Thursday, January 5, 2012

PARKENSTEIN! Part the Last

Monkton, MD, 23 October 20__

My Dearest Sister,

I had a hard time believing all that Parkenstein told me. Only a madman could believe himself a God, and then believe he could pass along His Doctrine of Infallibility to monsters of his own making, thereby making each of them a sort of Pope, emissaries who speak the word of Parkenstein and have direct access to that almighty God and his insane system of Numbers—they were Parkenstein’s Howdy Deuteronomy. And, though he was clearly insane, I came to accept his story as truth. Parkenstein, his life, his career, his reputation, had been destroyed by a monster he had created with his own hands. It had the makings of a tragedy, a classic Geek tragedy. But I shall let Parkenstein finish his own tale.

The monster I had created [Parkenstein said to me] had come to hate me. He had learned my language, the language of countless adjectives, exaggeration, numbers, +’s, and disingenuousness, and he had learned it too well. His work on my behalf took on a crazed quality and I began to believe he was simply assigning numbers randomly, perhaps using a dartboard or by drawing them from a hat, which is what I do, only what the hell else can you do when you have to do it 150 times a day? I didn’t give the monster permission to do that. I was the last to recognize how ridiculous and meaningless his work was. I was just so proud of my creation, so amazed that I had given him a life, I just couldn’t believe that his numbers were that bizarre, that inflated. That was the first sign, I see now, that he wanted to destroy me.

Why did he want to destroy me? I don’t know the answer to that. But it must have been money. I had had ideas of creating a female monster to keep him company, but what female monster wants to marry a guy with a fish stick dick? And, besides, I’d already hired Karen MacNeil, so a female monster would have been redundant. No, it was the monster’s desire for money, which I assume came from that damned Suckling brain I’d used, that must have driven him to hate me. I paid him what he was worth—chump change. He was NOBODY. He was only someone because Parkenstein! said he was someone. They’d have laughed his verga de pescado out of Spain if it weren’t for me. They’d have made a blubber piƱata out of him. But the monster believed in his own power, believed he had earned it. It was like I had created a twin.

The monster set out to gather money and ruin me at the same time. I admit now, the monster was a lot smarter than I’d thought. It had been a mistake to give him a brain—it’s not necessary for the job. It just seemed like the right thing to do. But it doesn’t take a brain to be a wine critic and assign numbers, it just takes balls. And I’d given him two salmon croquettes to go with the fish stick. That would have been plenty.

The monster began to accept money. This was strictly forbidden. No one I created could accept money in the line of duty. I scolded the monster, but he swore up and down he only accepted money for speaking engagements. I turned my wrath upon him and the monster broke down and cried (those John Boehner tear ducts were all I could scrounge), and swore to me the money was on the up and up. And it made sense. Who wouldn’t pay tens of thousands of dollars to sit and listen to a manufactured expert lecture and proclaim? Why wouldn’t the people who had the most to lose or gain by the monster’s numbers want to pony up big ticket prices to hear him babble? Why wouldn’t an entire Spanish region chip in to make sure that he got his facts straight?

But if it wasn’t evil, if it wasn’t corrupt, it certainly smelled of it. As his body parts had when I’d first assembled them. When the rabble got wind of the monster’s money-grubbing ways, they were incensed. I did what I always do in that situation—I ignored them. They revere me. I had nothing to fear. Sure, he was my monster, I’d loosed him on the world, but surely I wasn’t responsible for the appearance of impropriety he’d created. No one questions my integrity. NO ONE! Parkenstein is incorruptible and completely objective, like an NBA official.

And then the rabble surrounded my house. They had come for the monster. They wanted his head on a platter and his gigantic ass in a sling. I fought them off as best I could, but I knew that for the first time in my life, I was not the most powerful man in the world. And I knew that when the rabble, the scum, the ungrateful, number-munching cretins I had given my life to, for whom I had suffered endless nights of insobriety and gluttony, found out that I wasn’t the perfect, incorruptible, infallible God they’d believed me to be that I was doomed.

I should have given the ugly mob my monster. Instead, I defended him. It was foolish. But I loved him, I’d created him, I’d made him and he was Me, as surely as if I’d given birth to him, which would have hurt like a bastard. And with his actions, with his calculated acceptance of money, money he would never ever have been granted were it not for my imprimatur, he knocked me from my heavenly throne and I rejoined the rabble. My creation had ruined me.

Yes, I’m still here. I’m not the God I was, I have fewer and fewer Believers, only a sad collection of sycophantic Followers. But Parkenstein! still lives! And I have other monsters of my making roaming the Earth, assigning Numbers in my name, and I shall make my way to new worlds to conquer—the Far East!  My minions and I will one day again ascend to the Heavens, wait and see, my friend. Wait and see…

And with that, dearest Sister, Parkenstein died. He lay sprawled on the newly wet pavement. It had begun to rain, and the air, for a brief moment, the moment I like to believe that his soul left that cetacean body, had the smell of Brettanomyces, a fitting tribute to Parkenstein’s end.

