructions say to stick an entire box of (loose) tea into one cup, and one box is about three or four servings of any other loose tea. (The boxes are packed inside a bigger box; they’ve basically portioned out the whole thing so you don’t have to scoop out anything. Just dump the box in and go.) But it’s way too much! It makes the tea all bitter and yucky, and I only used it before when I was in dire emergency of some pain reliever.

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However, if you steep a box in an entire pot of water (a big pot, not a little one), add a lot of sugar (no milk) and a little courage, and it tastes quite nice. I have some really annoying bug bites on my legs and, after drinking a cup of distilled Mysterious Chinese Tea, I felt much better. They stopped itching (nearly) completely! That’s pretty good, eh?

My box says it’s “Kamwo Tea,” though that doesn’t turn up much in Google. But according to this it’s got thirty different ingredients in it. Is that good or bad?

King Dork The book: At the moment I’m nearly done with King Dork by Frank Portman. I read Mr. Portman’s second book, Andromeda Klein, last weekend, and as soon as I got back to the library I got out King Dork. Instead of talking about it like I’ve talked about other Thursday Tea books, I’ve decided to post this little bit of something I wrote on Tuesday. I was originally going to stick it in my review of King Dork, but I think it’s too nonsensical and so I cut it. I’m still rather fond of it, however, and so I’m sticking it here instead. Think of this like a DVD extra. (Edited to add: spruced it up a bit more. It’s an even better DVD extra now! Well, I hope.)

Like Catcher in the Rye, where every copy in a public library is stained and scribbled upon and generally disgusting, the copy of King Dork I read was stained with a mysterious brown liquid near the top and smelled of sweaty gym socks. Did I care about this? Only as much as that I made sure only to touch the bottom of the book, which was luckily pristine white, and to never let my nose stray too far near the text.

So, rather a lot.

Of course it’s not the outside of a book which is really important, but the inside (though a nice outside makes for a more pleasant reading experience overall), and the inside of King Dork is rather wonderful.

Insert other review-type stuff here. Then:

Part of the problem I have with juvenile male protagonists in literary YA fiction that I don’t have with juvenile female protagonists (or either gender in a YA fantasy) is that a lot of times the male protagonist will do or think something that makes me recoil with all the horror of Older Sister Walking In On Younger Brother Masturbating. Things like that happen a few times in King Dork, and I’m sure that if a boy was reading it he’d not only think whatever the protagonist was doing was brilliant, he’d also think “I’ve done that.” Much like how I commiserate with whatever female protagonists do in chick lit or a Sarah Dessen novel. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Do they go together? Not particularly. Tom (the protagonist of King Dork) has only been drinking soda and coffee during the course of the book, and I just don’t think he’s a tea sort of person. At minimum he’d maybe drink iced tea in the summer, but probably never actual hot tea.

What are you drinking/reading this Thursday?

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