Back in, ooh, ‘94, when I was an annoying student, I was just getting into films that were a bit less mainstream, I had lots of cranky videotapes full of Hal Hartley’s The Unbelievable Truth and Simple Men and the like. There was this black-and-white Canadian film called Roadkill which I loved; a band’s singer disappears and a woman from his record company (played by Valerie Buhagiar) is sent to find him. That’s about it.
He’s gone on a road trip; occasionally we drop in on his wanderings. Wearing shades, he sits in the corner of a café and asks the waitress if she has tea.
“Sure,” she says, “We have mint, camomile…”
“No,” he says, driftily, “just ordinary…brown tea…”
My dad drinks his black, but there’s also green tea and, if you’re feeling really fancy, white, which is made from the yet-to-unfurl leaves or something. But white is also what you call black tea with milk. Except it’s brown, so I call it brown. Nobody ever knows what I’m talking about (except Thea, who just got tired of saying “What?”). Say it like Kathy Burke as Waynetta Slob: “It’s BRAAAHN.”
Some folks call it “builder’s tea”, which I suppose is like the American “trucker’s coffee”, which you get at the gas station. Anyway. Brown tea.)