I have a long and tortured history with bubble tea.
If you don’t know what bubble tea is, it’s best explained as the following: it’s pure, concentrated evil disguised as a cold, exotically flavored drink sold at overpriced hipster cafés where people say things like ‘Oh, that band? Well, I liked them before they were popular, but they’re too mainstream now’ or ‘I just got a new pair of toms last week…’
Here’s a visual:
Here’s a more accurate representation:
Once upon a time, I had no idea what bubble tea was, and lived in ignorant bliss, naïve and unaware of the evil that surrounds us. Oh, how times have changed.
Last summer, I was invited on a seemingly innocent outing with some friends. We went for lunch, we went shopping at cliché souvenir stores, and we had a jolly old time, or whatever. Then, my friend suggested going to go get some bubble tea. “What’s bubble tea?” I asked. From the looks on their faces, I might as well have said, “We should go steal lollipops from children then sell them for cash!”
Next thing I knew, I was being dragged to the bubble tea place. This was the first time I’d ever laid my eyes on bubble tea. Here’s a dramatic reenactment:
Ignoring the foreboding sense of evil that was oozing out of every pore of the bubble tea and determined to prove myself to my friends, I took a massive gulp.
Here’s where things started to go wrong. First of all, I made a few fundamental mistakes:
1. I ordered red bean flavored bubble tea, which tastes like overripe oranges, moldy bread, and lint.
2. I believed that the ‘bubble’ part of bubble tea meant that the tea itself was carbonated. I did not realize that ‘bubbles’ mean actual, gelatinous, intrusive, totally SOLID tapioca bubbles. Silly me.
3. In accordance with my flawed assumption above, I didn’t see a problem with taking a massive, forceful sip of the bubble tea.
What happened next is this: ten tapioca bubbles the size of marbles lodged themselves in my throat and I started laughing and crying and choking all at the same time.
Seeing my distress, one of my friends started trying to perform the Heimlich on me. This just made the entire situation worse, as his version of the Heimlich consisted of him shaking me violently, then forcefully hitting my back. Eventually, I was able to swallow, but we ended up getting kicked out of the restaurant for causing a ruckus.
I was mortified, of course, but eventually I forgot about the whole incident. That is, until about a week ago. I was hanging out with Annabel when she suggested that we go grab some ‘bubs tea’ (an annoyingly endearing nickname for such a dangerous substance) before we went home. I instantly froze up, having flashbacks to the last time this had been suggested. So. Much. Tapioca.
But, then I swallowed my sensibilities, and reasoned against my better judgement. ‘Alex, you’re being ridiculous. It’s just bubble tea. What’s the worst that could happen? Besides, that whole episode was over a month ago!’
So, I went, thinking that everything would be completely normal and fine and that I was probably overreacting.
I was wrong.
We got to the restaurant and Annabel ordered whatever it was that the guy behind the counter recommended, as she usually does (today it happened to be ‘Macha Vanilla Wintermelon Shake’), and I just said ‘same’ so as not to look ignorant in front of all of the hipsters (also because the menu was like ten pages long and I didn’t have the energy to look through all of it, being a bum and all. Besides, I didn’t really care as long as it wasn’t red bean again).
So we waited, made awkward conversation with some hipsters (“So… um… like… what’s your favorite kind of pillow pet?”), etc. Finally, the moment was upon me- my second encounter with bubble tea.
I stared at it. It stared back. It looked all innocent, downright delicious even, sitting there in all of its frosty glory. My hand trembled, I took a straw, and…
The fishing bubble tea LITERALLY EXPLODED all over me, Annabel, and the cashier.
The logical explanation for what happened is that because the drinks are pressurized, so when I tried to break the plastic seal on top of the bubble tea, I hit it a bit too forcefully, causing an imbalance of pressure blah blah science blah and then it exploded.
The ACTUAL explanation is that the bubble tea KNEW that I had previous bad experiences with its kind and plotted against me.
Either way, next time someone invites me to get bubble tea, I’m going to retreat and hide myself under the nearest table.
A Brief Note:
When I was writing this blog post I was trying to figure out what a hipster would say, and as I don’t have many hipster friends, this was proving to be quite difficult. I ended up asking my friend Matt, and I wanted to include his suggestion somewhere in this post because I found it really funny even though I actually didn’t end up using it. So, here it is.
"so I was riding my fixie when my flannel shirt snagged in the spoke and it got torn in two! but now I can wear it as an ironic protest against sweatshop labor without actually agitating for any real change."
Brief Note part 2:
The original version of ‘yum yum bubble tea’ was not made by me, and can be seen here: http://americanlink.deviantart.com/art/Yum-Yum-Bubble-Tea-81704597
Brief Note part 3:
sorry this post took so long to get up, my curse that I mentioned in the last blog post struck again- the software that I use to do my drawings wasn't working... I tried to use internet software to do it instead, but I turned out looking like this:
Anyway, the point is it took me forever and a week to solve the problem because I'm technologically incompetent.