Sweet Tea Soiree
Pro-sweet tea legislation shot down; God bless Rep. Noel!
State rep tried in vain to make it a misdemeanor for restaurants not to serve brewed sweet tea
In case you've missed it, another Atlantan has risen to greatness as a True American Hero, following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr., Maynard Jackson, Andrew Young and Francisco Cabrera.
His name is John Noel,he likes, running, tennis, water skiing and scuba diving.
Oh, yeah, and sweet tea.
So much so that he authored a bill that would have made it a misdemeanor of a "high and aggravated nature" for any Georgia restaurant that didn't serve brewed sweet tea.
The bill was filed on April Fool's Day, but it was no joke.
Criticism from the non-sweet tea-drinking mainstream media was swift, if you call waiting until April 10 to report on the story, as did David Grimes of the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune. His best line: "Why wasn't the death penalty suggested for this offense?"
We know sarcasm when we see it, just like we know cold tea sweetened at the table with packets of sugar -- and neither is tolerable.
A March 26 story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Noel came up with the ground-breaking legislation after being denied sweet tea in a Chicago Cracker Barrel -- no real surprise, except the CB logically would be your best bet in hostile environs outside the South. but then closer to home in an upscale Buckhead restaurant, the Blue Ridge Grill.
The AJC reported that the manager at the Buckhead establishment tried to make excuses about letting patrons sweeten the tea to their liking, but Noel's stipulation about sweetening the tea when it's brewed would have closed that lame-argument loophole and potentially sent the heartless wench of a manager to jail, where she clearly belongs.
Noel's message, regrettably, is somewhat mixed itself.
First this from The (Augusta) Chronicle on March 31: "I've introduced many serious bills as a freshman; this was No. 12. I thought we needed a little fun -- a long, tall cool drink of sweet tea, if you will. We are discussing important legislation, and I think we needed a little break. This provided us a little chuckle."
Hmmm, disturbing. ...
Then this from a story posted April 10 to miamiherald.com: ''This is about Southern cultural identity and choices. The truth is, we like our tea sweet.''
Better, John, better.
The dastardly Georgia Senate voted down the bill April 8, but clearly the freshman Democrat has a bright future and big things ahead. If a peanut-farming politician from Georgia can make it to Pennsylvania Avenue, why not a sweet tea-drinking statesman?
He's got my vote.         The bill's sponsors
Edited, produced and designed by Geoff LoCicero