Greetings! The following is part of an interactive fiction project we’re running on Meh for April Fools Day. Feel free to join in, or, if you’re just shopping, ignore all this and scroll down to the features.
You thank the old man but politely decline his offer of the tea.
His eyes grow wide. He throws the extended mug into the air and smacks the other off the bench. You think for a moment you have offended him, but when he stands and looks at you, you can see that he’s smiling, a great wide excited smile.
“Yes! Finally! Someone who gets it! It’s awful stuff, isn’t it? Tea, I mean. It’s hot water wearing a perfume. Imagine you were promised a meal of chicken drumsticks and you were given only a pile of the bones which you were then instructed to suck in order to taste some vague essence of chicken. You’d throw the plate in your host’s face, would you not? For it is offensive! And that’s what tea is: offensive!”
The old man no longer looks at you. He paces speaking animatedly to himself.
“And what’s more offensive than that? Because I am a wise old man, it is expected that I drink tea! Surely I would never raise something as energizing and rich as coffee to my lips, the layman thinks. My nephew has the same problem. He works in a clocktower and everyone expects him to be stricken with some terrible deformity. But he’s a handsome young man! He just enjoys clocks and heights! It’s terrible the way we carry around our presuppositions.”
While he talks, you begin to scan the area for the talisman.