7. The Death Cupboard

Nobody takes my tea without my permission and lives.

That’s not to say I won’t share. I love sharing tea with friends, but woe to the fool who takes my tea without my consent!

All right, I’m exaggerating a little. I may not summon the full force of my mighty wrath if you take my tea, but I’ll certainly be a little irritated.

It’s not that I mind people drinking my tea. To be honest, I’m secretly pleased when people ask for tea; it’s always a pleasure to serve a fellow tea-drinker. It’s that I feel vaguely insecure when my possessions vanish without warning.

At the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I moved into a house with seven other young men and immediately realized my tea was in danger of falling into the wrong hands—by which I mean any hands that weren’t mine. I also had baking supplies and coffee and an emergency stash of ramen noodles, all of which would become public property unless I did something to defend them.

I promptly annexed a kitchen cupboard and filled it with my eatables and drinkables. But what was to keep bandits from raiding my cupboard and carrying off my cherished tea? I gave the problem considerable thought and devised an ingenious solution.

I put up a sign.

Well, that was a mistake.

Several of my housemates and a number of visitors made a point of opening my cupboard just to annoy me. It became known as the Death Cupboard. However, even though the cupboard was opened regularly, my plan was sort of a success. No one took my tea without asking permission.

Since death apparently wasn’t a convincing enough penalty to keep people from opening my cupboard, I later revised the sign to read, Adam’s Cupboard. You open it, Adam unfriends you on Facebook. –The Management.

Well, that didn’t work either. People continued to open the Death Cupboard and I never had the heart to unfriend them. No one took my tea, though, so I guess I can’t complain.

The people who opened the Death Cupboard were quick to point out they didn’t die. Little do they know the day of their doom is coming. They opened Adam’s Cupboard, and they will die.

Eventually. You know, in sixty or seventy years.

When that day comes, I’ll shake my old gray head and mutter, “Ah, if they hadn’t opened the Death Cupboard back in the fall of ’09 they might still be alive today.”

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