Categorized | Opinion

We Don’t Like It Hot!

By Otis Griffin

Otis Griffin poseThe ice house at Bolton was a gathering place in the communities many years ago.
Everyone absolutely must have ice for their ice box, or a Sunday afternoon homemade ice cream picnic.
Neighbor, not very many know and certainly can’t remember, but ice initiated a war over two hun’ert years ago.  This skirmish is well documented in the history books.  There was a community way up north, called ‘Baww-stun, Masssee-two-setts’.  I don’t rightfully know the exact location, but I think it’s the other side of Scott’s Hill and possibly Idaville.
This was so long ago, we weren’t called the United States of America.  All I know is what I read as I was not there, mind you.
The communities were called ‘colonies’ and there were thirteen, a baker’s dozen.  Well, these folks overseas thought they owned everything and lived across this big lake.
A huge battleship floated over here, packed full with foreigners who decided to have a big party celebrating their kingdom.  That foreign country had kings, queens, jacks, a prince or two, plus some princesses back ’en.  I understand we have some queens now, but they have been in a closet or corncrib for many years, and just now coming out.
Friends, these folks we didn’t even know, had been in a war over some red and pink roses for quite a few years.  It was so monstrous, they termed it, ‘The War of the Roses’.  Probably similar to the Battle of Shiloh.  Well, these uninvited visitors or dictators, wanted to throw a ‘tea party’ in “Baww-stun”.  I assume all the Native Americans were asked if they would like to dance and sing at this party.
As a matter of fact, the foreigners brought the tea.  But, there was a little problem.  Instead of being neighborly, the aloof visitors decided to “tax” all the tea drinks.
That wasn’t very neighborly or friendly, just coming over here and taxing the ‘pore’ homesteaders.
As I understand it, the self appointed kings got with the ‘pore’, working, common folks for this tea party, but the refreshment was going to “hot tea”.  No ice, no lemon, no sugar.  This didn’t set well with these homesteaders.  These future Southerners politely informed these foreigners, “we ain’t a drinkin’ no tea, unless it’s sweet iced tea, with a little lemon.”
One of the kings told our kindred, “well, we aristocrats drink hot tea in a stylish (coffee) cup.”  My great, great, great granddaddy told ’em, “I don’t care if you drink hot tea out of a slop jar, we ain’t a drinkin’ no ‘hot tea’ as we got to have us some ice.”
These folks were dressed funny with pistol-legged, flaring out britches and a belt of sea grass string.
High, wading, shiny, black boots up to the knees with little chains across the arch and sissy, high heels.
Most had on a starched, funeral parlor shirt with the collar turned up and a black thin tie, pinned with a hog ring.
They paraded around in long, black split-tailed jackets similar to the leader of an orchestra.
They had whitish, gray wigs with pigtails that had been drug through a Martha White flour sack  When they scratched their itching head, dust flew everywhere.  Now my ancestors couldn’t tell the diff’rence between queens and kings, dressed like that.
No one could understand these foreigners anyway.
They figured the hot tea burned their tonsils, adenoids and gizzard.  This scalding liquid scorched their vocal cords and that’s why they had their head up in the air.  Sucking air, trying to breathe.  Very simple, as they couldn’t talk right, anyway.
What transpired then, I’m not real sure.  But, it seems all this tea was loaded on a big boat out in the water.
Well, some folks drug the boat to shore.
The Americans got riled and told them one more time, “I ain’t a drinkin’ no hot tea.”  “If you ain’t got no ice, forget it.”  The enemy by now got real smart-alecky.  They said, “we OWN you, and you will follow orders from the Queen.”
The ship hit the sand as this instigated appropriate action.  My fellow Americans boarded the boat and threw every box of tea off the fishing dock and out into the creek.  “Dear John, they done sent yo’ saddle home.”  Now we Americans ‘gonna’ have us a Revolutionary Party!!!  Y’all go back home!!
This was the famous “Baww-stun” Tea Party back a long time ago.  Beloved, that is the main reason us country Southerners love sweet iced tea, with lemon.  We fought and won the battle!
Drink Up for Your Rights, as Long as There is ICE — GLORY!
— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.

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