Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The M.S. Conspiracy
A HoseMaster of Wine Pulp Fiction Classic
Chapter 5 Warped Women
When you're a dick it's all about knowing where your head is supposed to be, and mine was several inches up the wrong wine cave--my own. I was supposed to be trying to help the beautiful Veronica get into the M.S. Society but instead I'd been initiated into the Skull and Boners Club. I'd had this case but a few hours and already there was a midget, the cops and a dead body involved. But at least I knew the M.S. Society had an opening now. I'd never seen Lorna's.
I decided that before I tried to get Veronica into the M.S. exam, I needed to find out more about her, and more about the Master Sommelier organization. Something about the whole thing was eating at me. Or so I thought. Turned out I'd picked up some ticks. Ticks on dicks. What am I, fucking Dr. Seuss? One thing I was sure about, Veronica wasn't from Healdsburg. She was talent brought in from somewhere else, talent that seems to have been meant to lure me into this morass. And, from my point of view, the morass the better. I needed to find out just who my client was, where she was from, who her "friends" were.
I strolled around the corner from Les Mars to Willi's to have a glass of wine to calm my nerves. I'd been married, so I was used to it, but it still wasn't easy to see a beautiful woman in a bed just laying there not moving. I pulled up a stool at Willi's and ordered a tall, cold one in honor of Veronica. The bartender gave me a glass of La Crema Chardonnay. Ugh. Just wasn't my day. It smelled of pears, maybe peaches, and definitely hypocrisy.
I kept thinking about that whack on the head I'd been given. I had a knot on my skull about the size of Dan Berger's brain--so, walnut-sized--that kept throbbing like Steve Heimoff at the Mr. Universe pageant. Fugly, that midget with a message, didn't give it to me, so who did? Veronica's friends? The M.S. goons? A pissed-off Les Mars maid? Or was there someone who'd been staying with Lorna? An angry ex-boyfriend? Whose best friend was a midget. Something wasn't adding up. Why was Heimoff at a Mr. Universe pageant? Trying for that 100 point score?
Now what? I was lost in reverie, which is just north of Geyserville, in other words, nowhere, but it seemed someone was addressing me. Probably "Return to Sender."
It was Veronica. She acted a little surprised to see me. She was looking at me like she expected me to be in jail, which is how most women look at me. But I'd never been behind bars, except the ones covering my eyes in all those Internet photos. Her gaze didn't exactly make me feel comfortable, but I didn't let on. I was too busy staring at Veronica's breasts and wondering if they had names. The word "Jeroboam" kept jumping into my head. How many splits in a Jeroboam? In her case, one glistening split.
"What are you doing here, Hosemaster?" she asked me in an innocent tone of voice reminiscent of Sarah Palin talking about death panels as if they were were her panty shields.
"Recuperating from a nasty blow to my Melon."
"Well, it could have been worse."
"How's that?" I bit.
"Your Melon could have been mistaken for your Pinot Blanc and then where would you be?"
"I don't know," I said, "Clone College?" I was making an incredibly stupid joke that I wasn't sure even the midget would get, one of my probable brain damage jokes, but I was impressed that Veronica was aware that much of the Pinot Blanc planted in California had turned out to be Melon. Maybe she could actually pass the M.S. exam if I could get her an interview. But why did she want to? She could clearly make a lot more money than a sommelier. As Lorna might have, come to think of it.
"Buy a girl lunch?"
"Sure," I said, " you're the one paying for my time."
"Well," Veronica said, "I like a guy willing to play with his clock. What should I order?"
"Have what I've been having all day," I suggested.
"What's that?" she bit.