Tea and Sympathy


This is what happens when you pick up a takeaway cup of very hot black tea in the cafe at Future Publishing’s London office and the lid isn’t on tightly enough so you end up spilling scalding water all over yourself.

What also happens is that you get first-aided by about nine different people because it happened in the workplace and they’ve all been trained in first aid but rarely get to use their skills so they get all excited, and you get burn gel smeared all over you that smells like raw alcohol and tea tree oil and sears the inside of your nostrils, and when you go home that afternoon because you can’t do any work you discover one of your favourite fish has died (sigh) and the filter in the tank has stopped working and you have to take it apart to fix it while trying to keep your bandages dry. Eventually you remove the bandages completely to have a rather painful shower and then discover you don’t have any fresh ones afterwards, so you have to wrap your arm in a tea towel and hold it in place with Sellotape because you are really sad and pathetic.

And then you’ll wake up in the night with burn gel all over your nice clean sheets, and you won’t be able to sleep at all, so you’ll go back to work the next day feeling like crap and you’ll get first-aided again and receive a nice new bandage, which becomes less important during the course of the afternoon because your burn’s improving underneath it, but it DOES come in handy when you end up having an impromptu shoving match on the Bakerloo line on the way home when a woman goes to sit in a seat at the same time as you and you accidentally knock her out of the way. She’ll take one look at the bandage and think, “This woman’s hurt! She can have the seat!” And then she’ll apologise profusely for trying to steal your seat and tell you she really likes the ring you’re wearing (ring not pictured above) because she feels so guilty about almost knocking you over, even though you were the one who almost knocked her over, and it feels really bloody weird having a stranger looking at you so guiltily when really they haven’t done anything bad at all.

And then you’ll arrive home and remove the bandage and marvel at the giant red stripe around your arm and be very thankful you don’t have hideous blisters or anything.

And then you’ll watch the third episode of Supernatural‘s fifth season, hear the Lynyrd Skynyrd song ‘Simple Man’ being played over the opening credits and wonder HOW THE HELL YOU GOT TO THE AGE OF 37 (38 NEXT WEEK!) WITHOUT EVER HEARING IT BEFORE BECAUSE IT’S POSSIBLY THE GREATEST SONG IN THE WORLD.

See? TV makes everything better. I’ve been saying it for years.


So, in conclusion: always make sure the lid is on a cup of boiling hot water before you move it. Or, at the very least, put milk in the damn thing.


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6 responses to “Tea and Sympathy

  1. Lerxst

    Of course, you missed off the bit about suing the company for not putting the lid on properly and causing you untold emotional distress 🙂

    And what are these first aiders on? Gel and tea tree oil? Wimps! Everyone knows the treatment for a burn is to put it under the cold tap! (Though I do like the tea towel bandage – hope it was clean….)

    Seriously though, it does sound nasty. I hope it all heals properly soon, and sorry about the fish :-(.

    (But you’re wrong – this is the greatest song in the world:

    Well, at the moment it is anyway. It’ll be something else tomorrow.)

    • jaynenelson

      I’m not really sure if it was the fault of the person who gave me the tea or me for squeezing the cup so hard the lid popped off. But frankly, handing out cups of boiling hot water is asking for trouble no matter what…

      And don’t worry, my arm was run under a cold tap for a very long time before the bandages appeared!

      (I’m not really a fan of Aimee Mann, sorry… I feel bad now!)

      • Lerxst

        Indeed. But I have a cunning plan to help venders of boiling hot water everywhere.. it’s called “the cup handle”. Whaddya think?

        Not a fan.. *splutter*.. Na, no need to feel bad. We all have different tastes. Though I recall you liking Bon Jovi but not Iron Maiden, which is just sick…. 😛

  2. Derek Landy

    The thing that stuns me is that it took Supernatural FIVE SEASONS to USE that song…!

  3. lizwc

    you know I was doing really well at feeling sympathy for you … “she hurt her arm! oh no!” “her fish died awwwww poor thing” “she hadn’t got any bandages at home…she had no sleep.. *weeps*”…. and then I read the words “watch the third episode of Supernatural’s fifth season” and my rampaging jealousy kicked right back in again.
    *dammit she gets to see Supernatural before I do*

    I am sorry about the fish, honest. and the arm… I hope you’re better soon.

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