BOSTON, Massachusetts - Facing a double digit drop in sales, the boiling-mad chief executive of America's predominant tea purveyor has filed a suit aimed at tea party protesters on the grounds of misrepresentation.
Craig Lipton said his family started the Great American tea company more than a century ago in Scotland, a small town about 20 miles South of Boston, Massachusetts.
Under the slogan "straight from the tea garden to your tea pot," the enterprise flourished, and the Liptons soon dominated the U.S. market, and remained successful - until recently, anyway.
"Sales of Great American teas have suffered a steep decline - nearly twenty percent, in fact," said Lipton. "And who's to blame? Over-caffeinated tea party activists, and they don't even drink tea at their protests! They drink coffee!"
He said that his company's declining sales can be traced back to true, blue, dyed-in-the-wool tea aficionados - who suspect what the activists are really brewing is trouble.
"Tea drinkers believe that the protesters are out of touch with reality, that they create an atmosphere steeped in hostility. Consequently, many tea-drinking Americans have begun to worry what other people may be thinking about them when they are waiting in the checkout line."
Average, everyday Americans, that is, like Beezus Judah of West Chuycestershire, Massachusetts, who explained.
"I had just finished placing the contents of my grocery basket on that marvellous little conveyor that they have," he recalled, "when I noticed the lady in front of me carefully inspecting my selections. She took one look at those tea bags and shot me this glance, and then I saw the cashier - she was glaring at me over her spectacles.
"I just couldn't go through with it," said Beezus Judah, tearfully recounting the event. "I had to put back the tea.
"I did return to retrieve it later pretending to be someone else," he said candidly. "I had to. I hope no one noticed because, to be completely honest with you, I am the Great American tea and cookie man in these parts.
"Much like politics, I prefer my cookies round and soft, or at the very least with no sharp edges. Oreos are nice too, even though they are not soft, because they are covered with those fancy patterns - on both sides, I might add - and it's not so easy to find cookies like that these days.
"I also have a chocolate cupcake fixation. First, I must remove and discard that annoying white spiral, and then I am free to nibble at the chocolate top. I savor every last morsel, then suck out the creamy white bit with a straw - but no ordinary straw, mind you, one of those with the accordion neck that you can bend every which way - and then - and only then - can I enjoy the chocolatey goodness of the delightful sponge cake.
"Last, I carefully gather up the remaining crumbs along with the discarded white spiral, and place them in a sealed envelope which I mail to mylsef."
While experts attribute this kind of discussion forum tea party commentary to the theanine (which is said to have psychoactive properties) naturally present in Lipton's teas, trying to explain similarly outrageous claims made by radical blue-collar conservatives at their tea parties is no easy feat.
Some say Lipton's misrepresentation suit is misguided, and should instead target white-collar conservatives, like tea party organizers who own insurance and phone companies that stick it to hard-working, patriotic Americans in rural areas - then run advertisements featuring aspiring middle-class American actors on Deere John tractors.
Lipton said he wants to make tea a popular and approachable drink for everyone, but that's just not possible when Americans view tea parties as havens for real-life characters even loopier than Alice's Mad Hatter or Mary Poppins' uncle Albert, who routinely held tea service in mid-air.
As Poppins is not presently expected to crash any Great American tea parties, perhaps activists could at least temper the tannic astringency of their rhetoric with a spoonful of sugar.