What you should never say to a sweet tea drinker.

This past Friday I was out running errands in the sweltering summer heat about an hour from home . . . and an hour from delicious, ice cold, homemade sweet tea.

Not wanting to wait the hour to quench my thirst, I pulled into the drive-thru of a local chain sandwich shop and asked if they sold sweet tea.

Now, I knew what the answer was going to be. You see, I live in an area of the country that is a barren wasteland when it comes to sweet tea, so finding an establishment in my area that serves sweet tea is like pecking for a needle in a haystack.

But this Friday I thought I’d ask anyway, hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

I wasn’t.

The reason I’m sharing this story with you is because of the conversation I had with the order taker on the other side of the drive-thru speaker box. We’ll call him JJ.

Me: Do you guys have sweet tea?
JJ: What was that?
Me: Do you guys have sweet tea?
JJ: Can you repeat that?
Me: Do you guys have sweet tea?
JJ: I’m sorry, one more time?
Me: Do you guys have sweet tea?
JJ: Do we have sweet cheese?
Me: No. Do you guys have sweet tea?
JJ: Oh, no, but . . .

Now, I’ll stop the conversation here momentarily. Because, as any fan of sweet tea knows, whenever you ask someone if they serve sweet tea, and if their answer is no, they always follow it up with the same suggestion.

JJ: . . . we do have regular tea and we have sugar you can put in it.

Nooooooo! That is not sweet tea!

It doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re in, it doesn’t matter what type of economic background the cashier or waitress is from, what their race, creed, or color happens to be, they all answer the same, just like JJ.

My advice to all of those working in the food and beverage industry is that if you don’t serve sweet tea, just say you don’t. Don’t try to remedy your restaurant’s lack of foresight to offer the best beverage on earth by telling customers they can just add sugar to plain tea. It reveals that you have no idea what sweet tea is and it is an insult to sweet tea drinkers everywhere.

So, next time you feel the urge to offer that your customer “just add sugar,” resist saying that and instead offer something equivalent like: “We have heaping ladles of sun-warmed mayonnaise mixed with NyQuil you can put in it.” Seriously, it would be the same difference.

 

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What do you do when your ideas for stories come faster than you can write them?

imageSilly me. Once upon a time (not too long ago), I feared that I would run out of ideas for stories to write. I no longer have that fear. Now what I fear is whether or not I will ever have the time to write them all.

In addition to the myriad of other stories I am preparing to write, I’ve just come up with two more stories in the last month alone, and I’ve already begun writing them (putting my other stories on hold).

These two new stories (and a synopsis for each) are below:

THE ISLAND

When a clandestine intelligence gathering team sneaks onto a small island under the cover of darkness, the simple mission goes horribly wrong. Only one man is left to complete the mission, however, the information that he was intending to gather pales in comparison to what he soon discovers is actually happening on the island.

REVOLUTION IN THE PARK

A strange man on a city park bench begins to draw the attention of countless people. No one dares approach the man because his actions are so strange, until one day a young boy breaks from the crowd and takes a seat next to the man.

(If interested, you can find a list of all my current–and future–projects here.)

So what say you? Do you have this problem of too many ideas and not enough time? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section about what you do when you encounter this predicament.

For the love of football and grammar.

Have you ever wondered which NFL team fanbase has the best or worst grasp of grammar? Me neither. But if you did . . . well, wonder no more!

I just happened to stumble across this fascinating article in the WSJ about the grammar skills of the fanbase of all 32 NFL teams.

“[Grammarly] reviewed 150 reader comments that were at least 50 words long from the news section of each NFL team website (12,728 total words, on average, per team).”

To find out where your team’s fanbase ranks, see the image below.

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