Monday, March 9, 2009

No Time for Tea; Damn You, Bernie!

© 2009 Leighann Lord
In this economy, once thriving businesses are closing and "For Rent" signs are sprouting up like weeds. Big names are shutting their doors: Circuit City, Linens ‘n’ Things, The Harlem Tea Room. Okay, the latter wasn’t a big name per se, but if you’d ever had the pleasure of tasting their scones you’d feel the loss as acutely as I do.

It was with scones in mind that I made a lunch date with one of my friends. We were looking forward to catching up with each other and what better place than The Harlem Tea Room? It was intimate and comfy. They boasted a wide variety of tea and, of course, scones! It was a bit of schlep for me, getting there from Queens, but it was worth it. In fact, it was another friend from Queens who first introduced me to The Tea Room. She sent me one of their post cards and wrote, "Leighann, I saw this place and thought of you."

I was so impressed that I shared it with everyone. It was the perfect spot for lunch with the girls. A couple of years ago I had private tea party there for my birthday. It was delightful. Scones make great birthday presents.

While looking for a parking spot, I drove by the place where The Harlem Tea Room was supposed to be. I didn’t completely comprehend the "For Rent" sign in the window. "That can’t be right," I thought to myself. I checked the address on my Black Berry and called the restaurant. An automated voice, that had no regard for my feelings, informed me that the number I had dialed was "no longer in service." She mind as well have said, "No scones for you, Leighann."

My friend and I chose another place for lunch. The food was good, the conversation was great, but it wasn’t The Harlem Tea Room; and, of course, there were no scones.

On the drive home, the blame game began. Was it my fault? I hadn’t been to The Harlem Tea Room in a while. Had my lack of recent patronage contributed to their closing? Did my absence affect their bottom line? Was The Harlem Tea Room another casualty of the economy? The mortgage crisis? Bernie Madoff?

When in doubt, Uber Ponzi Schemer Bernie Madoff is my Go To Guy for all things wrong with the economy. George Bush had Al Quaeda; I have Bernie Madoff. If he could pull off a $50 billion dollar global swindle that fooled our "best and brightest" economic minds then I’m sure he somehow factors into the demise of The Harlem Tea Room and my subsequent scone deprivation.

My husband, knowing my afternoon plans, had asked me to bring home a few scones for him. I joked that they wouldn’t survive the trip. Ha-Ha-Ha. But when I arrived home scone-less it was suddenly not so funny. As I gave him my grief stricken account of finding The Harlem Tea Room closed, my Husband went from wanting to check my car for crumbs to holding my hand and telling me everything was going to be okay. "We’re gonna get through this," he said.

"How?" I whined.

"We’ll sue Bernie Madoff?"
he said.

"Bloody brilliant!"

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