Small talk: A water menu, The Earl Grey, doctors (not) washing hands

Dinner Party Download

Kai Ryssdal: This final note today, a chance on a Friday to take a break from jobs and banks and more jobs, to enjoy the news that didn't quite make the headlines. It comes to us the same way it always does: courtesy of Brendan Francis Newnam, Rico Gagliano and the rest of the Marketplace staff.

Brendan Newnam: Matt Berger, senior web producer for Marketplace. What's your story?

Matt Berger: Well this week, there's been some buzz in the food world around a photo that was taken by a Wall Street Journal reporter, which shows a water menu from a fancy restaurant in Los Angeles.

Newnam: A water menu? What's a water menu?

Berger: It's kind of like a wine menu. It describes where the water comes from and what it tastes like.

Newnam: Tastes like what? It tastes like nothing! Isn't that what you want out of your water?

Berger: Well apparently there's a lot more to water than you and I know.

Newnam: So instead of a sommelier, do they have a plumber?

Rico Gagliano: John Haas, editor. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

John Haas: Earl Grey tea.

Gagliano: And why is that?

Haas: Well the tea company Twinings is changing the flavor of one of its most popular brands, and they're relaunching it as The Earl Grey. The Earl Grey.

Gagliano: Do people like it?

Haas: No, they hate it! They're saying it tastes like lemon cleaning products or dishwasher soap.

Gagliano: News for Twinings. Because you don't want to get on the wrong side of an Earl Grey drinker, let me tell you.

Haas: Absolutely not.

Gagliano: Your only chance is basically to run while they pull on their pristine white gloves. You are going to get an extended pinky to the face, my friend.

Newnam: Millie Jefferson, director of Marketplace. What's your story this weekend?

Millie Jefferson: There's a new study out with a message for doctors and nurses who failed to wash their hands: Think about your patients.

Newnam: Wait, isn't that what they're supposed to do anyway?

Jefferson: Well, it turns out that signs that encourage doctors to wash their hands to protect themselves aren't as effective as if the signs suggest that they wash their hands to protect their patients.

Newnam: I'm just alarmed that they need signs reminding them to wash their hands.

Jefferson: You would think that the people that are responsible for taking care of you would at least wash their hands.

Newnam: That's like a pilot with a sign that says, 'Pilot, remember to look out the window.'

Ryssdal: More where that came from, on Rico and Brendan's podcast. It's called Dinner Party Download.

About the author

Rico Gagliano co-hosts and co-produces Marketplace’s “Small Talk” segment.
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OSU alums adopted the same change as Earl Gray in referring to their university as The Ohio State University. The response of most people....we hated it.

Penn State alumni, class of '89

Your news about messing with Earl Grey is a little behind. Fortunately, Twinings has already acknowledged the consumer revolt and brought back Earl Grey Classic, with the traditional essence of bergamot, while still promoting the new lemony version. Or maybe they manufactured the revolt for publicity, like the Coke Classic episode of a few years back. After all, they already has Lady Grey, with orange and lemon added to the bergamot flavor, and Sunshine Grey, with "the light and refreshing flavour of zingy lemons." To see how Twinings is trying to use this to their advantage, visit their UK Web site at http://www.twinings.co.uk/.

Apparently Twinings never heard of "New Coke." Well, now they have their own "New Coke" story. Bravo, maties.

I hope Earle Grey has improved their Earl Grey tea, and not just re-branded it. I stopped drinking it 5 years ago as the quality seemed very poor compared to what it used to be.

Will they get me to plunk down more cash. I don't think so. I have found better alternatives that even cost less.


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