Monday, March 19, 2012



CHAPTER 2  Ticket Out

Why do babes always seem to need dicks? It’s like they have a hole, right in the middle of their being, that only a guy like me can fill. I’ve seen ‘em all. The babe who thinks her looks are going to last forever, only to look in the mirror one day and see more sag than a Russ Meyer movie. The babe who bad luck follows around, like the saps who keep betting on Syrah to be the next big thing, as if a horse that always finishes last is suddenly going to find a way to get to the finish line first. Good money being thrown after bad—like buying a second bottle of Prosecco. The babe who thinks she’s got life figured out, only to end up deader than a Matt Kramer opinion. But I wasn’t sure what kind of babe Crystal Geyser was, except the kind that men want. And not just men, M.W.’s too.

“So your friend was murdered. And other friends of yours have been murdered too. You’ve got more dead friends than Lou Foppiano’s FaceBook page. Care to tell me how that happened?”

Crystal just stared out my window onto the Healdsburg Square, small tears developing in her dead eyes. Hell, I thought, the Square isn’t that ugly. Unless it’s Barrel Tasting Weekend. Then it’s filled with the saddest of self-deceiving humans. The ones who think that if you go to a bar from 11 to 4 you’re a drunk, but if you go wine tasting you’re a connoisseur. The lifeblood of our little town. The whole town blows. It blows a .15.

Crystal slowly sat on my luxuriously appointed office couch. I could hear the bedsprings creak. I couldn’t help but notice her tight skirt sliding up to her as yet unapproved appellation—the Petaluma Gap. The nights are cold there, I thought, but there’s a warm patch if you know where to look. I knew where to look. Just above the dark wind tunnel.

“Look, HoseMaster, I confess, I’ve got a thing for guys who know a lot about wine. Yeah, they’re the worst lovers, always drunk, and softer than a five dollar Moscato.” She stared at me, but I knew what she meant. But it’s nature’s way of making sure M.W.’s don’t reproduce. The male M.W.’s anyway. The women? Yeah, well. They're for blind tasting.

“But since I was a teenager I’ve fantasized about them,” Crystal continued, her voice rising like the price of 2009 Bordeaux--that is, fueled by stupidity. “I didn’t know then what I know now. I just lusted for a man with a silver cup around his neck, like Sammy Davis, Jr, only always white. When I found out that M.W.’s existed I was smitten. These were the men I wanted, in the worst way, these Gods among us. Yet I knew that many, many bimbos threw themselves at these men. Hugh Johnson groupies, Michael Broadbent groupies, Tim Hanni groupies…OK, not so much Tim Hanni, but you get my drift, don’t you, HoseMaster?”

“Sure, you got the hots for wine boors. Guys who can explain terroir with a straight face and a forked tongue. What’s that got to do with your friends you claim were murdered?”

“Don’t you see, HoseMaster? I couldn’t have any of them, not a single real M.W., they weren’t interested in women, not unless you owned a Burgundy domaine or dressed like Angelo Gaja, as if they make women’s clothes that small. So I went after boys sitting for the M.W. exams, hoping to fall in love with one who ultimately passed, who maybe even passed because I inspired him.”

“So your friend who just had his throat cut, he was studying for his M.W.?”

“Yes.” She was whispering now. She had a stunned expression on her face, the kind of dead stare you see on people listening to Alice Feiring speak. But something didn’t seem right. “He was about to sit for his exams. Everyone knew he’d most likely pass on the first try. I thought he was my ticket out of this miserable, lonely life.”

“And, instead, you were his ticket out.” OK, sure, it was a cheap shot, but I wanted to wipe that dead smile off her face, see if there was something underneath that cold exterior. Like how you warm up a cold glass of Vinho Verde with your hands, only you find out what it had going for it was that coldness. So you end up with a glass of warm, fresh from the bladder.

“Yeah,” she said, “I guess I was.”

“Miss Geyser,” I said, “I don’t believe you for a minute. I don’t know what your game is, Girly-girl, maybe it’s some weird wine game, Shoots and Lattices, maybe Monopole. Whatever it is, I don’t want anything to do with it. Now get out of my office.”

Babes. Always trouble. All I could think about was heading down to the Square, cruise for drunk tourist cooze. I wanted nothing to do with anything M.W.

But Crystal had pulled a piece, and it was pointed at my spacious forehead.


Mockingbird said...

This reads like that Kip Adotta bit:

Thomas said...

Some great lines in this one.

Question: did you examine the piece? It might have been only a Champagne split with the cork aimed at you.

Need I Say More Daddy said...

Well, maybe not Tim Hanni.

Softer than $5 Moscato.

It's natures way of making sure MWs don't reproduce.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I suppose that's possible, though she'd have to be fingering her punt.

Nope, it's an actual gun, I think. Stay tuned.


I love the dick novel as a vehicle for endless throwaway jokes, as you know. More fun for me than the darker satire I do. I like to mess with the pace on HoseMaster. I like throwing the ol' changeup as much as Pedro once did.

Dean Tudor said...

Now, how would Roald Dahl (Taste) write noir?

"She was from the Left Bank. No, make that Right"...etc.

Mockingbird said...

Incidentally, lookie who got his se'f a favicon...
You must be really serious about sticking around for a while this time....
If you only brought back the T&A....

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I hadn't really thought about a Roald Dahl parody...that could work.
Thanks for the idea.


Yeah, cool favicon, right?! Actually, I just finally learned how to do it. I'm a bit low tech. Well, "stupid" would be more accurate.

As for sticking around, not sure. I hate to overstay my welcome. I am having fun this time around, but the joy is in the work, not in having a blog, especially a notorious blog.

For a time I loved the cheesecake photos on my first incarnation. But then it got weird. So the T & A version of HoseMaster has vanished into the cybervoid forever.

Thomas said...

The T & A version made many women want to point a gun in hosemaster's direction.

Hmm. Seems like nothing has changed.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


You know what's funny? Most of the women I know didn't mind the cheesecake photos--I had more negative reactions from men. But I was getting more hits from Image Searches than I was for people here to read my crap. I learned my lesson, I can't compete with a great set of knockers.

Dean Tudor said...

I look forward to something from you, Ron, re: Dahl...Maybe "Toasted" by Ram Daal, dealing with the impact of Indian wines???

Mantra Daddy said...

Dear Jose--

Before you head off on your next visit to your favorite ashram, remember the words of the yogi.

"Indian wines are so popular that no one drinks them anymore".

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I'd have to brush up on my Dahl, which sounds vaguely obscene. But "Toasted" might be more about a cooper. Maybe an evil midget who makes barrels--a Mini-Cooper.


Can a biodynamic Indian winery bury manure in a cow horn? Or would it have be from a different animal. Say a Duck Horn?

Dave Larsen said...

Hosemaster, Sorry I'm so late with this comment. But, for the record, I think by including Crystal; you have really added to your body of work.

Tim Hanni said...

Hey - how come Tim Hanni doesn't get no groupies? Just askin' mind you. Did this post anonymously???

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Wow, just like an M.W.--TWO rhetorical questions in a row!

And you might just be the first M.W. to ever comment on HoseMaster! I feel like I just won the Miss America pageant. Where's my tiara?

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Hell, I'll probably kill Crystal off by Chapter 5, though I have no idea if that's true. But the HoseMaster Pulp Fiction classics are all about Dames, Bodies and Dames with Bodies.

As for my body or work, it's fairly apparent rigor mortis has set in. Or at least Crystal made me stiff.