But, dearest Sister, his monsters still roam the Earth. For now. With his Life extinguished, how much longer can his creations live? Only so long as the foolish rabble continue to heed those most horrible of Parkenstein’s creations—the Numbers!

THE END, or is it?


Gerry Dawes said...

Miller has taken that one-way trip down Robert Parker Coffin Road in Long Grove, Illinois, joining Pierre Rovani as another botched Parkenstein at cloning.

Marcia Macomber said...

"Howdy Deuteronomy!" Nearly shot my coffee out my nose -- I had forgotten the safety rules when reading a HoseMaster original. (WARNING: The consumption of beverages while reading may be hazardous to your desktop and keyboard. Drink and read at your own risk.)

Parkenstein! RIP

Gerry Dawes said...

Jim Budd has linked your posts on Parkenstein to his blog in the UK.


Excellent. Thanks for this, Have linked it up on Jim's Loire.



Editor of Circle Update, newsletter of the Circle of Wine Writers: dubious wine investment schemes
Also: investdrinks-blog –

Jim's Loire:
The Loire: the vineyards, the producers and their wines.

As English wine writer Jim Budd commented of Tyler Colman’s Dr. Vino blog on the morning of Dec. 6: “The $64,000 (or rather euro) question is will Miller be writing up for the Wine Advocate his recent visits to a number of Spanish wine regions, in particular Murcia and Valencia who paid a total of 64,000€ for Miller to visit, assess and rate their wines.

If, as it appears, Miller's retirement was long planned and if these visits are not to be written up* in TWA have not the Murcia, Valencia, Madrid and Malaga D. O.s been seriously misled at best?”

Gerry Dawes said...

Jim Budd actually put the Parkenstein post links in a story on his blog.

Anonymous said...

Howdy Deuteronomy.

You better quit now, there are no lofty peaks to climb, etc. You leaped over all of them like the capering goat. Go rest ye, my Lord and tin God.

T. Dominic Hughes

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Thanks for all the links. Just having a bit of fun at an easy target. Jim Budd has been a long time supporter of the ol' HoseMaster, for which I am very grateful.

Marcia Love,

I told you it was a happy ending. Now it's on to other wine baloney.

T. Dominic Hughes,

Quite the moniker. And not the first time I've been called a goat.

Alfonso Cevola said...

nothing to add- just thought it was cool my word verification was


Thomas said...

is it really over?

I doubt it.

I do have to say, however, that Mr. Dawes may have gored the ox into infinity by now.

One Two Three Daddy said...

I believe that Howdy Deuteronomy is going to live a long time in annals (gee, did I spell that right?) of wine rhetoric.

As for me, I am off the read the book of numbers. No, not the Book of Numbers, silly. The book of numbers. Now that Parkerstein is dead, we are going to need new numbers, different numbers.

Oh, wait, I've got it. The million point system.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ah yes, the ever so familiar feeling of, "Fuck, what can I say to sound the least bit clever....(sigh)" feeling after reading a HoseMaster piece. Got nothin'. I adored the series, am thrilled you're back and love you so!

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Nothing to add from the author of "On and on and on and on and on the Wine Trail in Italy." Wow, that's a first! I'm humbled.


Parkenstein! is over. Thank God for small blessings. Though it was fun to write, unlike most of the drivel I produce.

Score Daddy,

Thanks for remembering the Million Point Scale. I cannot imagine why it never caught on. Maybe because most critics (or "mitics" as Alfonso likes to call them)only like numbers between 84 and 98, roughly equivalent to their readers' IQs.

Samantha, My Love,

You AND Alfonso rendered speechless with one post! Man, I definitely deserve a Poodle.

Can't say I'm thrilled to be back, but having you love me is a gift. I love you too, Gorgeous.

W. Blake Gray said...

Nice one, Ron. But death is not final: beware the Parkenstein zombie.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Blake,

Well, if you mean the eBob discussion board, yup, those are a lot of zombies to fear. Or there is the CIA Hall of Fame awards, known as "Night of the Living Dead."

The zombies--they're all around us!!

Wine Wench said...

Damn! When I grow up, I wanna write like you!
It was great judging with ya, Ron. I had an idea of the brain power that was humming along on my left, but now I need to check out your archives!
Sue Straight
The Wine Wench®

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hi Sue!

Yes, it was fun judging with you. I try to keep my HoseMaster secret identity secret when I'm at industry functions. Though the bullet-proof vest is often a tip-off.

Oh, the archives are full of nothing but my nonsense. Don't waste too much time there. But if you have an erection lasting more than four hours, call a doctor.

Gerry Dawes said...

If you have an erection that lasts for more than four hours, call for re-inforcements!! ;-)

BTW, I have purloined your entire Parkenstein saga and put it on my blog with links to yours. That is why your hits have soared to four or five more than last week.

Eric V. Orange said...

Hose, Hose, Hose.

Merry Christmas.


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Gerry,

Thanks, I guess. And, indeed, my readership has soared into the teens. Which has actually been a lifelong dream. Know any teens?


Long time, no talkee. Hope things are well. Clearly, I'm still insane.

Andy Perdue said...

If you have an erection lasting more than four hours, just write another sequel to Sideways.