Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pot, seduction, and call me uncle!

The most dangerous phrase around the school playground is “come here little girl, would you like some candy?”
From what I’ve heard, however, it was a rather old fashioned lure.
Creeps, nowadays, don’t use candy.

They use pot.

My uncle Benedict recently offered me his precious pot, on "certain" conditions .........

Let me back up.
Old uncle Benny, who lives in sin with a shy white woman, specifically offered me his POT......,
of Things Past.
By Marcel Proust.

What he will give me, if I do so, is a lovely Yee-heng teapot (宜興茶壺 or 紫砂茶壺 Yee-heng/Tzee-sa tsa woo), circa Haam Fung Emperor (咸豐帝 1831 – 1861).
It is shaped like a little round pumpkin, with vine and leaves decorating the outside, a thick twisted branch forming the handle, another forming the spout. It is exceeeeeeeedingly desirable! The fragrance of generations of use adheres to it, a faint perfume wafts from the inside, and the outside is speckled and brindled from years of tea cascading down the sides at secondary filling.

[Gungfoo tsa (工夫茶 kungfu Tea): A small teapot is filled more than half full of prize leaves. Hot water (not boiling!!!) is poured in to overflowing, the lid is put on, after scarcely half a minute the water is poured out; this is the rinsing of the leaves.
Then more hot water is added, again to oveflowing, and after a minute decanted into tiny cups, or, if you are alone, a shallow bowl, and drunk. Each subsequent steeping is longer, and has a different flavor. With
Oolong (烏龍)or Woo-Yee (武夷) style teas, up to six steepings can be had. For solitary use, an even smaller pot than normal is best - you will nevertheless end up zipped to the tits and reading till three in the morning. It is very delicious.
Snobs and Taiwanese make a very big hoopla over it. The teapot, after years of use, acquires flavor and patina. Uncle Benedict has several small pots, in various shapes. I like it with Lok On (六安茶) style leaves from Kwantung.]

I've loved this pot since I was five.

À La Recherche du Temps Perdu is about a sensitive young man and what goes on inside his head. It is considered "the definitive Modern novel by many scholars".

It is four very thick volumes.

I am NOT fond of Madeleines!

And sensitive young men give me the screaming willies.

I never should have told the old cheese that I had read Gibbon! Suetonius was my downfall, it was him that lead me astray; the ancient Roman seduced me with glib words, and Benny was delighted to hear about it.
I can only plead naievete, I did NOT know that I was encouraging the old dear.

Really, I should've simply read Lord of the Rings. Followed Frodo in his preposterous adventures. Dreamt of dragons, elves, hobbits...... ick poo!
Ick poo, ick poo, ick poo!!!

Still, it is a beautiful teapot and I so very much want to have it. I wonder if there's any deal I can make with the old guy.
The words 'Faustian Bargain' come to mind.

I may just have to bite the bullet. Uncle Benedict is a stubborn old scholast. And I've got all summer.


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