Friday, October 16, 2009

The Mounds and the Furry

The call came at 3:00 AM. You’d be surprised how often the HoseMaster’s phone rings at 3:00 AM. Mostly that’s because my phone number is one digit off from 1-800-WETSPOT. So I answered it the way I usually do, “Hello, and welcome to the home of dirty laundry and fine wine, where it’s all about the soil.” Someone with a Norwegian accent asked for me. But Norwegians on 800 numbers are as common as Republicans at whorehouses so I didn’t think a thing about it. “Speaking,” I said. “Are you sitting down?” “No, genius, it’s three in the morning; I’m practicing on my pogo stick.” “You’ve been awarded the Nobel Prize in Wine Blogging.”

Sure, the Nobel was something of a foregone conclusion, but I still thought the call might be a hoax. And I do have a friend who does a killer Liv Ullman impression (his Liv Ullman reading Frost is hilarious—not the poet, the frozen water). But once I confirmed that it wasn’t a crank call I dropped what I was doing, stopped my brilliant work on HoseMaster of Wine, and began working on the acceptance speech I am required to give in Oslo. So I apologize for being away so long. Rumors that I was either unconscious on a hotel room floor or pregnant with the love child of David Letterman are but half-truths. But it was lovely to be missed.

I’m not supposed to do this, but I’m going to share with my loyal band of readers (well, not so much a band as a septuplet) a sneak preview of my Nobel acceptance speech. I go on right after Obama and right before the guy who invented twist ties.

“Members of the Nobel committee, honored guests, fellow Nobel Laureates, it is an honor to be here in beautiful Oslo, Norway. It’s so cold my kippers are frozen solid. It’s so cold I saw a squirrel warming his nuts on a barbecue. It’s so cold the corpse of Trygve Lee voted in favor of Global Warming…”

“It was Alfred Nobel who invented Jimmy Walker and made it possible for me to say that winning this prize is Dyn-O-Mite!”

“When it comes to Wine Blogging I stand on the shoulders of giants. And they’re pretty annoyed with the view. I walk in the footsteps of the real pioneers of Wine Blogging. Men like WineChump, who was the first blogger to solicit free samples from wineries and had the courage and foresight to never publish a bad review; WineChump, who accepted advertising on his blog only if it included the word “frottage;” WineChump, who expanded the very idea of a Wine Blog by writing about his own struggles with alcoholism and vocabulary. And there are so many others whose contributions are incalculable—Dr. Beano and his endless flatulence, 1WineDouche and his tireless self-promotion in the face of severe personality deficiency, In Vino Vanitas and her quest to make the wine world safe for her taste alone… These are the role models of all Wine Bloggers, and no wine blog is empty of their influence.”

“…and so I said to Robert Parker, “Slim, you need something that your readers can hold on to, and I’m not talking spare tires. Wine reviewing is like fish, without scales the damn things don’t make sense. Maybe a 100 point scale would work. It’s stupid, but I think your readers will take to it…”

“I believe in Wine Blogging. I think that wineries, perhaps the entire wine business, would vanish if Wine Blogging ceased to exist. Sure, there were wineries and a wine business for centuries before bloggers, but it was meaningless and vapid. It is because of the rise of Wine Bloggers that the business is thriving today; that the quality of wines has never been better is directly linked to the vision and talent of Wine Bloggers. This is why it is not the responsibility of Wine Bloggers to have any knowledge or experience of wine before they start a blog. Knowledge and experience are red herrings, something you Norwegians are familiar with I’m guessing, they only hinder a Wine Blogger’s ability to get to the truths about wine. And anyone who proclaims that the only Wine Bloggers worth reading are the ones who know about wine, have studied wines their entire lives, have devoted years and years to tasting and understanding wine, is an idiot. It behooves the wine industry to study bloggers, not vice-versa.”

“Sure, I’ve been threatened. What Nobel Laureate hasn’t? Faulkner was threatened by a movie studio mogul with making a movie about Jane Russell and a Yeti called ‘The Mounds and the Furry.’ Faulkner didn’t flinch. Doris Lessing was threatened with a Richard Simmons makeover, Doris didn’t flinch. Jose Saramago was threatened with a daily visit from a Jehovah’s Witness, but the old Walleyes didn’t flinch—that I could see, I may have been on his wrong side. So when wineries and winemakers threaten the HoseMaster, I remember Faulkner and Lessing, I look the other way. And I remember Saramago, I look both ways…”

“The Nobel Prize means I will be able to continue my work in the great glare of the public spotlight. It means that truth and comedy mean something in the wine business, even if there isn’t any. It means that I can replace my shoddy old tastevin with this shiny new medallion!”


Samantha Dugan said...

Congratulations HoseMaster Sir! Such good news, alarming but good...leaves me wondering whose ballot box you had to stuff but, I am thrilled for you! Oh, and by the way, "Nice big font you have there kid"..

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

My font swells for you.

I think I'll leave the ballot box stuffing line alone...

I adore you.