Tea for three it is; our weekly tea-time with Carol Davis for the past ten years, or is it twelve or fifteen? Time eludes me in these twilight years like a slippery tea bag having galumped into the hot water. I’m getting good at the art of putting the kettle on and pouring. One need not scald the tea, I read somewhere. Then there’s the setting of the table and putting out our version of biscuits or scones which could be Babke or strudel. Peggy takes her Earl Gray. Carol and I prefer Good Earth Sweet & Spicy. It all feels very British as in the Cotswold’s, perhaps, where all vexing matters were to be sorted out over a teacup of hot nice, as we have named it.
If this were a scene on a BBC Masterpiece Mystery it would be the perfect prelude to a murder or two. One could never trust what fiendish plots were hatched under a thatched roof.
However our conversation is mostly of family triumphs and travails and literary. Poetry acceptances are celebrated or rejections consoled, T.V. shows not to be missed are noted or those devoutly to be avoided. It’s all so civilized except for our habit of balancing the empty mug on its handle as it teeters on the placemat. This Mad Hatter’s ritual is something which has evolved over the years but is no match for the madness about to be let loose to tremble the body politic; more than any detective chief inspector could unravel.
While it is mid-afternoon here the clock has struck evening In Trump Tower. Time now to fire one or two aides, issue an imperial decree or royally deranged pardon in the hope of a quick burial over the weekend. Sorry, Donald but your last Friday night dump came through in neon lights.
Friday already has a dark reputation. Nixon, cornered as he was and in an agitated state on an October Friday night 1973, set in motion what is now known as the Saturday Night Massacre when he fired the Special Prosecutor, Attorney General and Deputy A.G. It seems that the account of that usurpation of power may well be Trump’s book for summer reading.
It has come to the point where the country holds its breath waiting for the next febrile act from our Carnival-Barker-in-Chief. By now you’d think he would know that Friday at six, Eastern Time, is not a propitious moment to hide another body. As the clock strikes mid-day here and eventide there, cable news braces for the next exhibit of our quasi-monarch’s tweeted mind, writ-large.
We need to cherish these moments of calm retreat, congeniality and reasonable discourse. Let us sip and slurp while the birds may chirp but under no circumstances shall we allow the megaphone from Mar-a-Lago to disturb our peace with Breaking News.