Mike Mesterton-Gibbons


Storm In A Teacup

Should oh be long or short in “scone”? At tea
This question’s apt to vex a Brit. The long-
Oh backers highlight that the OED
Reads long then short—although short isn’t wrong;
Macmillan puts it first. Scones raise a storm
Inside a teacup even if you are
Not fussed by how they’re said: a Devon norm
Adjudges spreading cream before the jar
That holds the jam is broached. The Cornish way
Enjoins the opposite. It brews a fight.
And even if you stay above this fray,
Can you be sure you’ll pour the tea out right,
Unmilked—or else the other way it’s done? …
Perhaps you’d rather coffee with a bun?

Mike Mesterton-Gibbons is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Florida State University. Early in 2022 he returned to his native England, where the contents of his Florida home still languish expensively in a huge storage unit. The adjacent unit warehouses donations to a thrift store. It offers a tempting proposition.