No, it wasn't the man who walks around by the cash registers chanting loudly – I’m used to him. And this particular Sainsbury’s is in Camden, so the punks and goths and other "peoples of interesting attire" are pretty standard.
What could be considered somewhat less than standard were the purchases of the man behind me in the queue. As I stood waiting for disorganised woman infront of me struggling to pay and put her shopping in bags at the same time, I couldn’t help but check out the items about to be purchased by the man behind me as he put them on the converyor belt thingy.
There were three bags of dog food, which isn’t strange. Maybe he has three dogs and they don’t like to share. And as he put his box of peppermint tea bags on the belt thingy, I thought to myself “mmm, peppermint tea. I should get some of that, now that I’m no longer afraid of herbal teas”. And then he put a second box on, and I thought to myself “I bet there’s a special. How annoying that I didn’t pick up some for myself”.
And then he added a third box. And a fourth. And a fifth. And that is when I began to think “man, that’s a freaking lot of peppermint tea”. And then he added a sixth box. And then seventh and eighth.
That, my friend, is a lot of tea. Now, I do understand the need to stock up on something when it's a good deal. I'd do it myself if I had any storage space whatsoever.
Now, each box has 40 tea bags. That means that this man was going to make 320 cups of peppermint tea.
Why so much tea? Is he an addict? Does he have a weird fetish? Is he under the impression that they are going to stop making peppermint tea? Because I’m pretty sure they’re not. Is he going to a tea party? A massively huge tea party with hundreds and hundreds of guests? What is the deal with this? Is he sending the tea to a person living in a country that has outlawed peppermint tea? Is he a herbal tea smuggler?
My lingering thought was that he was going to attempt an overdose, and I was more concerned than anything else. I really didn’t want to have this man’s peppermint tea suicide attempt on my conscience, so I did a bit of research when I got home.
A very handy website about health and wellness and what have you had the answer:
Although there are no cases of Peppermint overdose on record, pure menthol can be fatal in doses of as little as 2 grams, although individuals have survived dosages as high as 8 to 9 grams (about 2 teaspoonfuls). If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.
Well, that’s a relief. But still, what’s the deal with all the tea?
Truly, this is one of the great mysteries of our time.