Herbal tea was at the centre of a renewed wave of angry queueing outside Whitehall today, it has been revealed. Members of the public were seen shaking their heads, grumbling and frustratedly looking at their watches. In the meantime, the line of people swelled to over a hundred.
Steampunk Journal reported yesterday about the increase in illegal Herbal tea importation from the oilpunk alternate reality. Since the creation of the permanent bridge to their world, we have seen a steady stream of imports. Areas such as medicine, agriculture and manufacturing have all benefited from a swell of technological advancements. However, there are some exports that we simply don’t want. One of those is the sludgy rainbow coloured muck the oilpunks call Herbal tea.
Since its introduction into the British curriculum by the British Tea Company, tea is a subject that every steampunk is familiar with. Britain was built on it – it turns out in both realities – and remains the national and commonwealth drink of choice regardless of the weather or what sort of day you’ve had.
Speaking to Steampunk Journal, Defence Minister Lord Randolph Impetus said: “We’ve seen a rise in the amount of people gathering outside Whitehall to lodge their distress at the amount of illegal importation of Herbal Tea. While we feel that their argument is justified, there’s simply too much tutting and frowning going on. To that end, we’ve called in the armed forces to repel them and prevent any escalation of their aggression.”
The general consensus between the people picketing Whitehall was that there’s no place for Herbal tea in a steampunk world. We approached a lowly woman and asked her for her thoughts. She said: “Eeh, dearie, you don’t want to know my thoughts or it’ll make you bleed out of your eyes. But this here Herbal tea business is just too much, though. The things I’ve seen and the things I’ve done to make a bit of money. It puts bread on the table though. 12 kiddies I’ve got at home to feed and I can’t do that with this here Herbal rubbish. If I gave that to my kiddies they’d start protesting about climate change, living in a tree to stop a forest being knocked down and collecting crystals before you know it. No, dearie, The British Tea company have paid me to line up here and object to the illegal conduct of a minor few who are spoiling it for the rest of us. How am I supposed to enjoy The British Tea company’s new exotic blend of Masala Chai when people are stewing nettles to drink?”
Sympathy for the nation
The armed forces have been mobilised and are ready to intervene. The Queen has been notified and has given notice that she supports the people’s choice to drink proper tea. However, she will use whatever force is necessary if the crowd make any mess or are impolite to civil servants.