I came across this tea during a trip to the mountains the other day, in a dingy grocery store. It was sitting next to several dusty cans of Milo. I couldn’t resist buying a packet.
A few days later, when I mentioned this tea to a friend of mine, she said the brand is named after a real person, John Horniman, who lived in the 19th century.
In addition to tea, Mr. Horniman has a museum in southeast London named after him.
Its exhibits? Stuffed animals.
Why am I writing about this? Because the name cracks me up. Call my mind dirty or adolescent, but I can’t keep a straight face whenever I come across a Hornimans tea – and now a museum too.
Not everyone thinks like me of course. A friend of mine told me she has known this brand for a while, but never thought of it that way. She was kind of disappointed with herself, she said, though I don’t know why. If someone were to be disappointed, it should have been me for the silliness that permeates me.
Then again, I love the taste of silly. A bit of the old Looney Tunes every day keeps anxiety at bay.
So there you have it. Hornimans. An adolescent man’s tea. For those moments when you just can’t take a cold shower.
A friend of mine came up with that one. I can’t take credit for it, even though I would like to. It’s a great slogan.
To put this Hornimans post in context, let me leave you with what another friend of mine said regarding the name. He said it’s better to be called Mr. Horniman than Mr. Hardick… who is a real life school teacher in Australia.
Yeah, this post just keeps getting classier.
But there’s a point to all this. Think of the parents who took their children to school to receive an education that would prepare them for life’s challenges. Being in Mr. Hardick’s class must have surely been an awkward situation. It must have raised some eyebrows.
Talk about being totally unaware of the context. Entering a high-school teaching career with a surname like Hardick is like joining the seminary school and being called Bugger.
Father Bugger blesses you, child.
Not a good idea.
Hornimans is a different case thankfully. It’s a tea brand. No one is getting hurt there.
Bottom line? Words matter. Whether serious and elaborate, or silly and adolescent, they have an effect. We may be quick to poke fun at people whose names sound odd, and there is a limit to how far we can take it, but there also has to be a sense of awareness regarding one’s own name and circumstances.
So mind what you say and be aware of how you present yourself. What comes out of your mouth next time you open it may help someone suss you up in ways you wouldn’t expect.