the weekly

Loose tea costs lives

Do not drink before the patients,

Don’t look break-and-kettley,

Do not let the halt and lame

Spot your self-indulgent game.

No Typhoo; no Tetley.


Never mind the cuppa-that-cheers:

Not before the inmates, e.g.

Do not let the sick and ill

See your crazy caffeine thrill –

No Lipton’s Red; no PG.


Keep yourself in trim at all times,

Shun the party mood –

Do not let the still-diseased

See you looking very pleased

To hear the tea is brewed.


Grimace lest you’re caught out

With your silver linings –

A nurse must look both stern and pursed

As if she cannot quench her thirst

With Brooke Bond or with Twinings.


A sour demeanour in plain view

Is as powerful as krypton:

In the ledger she’ll be booked

If she looks, oh halfway hooked

Upon the leaf of Lipton.




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Loose tea costs lives

For the last three weeks, it transpired, three Leicester hospitals have banned the consumption of tea or coffee by nurses in public areas, because it looks as if they’re slacking.

22 October 2014


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