It was galling enough to watch our lionesses being recently mauled, in true errant-penalty English style (good to see they’ve learned something from the chaps!), by the USA women’s football team. But when the redoubtable US striker, Alex Morgan, celebrated her goal with apparent mockery of true English style (by not only miming the act of drinking that sacred English institution, a cup of tea, Sir!, but daring, by Jove!, to stick out her Yankie pinkie while she did so!) and simultaneously cocked a metaphorical snook at our nation of noble tea-drinkers, that nation grew apoplectic and nearly choked on its collective Earl Grey. And the ripples from that cup of tea continue to radiate out through the Twittersphere.Time for tea

The Baron, on the other hand, is merely intrigued by Ms. Morgan’s signal failure of proper tea-drinking etiquette. You know, the pinkie thing. Not in the sense of ridiculing old John Bull. We have recently, after all, rather invited that. But simply insomuch as the sporting young lady has completely misrepresented the true Englishness manner of tea drinking, casting it aside like tea chests into a Boston harbor. For not even the most reckless or wilful of debutantes would ever make the heinous error of sipping her Darjeeling with little finger outstretched. It is, you see, considered vulgar, along with adding the milk before the tea has brewed, swirling instead of stirring, grasping the bowl of the cup, sipping from the spoon, looking into the tea cup instead of over it, slurping and, most heinous of all, dunking!

These tea-drinking faux pas and aberrations are, indeed, something one might expect of an American gal, not a true English gentlewoman. And so, Miss Morgan, I might dare to suggest that, whilst it would be errant of The Baron not to extend his own little finger in congratulations on your exceptional performance, in terms of tea-drinking celebration, you are a long way from winning the cup.

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