August 15, 2007
There's a beverage trend in Baton Rouge, which has come from the Southern states East of here.
It used to be that if you ordered tea, you got unsweetened iced tea. Nothing more easy or straightforward. Now, more and more places are asking if you want sweetened tea or unsweetened tea. And by sweetened tea, they mean a tea that is so supersaturated with sugar that if one grain of dust happens to fall into the glass, sugar instantly crystallizes in the glass and floats to the bottom.
But I don't care that they have it. I just don't want it to be served to me. It's fine by me if you want to send yourself into a diabetic coma, and I don't mean that sarcastically. Heck, if you want to drink your own urine, more power to you.
The problem is that "unsweetened tea" sounds a heck of a lot like "sweetened tea." It sounds even more like, "uh, sweetened tea" which is how it's usually ordered. So which one you get is just a crapshoot.
If you think about it, it's impossible for the person on the other end of your drive through microphone to understand which kind of tea you want. Sailers, police, and military made up their own alphabet (alpha, bravo, etc.), realizing that "C," "D," "E," "T," "P," "G," and "Z" are all the exact same word when transmitted over a radio.
Clearly, the solution is to come up with different words for sweet tea vs. unsweetened tea. I'm going to go ahead and make a proposal:
"Tea" shall henceforth mean unsweetened iced tea, unless you are in an Asian restaurant, where it will continue to mean hot tea.
"Eetay" (from the pig latin, meaning "tea") shall henceforth mean sweetened iced tea. Also acceptable will be "sweetay" since that gives you the "sweet" part of the word too.
Official adoption date of this convention to be August 20, at which time my drive through order at Raising Cane's will become a much less complicated process.