Tipping the beaver

A quick history lesson. Before you roll your eyes, don’t worry… it’s not going to be one of those boring, fact-heavy stories…

Because I’ve done very little research, so my retelling is going to be wildly inaccurate.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Today’s the 16th of December.

(I know… confirming the date. Do I know how to start a story or what?)

It’s also the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party – where a bunch of colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded several English boats and dumped hundreds of tea chests into the harbour.

(“Bunch”, “several”, and “hundreds” – told you I wasn’t digging deep.)

The “party” was in protest to the British Parliament who had lowered the “tea tax” – but only for the East Indian Company, practically giving it a monopoly on the US tea market.

(In fact, the East Indian Company’s costs were so low, their tea was cheaper to buy than black market, illegally smuggled tea)

“This is Taxation Tyranny! We shall not stand for it”, some of the colonists may have shouted.

“Balls to this. Who’s up for a Starbucks?”… I’m almost positive they didn’t.

So as three tea-laden ships – the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver – arrived in Boston, the colonists kicked off, demanding the tea be returned to England. 

When the Governor refused, the “tea party” began…

The value of the tea tipped into the harbour?

$18,000.

(Or $1,700,000 in today’s money)*

* You bet your right butt cheek I Wikipedia’d that.

We Brits, outraged at the destruction of our most precious export, retaliated the only way we know how – by going “Ally McBeal” and making a law – the Coercive Acts, which:

  • Shut down the Boston port, meaning nothing could get in or out 
  • Formally established British military rule in Massachusetts
  • Forced colonists to house all the British Troops
  • Made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America

The point should be obvious…

DO NOT FUCK WITH OUR TEA.

What happened next will shock you…

(Probably. I don’t know. To be honest, I got bored, so I watched YouTube for a bit. I bet it’s interesting though… you should Google it.)

The takeaway?

I’m not sure. Let me think…

1) People care more for some things than for others. Some things are worth fighting – even dying – for.

Finding things your audience REALLY cares about is probably something worth doing.

2) Coming up with subject lines is easy when your story contains the word “beaver”.

3) Seriously. Do NOT fuck with our tea.

4) Life’s unfair. Sometimes you’ll see competitors getting an unfair advantage that propels them three places above you on the ladder.

Maybe they get handed a premium course for free (yes, the same one you saved up for months for!)…

Maybe they get the pick of the best gigs in a FB group you’ve been in for years…

Yeah, it’s a bit shit, but that’s life.

Like the colonists, you might not be able to change the way things work but…

You can ALWAYS control how you react.

And you never know where that might lead…

As I said, I didn’t dig too deep into this, so I don’t know what came next for the colonists. 

I’m guessing everything sorted itself out and they went back to starting their day with a fresh pot of Earl Grey and a selection of cucumber sandwiches before standing to sing a rousing rendition of “God Save The King”.

I might be wrong though…

John Holt