2 Sugars.

It must have been about 15 years ago now, sat in a chemistry class when the teacher asks “How many people have sugar in their tea?”. Most arms raised. “And how many of you have more than 2?” All hands but two remained.

I don’t remember her name, my memory says she’s ginger but I could just be making that up. The teacher approaches her first, water filled beaker in hand and says “You can’t have more than 2 sugars”. Now this wasn’t toned in the same sense as a parent telling their kids that they can’t have more than 2 sugars in their tea, this was toned in a way that made the statement factual.

“You like that last sip with all the sugar at the bottom, yes?”

I’m in the middle of a mostly silent “errrr” at this point, warming up the oils in my brain to get the pistons moving. The girl laughs, “I guess”. The teacher then goes on to explain that you literally cannot dilute more than 2 teaspoons of sugar in a cup of tea.

Bullshit. Fucking bullshit.

He hands two beakers with water within to me and the girl. We get the bunsen burners fired up and set the water down to boil. He gives us small bowls of sugar and a spoon, then makes his merry way to the front of the class to set things up in-front of everyone.

A few minutes go by as the water heats, the teacher is probably banging on about some science shit as filler, but I’m somewhere else at the moment, I’m in every kitchen I’ve ever made a tea, sat on every sofa I’ve ever drank one, and I’m wondering just what the hell sort of dark voodo he’s about to pry from the lifeless jaws of a shrunken head to convince me that 3 sugars won’t dilute.

The water boils and we’re instructed to turn off the burners and place the beakers down on a mat. We all add 3 teaspoons as instructed.


So I stirred, the girl stirred, we all stirred. Audience participation is over as the teacher holds his beaker up, tilting it around like he’s just proven a point. The girl sits slackjawed, hands trembling as she picks up her beaker  to examine it. She’s broken… everything she’s ever believed has just been washed away, the curtain drawn back, the rabbit in the hat, the moon landing, UFO’s and aliens. She thinks she’s just learnt something. There is sugar resting at the bottom of her beaker and she will live her life thinking that it’s normal.

My beaker remains clear. I say nothing.

For the next 15 years of my life, I think about this day and I have but one conclusion. Well, two I suppose.

The girl is an idiot, and the teacher doesn’t have sugar in his tea.

The reason I know this, is because I have an earlier memory of my grandfather adding sugar cubes to his coffee, followed by what must have been a thrilling conversation for all involved about how to properly stir a drink so that you don’t end up with residue at the end. Pretty sure my father was there, nodding in agreement, the clinky clanky sounds of progress. Fascinating.

The other reason that I know this, is because my flatmate doesn’t have sugar in his tea and one of two things happen whenever he makes me one.

1 – I ask if he’s put any sugar in it, because I can’t taste any.
2 – I ask if he’s put any sugar in it, because I can’t taste any.

They’re the same, because in one instance he does add sugar but just does a piss poor job of stirring, so it becomes a family friendly game of “Find the sugar, oh there it is, all in a single mouthful at the bottom of my cup, cheers”. The other, is because he didn’t add sugar. Perhaps it could be attributed to muscle memory, but it’s not like I put sugar in the tea’s of those who have none. I’ve literally never done that, ever. I have poured a bag of sugar into my cup thinking it was the sugar container though, not a big deal you might be thinking. Yeah, except after I’d sorted it out, I immediately did the exact same thing again.


If you’re wondering why I felt the need to take a picture of my stupidity, you have to understand that this was an incredibly rare event. I needed photograhpic proof of that more than I needed evidence of bigfoot. I’ll also be man enough to admit that I forgot to stir my drink ONCE, AND ONLY ONCE, in my memorable lifetime.

Hang on, where were we? Ah right.

I’ve been made many tea’s in my life, and I can always tell whether or not the person making the tea has any sugars in their own. I don’t know why anti-sugar folk are so inherintly bad at adding sugar to hot drinks, it’s like they plop the spoon about with such a lack of effort they’d have a hard time properly mixing milk into that motherfucker.

The girl, however. What an anomoly. She probably still has sugar in her tea and the poor thing can’t stir for shit. What makes it worse though is that I’m pretty sure I get a little bit angry, thinking of imaginary scenarios where she’s making someone a tea and they ask for 3 sugars, only to sprial into this second-grade lecture about how it’s not even possible.

Fuck you, chemistry teacher, and fuck you sugarless tea drinkers. You care only for yourselves.
Rise my brothers, rise.

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