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Futher to a previous rant about the tea from our machine at work, in which I complained of it smelling like mushroom soup, I can confirm that it has improved considerably, to the point that it is now my beverage of choice.
Thank goodness for that!
Itís still not as good as a proper cup of tea, but itís close enough that you suspect that a tea-leaf may have been involved in itís creation, rather than a fungus.
|Nicey replies: Mark,
Thanks for the heads up on that.
||Dear Mr Nicey|
I have been enjoying a nasty cup of tea (office drinks machine) and a sit down while perusing your fine site. I happened upon the pink wafer controversy and it reminded me of a rather surprising tale. The memsahib's great-aunt, an inveterate hoarder, died a couple of years ago and off the little woman went with her mother and sister to help clear out the house. Much memorabilia was found, classified and disposed of to relatives or the local orphanage, among it an envelope marked in immaculate copper-plate handwriting, "biscuit brought back by Cecil [the aunt's sister] from Buckingham Palace garden party, 1954".
Well, nestling limply in the papery bosom of the envelope was...a pink wafer! I have seen said wafer with my own eyes and can swear to its pinkness. I was surprised less by the aunt's keeping of a biscuit for 50 years (I had early in my relationship with the memsahib been ambushed by her father into eating a Carlsbad plum of similar vintage and the same provenance) as by the fact that at a social event of such high cachet the biscuity entertainments could stretch no further than what I have always considered the cheapest and nastiest of biscuits.
Perhaps the answer lies in postwar austerity and sugar rationing?
|Nicey replies: It's also a bit scary that it was still pink after 50 years in an envelope. I expect the Queen opened up a few hundred tins of Rover assortment, hence the Pink Wafers. Although it does make you wonder what became of all the biscuit tins?|
My brother in law used to drink mugs of custard (laced with several sugars) as you or I would drink a cup of tea. I am the only person around who finds this habit absolutely stomach churningly disgusting. He who shall remain nameless used to drink these gooey cups of custard about 7 times a day, made from Birds Instant Custard and hot water...
In response to one of your other emails, when I was kid I also liked to eat raw
Vegetable Stock Powder...very salty if I remember!
Anyway I'm now off to eat the raw contents of my store cupboard. mmmm
|Nicey replies: Yes we have received quite a few emails from people now owning up to drinking dilute instant custard. Perhaps vending machines should switch from soup to custard.|
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
We have a vending machine in our office which dispenses a beverage described simply as ďsoupĒ with no indication of the flavour.
This morning, curiosity got the better of me and I found myself pressing the appropriate buttons for said beverage.
The liquid provided had a frothy top, similar to a whipped coffee. Once this melted away, the actual contents of the cup looked and tasted like vending machine tea with added salt for flavour and some green herby flakes sprinkled on top for a pleasing visual effect. It was not possible to determine the intended flavour. All I can say for certain is that it wasnít tomato, this judgement being based on colour alone.
The real treat was the multi-coloured slurry at the bottom of the cup which was reminiscent of a particularly traumatic dunking incident.
In future, I will be sticking to the coffee shop downstairs.
|Nicey replies: Given how many people you see not drinking the soup you have to wonder how long that stuff has been sitting there.|
I have just finished being surprised at how much I enjoyed your NCOTAASD book ( a Christmas present from a very discerning friend (Hi Jumpy-up-and-down Kathy if you ever get to read this)) and wanted to tell you about an excellent vending machine from my youth.
As a lad of about 10 I used to go to Whitley Bay Ice Rink every Saturday morning. I can still remember the smell that permanently wet wood has. Anyway, they had a vending machine that was old-fashioned even then (about 1965?); you selected the drink of choice by rotating an enormous dial on the front. You could choose from tea, limeade and chicken soup. What the manufacturers never thought of was that young kids would experiment by rotating the dial WHILST it was vending...