Sunday, October 4, 2009
The M.S. Conspiracy
A HoseMaster of Wine Pulp Fiction Classic
Chapter 2 An Expensive Place to Die
Veronica had walked out of my office in her K-J shoes (very big heels) and left me her phone number, a wad of cash for expenses, mostly a big stack of Fred Franzias (two dollar bills), and a bulge in my pants that made it look like I was packing a Rabbit corkscrew. She was certainly a woman who'd make your hare stand on end. Now, like Alice in Wonderland, I was looking for the nearest Rabbit hole.
I decided to wander into Healdsburg proper and troll for some tourist tang of the poon variety. It was early October and the town was crawling with out-of-towners, folks from all over the United States here to taste the local fare. They wander from tasting room to tasting room, girls in sheer cotton dresses that leave nothing to the imagination when the sun shines through and reveals their terroir--their plush hillside vineyards, their volcanic soils, the extent of their pruning. Most of them were ripe and needed to be harvested. The wines they tasted made them feel sexy, the sheer sensual joy of sipping a Sonoma County Pinot Noir leaves them yearning for the touch of a man's hands on their free run juice, the feel of his lips on their gross lees, the tug of his desire bringing them to a long, sensual finish. It was almost too easy to pluck one. Like finding a crappy bottle of wine at Trader Joe's; it's easy, just reach out and grab the nearest one.
It was a lovely fall day and I was feeling flush with the cash Veronica has bestowed on me for "Expenses." If Meaningless Sex isn't filed under Expenses, what is? I figured all I'd need to harvest a tourist was half dozen oysters at Willi's washed down with whatever their cheapest Sauvignon Blanc by-the-glass was and then my lucky foot of Rabbit was going to be very happy. Though I'd rather have Muscadet with my oysters. Nothing like really ripe Melon.
I had fallen into a rather relaxed and contemplative mood, thinking about what Veronica had said in our meeting, wondering just who she'd meant by "my friends," I'd have to look into that, when a rather comely brunette stumbled into the spot next to me on the bench in Healdsburg Square. She was clutching a wine glass that had more lipstick around its rim than David Letterman's Late Night schtick. This was almost too good to be true.
"Hi," she said. She was. Her breath smelled like a Harvest Fair judge.
"Hello," I said. "Nice day. Are you enjoying your wine country visit?"
She didn't seem to hear me. Seems like she'd tasted a lot of wine and hadn't bothered to put anything in that flat stomach of hers. She was just sitting there, staring off into the distance with the kind of blank look on her face I hadn't seen since the last Wine Bloggers Conference. It gave me a chance to look her over. She was really quite beautiful, late 20's I'd guess, long flowing brunette hair that wouldn't be out of place on a male wrestler, and a body that was tight like a recently bottled Syrah. I could feel my Rabbit coming out of its lair.
"I think I'm going to be sick," she said, the words rather slurred but the meaning crystal clear.
"No one told you not to go into the Ferrari-Carano tasting room?" Not much of a wisecrack, but neither was she.
"Can you help me get back to my hotel?" OK, this really was too good to be true.
"Sure. Where are you staying? Is your boyfriend there?"
"Boyfriend? Do I look like I have a boyfriend? No, I'm staying by myself at Les Mars." Les Mars was the priciest hotel in Healdsburg, the damn wallpaper was hundred dollar bills, what was a young woman doing staying there all by herself? There were some alarms going off in my head but I was thinking with my Rabbit and ignored them. Not a good idea. Like ignoring frost warnings in April, you can quickly find yourself deflowered.
"OK, I'll walk you there." It was just one long block to Les Mars and the whole way I was sure she was going to puke tasting room crackers all over my gumshoes, but she managed to keep everything down, but my Rabbit, and in a few minutes I found myself helping her unlock the door of her Les Mars room, one hand inserting the key into the door, the other hand lodged securely under her generous left breast to hold her up. I'd gotten my Melon for the day after all.
The door swung open and I led her in. That's the last thing I remember. Someone clobbered my Melon with a blunt object. As I fell to the floor I remember thinking, "I hope I don't pee myself." And, "Urine big trouble."
To Be Continued