teabag illustration

The Teabag

“Drink me.”

“Drink meeee.”


“Why not?”

“Because. You’re stolen goods.”

“Oh pish posh. I’m just a teabag. And besides, I was there for the taking. Me and my friends, in a little bowl on that table. We weren’t for sale. We weren’t locked up. We were just sitting there. We were meant to be taken.”

“Not by me. You were meant to be served to the participants. Not to random people walking by.”

“To-mah-toe, to-may-toh. Doesn’t make a difference. In any case, it wasn’t you. Erfan did it. He swiped a bunch and gave one to you. So technically, you didn’t steal anything. It was a gift! Now go and boil some water and steep me.” 

“I know where you came from. It makes me complicit.”

“I’m a teabag! Not a sackful of cold hard cash!”

“A stolen teabag. Same difference.”

“So why did you keep me then? Why didn’t you put me back in the bowl?”

“I wanted to.”


“It was just awkward. And I didn’t want to embarrass anyone. Now hush, I need to get some work done.”

“It’s 3pm.”

“Yeah. So?”

“It’s tea time. Go put the kettle on.”


“So you can drink me! Stop asking silly questions.”

“I told you, I’m not drinking you. I’m not putting the kettle on, I’m not steeping you, I’m not drinking you.”

“I’ve been sitting on your desk for three months now. You either drink me, or you chuck me out.”

“I can’t throw you out. That’s wasteful. Look, I’ll drink you eventually, ok? I just have to pay for you first.”

“Ugh. Here we go again. I’m a teabag. A teabag. I’ve probably depreciated in value in the past three months. I cost zero dollars now. Stop having a conscience. Hey – where’re you going?” 

“I have a meeting.”

“Are you going to drink me after your meeting?”

“I smell coffee. Is that coffee?”


“Now you’re just hurting my feelings on purpose. Why are you drinking coffee when you can drink meeeee?”

“Because I felt like having coffee.”

“Do you know how much work went into making me? Those poor women, baskets slung over their hunched shoulders, harvesting the leaves under the hot sun… Are you just going to let me sit here for months on end, and allow all that hard work go to waste? Have you no compassion for those tea leaf pickers? It’s my destiny to be submerged in boiling hot water, to be accompanied by a biscuit or two. It’s my calling. Are you seriously going to take that away from me?”

“I had to fulfill the destiny of these coffee beans first.”

“If I had eyes I’d be rolling them backwards into my skull right now.”

“You don’t have a skull.”

“Oooooh where’re you taking me? Are you taking me to the pantry? You’re finally going to drink me, aren’t you? I knew it! Have you put the kettle on? Freshly boiled water, remember. 100°C, nothing less. That’s the only way I can release my full potential. All the flavour and all the nutrients. All the goodness.”

“I’m bringing you downstairs.”

“Wait. What? Downstairs? Why? What’s downstairs? The pantry is just down the corridor.”

“I’m going to the cafeteria to pay for you.”

“Oh my gosh. Are we still talking about this? I’m a freakin’ teabag. It’s been six months. More than six months, in fact.”

“You should be happy. I’m finally going to drink you. Fulfill your destiny. Isn’t that what you want?”

“Well, yeah… but really? All the way down to the cafeteria for a measly teabag? Just dunk me in hot water and be done with it already. Besides, why do you need to bring me with you? Can’t you just go down alone?”

“You’ll see.”

“Oh no. Please don’t tell me you’re going to make a full-blown confession. Are you gonna do that? Present me as evidence? ‘Exhibit A’? Please don’t embarrass yourself. You know they’ll think you’re crazy. Are you seriously going to jeopardise your career for this? Over me? A teabag?”

“Oh hush.”

“Hey, it’s dark here in your pocket. Full of lint, too. Do you ever go to the dry cleaners? Hey, I think there’s something wrong with the way you walk. Your gait. I’m getting dizzy in here. Motion sickness.”

“You don’t have a gut, or an inner ear. Or a nervous system. How can you get motion sickness?”

“I don’t need a gut. I have dried tea leaves shaking like crazy inside of me, and it’s making me sick. As far as I’m concerned, that’s motion sickness. Quit walking like a freak.” 

“Are all teabags as annoying as you?”

“No, because they don’t have to sit on a desk doing nothing for six months. Of all the people in the world, I had to end up with the one with a conscience the size of Russia. Wait – why are you taking me out of your pocket? Don’t throw me out! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean what I said! I wasn’t thinking straight! It was the motion sickness talking!”

“Oh shut it. I’m not going to throw you into the bin. Just hush.”

“Are you lining up at the cashier? Hey… I think I see my friends at the counter! There’s Rooibos! And Earl Grey! A bit snooty, that one. Hey, can you loosen your grip a bit? I can hardly see through your fingers. Wait – what are you doing? Are you putting me back in the tea caddy? Leave me here? I thought you were going to pay for – “

“Huh. That was lame. Pretending to take a tea bag and pay for it, when you had one in your hand all along. Who do you think you are, David Blaine?”

“Awwww you were scared, weren’t you? Scared I’d abandon you. You were pissing in your pants.”

“I don’t wear pants.” 

“Oooooh what’s that you’re carrying? Is that a mug of freshly boiled water?”


“Are you going to drink me?”


“Finally! If I had knees, I’d fall on them now and kiss the ground in gratitude!”

“You don’t even have a body. Let alone knees.”

“Aaaaahhhh…. boiling hot water….. such bliss…”

“You happy now? Destiny fulfilled?”

“Yup! What about you? Are you happy now? Paid for me and all that? Conscience clear?”


“You’re a funny person, you know.”

“Funny ha-ha, or funny weird?”

“Funny weird. You couldn’t bear the thought of drinking me – a measly old teabag – just because you didn’t pay for me. You hardly even touched me. And it wasn’t even you who ‘stole’ me. And it took you more than six months to ‘do the right thing’. Tell me – in those six months, did you honestly feel conflicted about me? Seriously?”


“Weirdo. I’ve never met anyone more bizzarre.”  

“It’s a matter of principle.”

“Principles, schminciples. Who cares about that in this day and age? Get with the programme, weirdo. What’re you reading?” 

“The news. Some big old government scandal. Embezzlement. Billions of dollars.”

“Oooh…. Do you think they’d drink tea from a stolen teabag?” 


“The government officials.” 

“What do you think?”


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