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[Tidbits] My Cups Runneth Over


So. your whole life you’ve wanted nothing more than to become a
concubine in the Hareem of the Sultan. Play your cards right. and
you might become a wife. Cajole and entice and lure and manipulate
and love with impeccable taste. and you might become a favored wife.

Ah. to be intimate with the most absolute monarch on Earth. Imagine
living in the steppes of Central Asia. For the men. there were the
pleasures of galloping horses, getting drunk, killing and raping all
the while being imbued with feelings of tolerance and brotherhood.
Oxymorons were the joys of the privileged. Over roasted meats one
could indulge in the telling of riddles followed by hunting and
drinking and murder and lust. There was no greater glee than bedding
the wives and daughters of one’s enemies.

Becoming a member of the Sultan’s seraglio involved training and
education. It was not enough to be beautiful. you had to be
intelligent. And once accepted. you had to live through a pecking
order. enslaved to those that were there before you. your only
freedom from this early wretched life being those times when the
monarch called for you.

The domestic objects of the sultan’s palace were unique. Has anyone
ever visited Topkapi? It is tea-time. The morning has gone well.
Your lord is sated and contented. You have done well. You will not
have to return to the Castrati–the monsters without sex–who guard
the sultan’s women. It’s time for a cup of Constant Comment, or
Lipton’s, or Twining’s English Breakfast Tea. Today. the luxury of
choosing is yours.

But more important. you have your choice of cups from which to
drink. The blue one perhaps, laden with cabochon rubies and
turquoise. so intricate that its manufacture defies comprehension.
Or the ivory enameled one. criss-crossed with emeralds and rubies
and coral and topaz and more. a cup whose decorations produced such
a striking chromatic effect as to almost obliterate the original
shape of the item itself.

You reach for the ivory one. It’s your favorite. You are dazzled by
it. It is filled with tea and honey. You have reached the zenith of
your happiness. But here is the question. Taste is a very individual
thing. That one’s good looking. That one’s better looking. That
one’s the best. And so it goes. So. for you. or you. or you. Which
cup would you choose from which to drink that honeyed brew. Hmmm?

Go. Look. Make your choice. And let me know.

You know where. Home page: Left hand menu. Click on

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.

Catch you all next week.

Benjamin Mark