I quite understand why people choose to be communists or Australians or tattooed. I may not share your opinions, but I know why you have them and I would fight for you to be able to express them in public.
Obviously not to the death, though. Thereâ s no way I am going to die so that a green person can climb up a chimney and write â Gordonâ on it, for instance.
However, while I understand why people want to drive an electric car or cut the Queenâ s head off, and even why some people decide to emigrate to Spain, I do not understand why people continue to drink tea.
Recent figures show tea consumption is shrinking, especially among young people, yet Britain is still by far the largest consumer in the world per capita, with each person in the land drinking, on average, four cups a day. This is baffling.
I quite like a cup at around 5pm because this is â tea timeâ , but the figures suggest that many people are drinking it at â coffee timeâ as well. Some, since there is such a thing as â breakfast teaâ , must also be drinking it first thing in the morning. This is as mad as starting the day with a prawn cocktail â and it all has to stop.
First of all, asking for tea in someoneâ s house is extremely antisocial because, if you take it with milk and sugar, this is a complicated, four-ingredient request. Itâ s exactly the same as being offered a biscuit and saying, â Ooh, thanks, but actually Iâ d prefer a Sunday roast.â
Seriously. That means meat, potatoes and two veg. And there is no difference between this and tea, milk, sugar and boiled water. In fact, itâ s worse, because your host will have to find a teapot that hasnâ t been used since their wedding day and is at the back of a cupboard behind the equally dusty fondue set.
In fact, the only thing I hate more than people asking for tea is people who ask for a gin and tonic. Why canâ t you just have a beer like everyone else? Because now Iâ ve got to hunt down not just the gin and the tonic, but also...