Tea Set                                               Bruce Alley

MAC crew members have always been known for trying to find bargains to take home while on their trips.  (MAC treasure fills many an attic.) While on one of my trips to Tehran, I was tasked with finding a tea set.  I finally found a shop with a nice tea set and uttered the magic words that all languages know…“How much?” I was given an answer and realized that I was buying a simple brass tea set, not something inlaid with gold.  The next most known words I replied…“Too much.”  MAC crew members really do stand out like sore thumbs (no blending in with the locals here) - “You MAC crew, you can afford it!”  followed by “You thief, you take my money!”--- All hell broke loose. He was yelling at me waving a small curved knife; I was yelling at him waving my wallet.  The shop owner had to calm things down. “You two, enough!” “He insulted me!”  He’s trying to take my money (i.e. rip me off)” The shop owner insisted that we settle things. It became a matter of honor.  He “gave” me the tea set as a gift, to which I “gave” him money as a gift (at a little better price).  After a handshake, a hug, and a promise to see each other soon, I departed with my newly gained treasure. (It is still in the family today with my grown daughter). Aahh, the fine art of negotiations.


Bill Van Horn

9491 South Johnson Court 

Littleton, CO 80127


303-948-8435   work

303-596-3615   cell


USAFA Class of '74 - published a book of our experiences for our 40th reunion!



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