Thursday, August 30, 2012

DIAL M.W. FOR MURDER--Love is Phylloxera


Chapter 7  Love is Phylloxera

First of all, I need to start locking my office door. The body on the floor began to moan. So she wasn’t dead, I surmised. She didn’t even seem hurt. She seemed drunk. And not just a little drunk, she was bachelorette party drunk. If you’d searched for her with GPS it would show her location as Obliterated. I’ve been there. Nice town, but blurry. I have a second home there. I use it on weekends.

She was lying face down, her spectacular ass in the air sporting a perfect southern exposure. Nice spot for a picnic, I thought. She seemed to be trying to get up, but wasn’t having any luck. I decided to give her a hand. The applause seemed to get her attention. I have to say, a drunk babe on the floor is solid entertainment. Ask any Britney Spears fan. And then she vomited.

I lifted her pretty head off the carpet, got my arms underneath her, and wrestled her into a chair. She was only barely conscious and she reeked of wine, though it was expensive wine, probably aged in French oak and from a cool climate. I was pretty sure it was Syrah, though the smell of new bile could have been influencing me. She was pretty nubile herself. She looked young to me, mid-twenties, and was probably beautiful underneath all that alcoholic haze. What the hell was she doing in my office? She couldn’t have walked up the stairs without some help. Who had helped her up the stairs? And what did the HoseMaster have to do with any of this? Yeah, I like free drunk babe home delivery as much as the next guy, but next time bring me one that isn’t so well done.

It took a couple of hours, but I got enough coffee into her to sober her up enough to speak. To be careful, I’d patted her down. And she had plenty of down. I patted it several times. I wondered if she liked her wines natural too.
Mallory O'Lactic

“Thanks, HoseMaster,” she managed to mumble, “thanks for cleaning me up.”

“So you know who I am. Now who are you, and who brought you here?”

“My name is Mallory. Mallory O’Lactic.” Irish. I should have known. She certainly had the classic red hair. Her hair was the color of Grignolino, which made sense. Seeing her sprawled on my office floor, it was obvious she’d descended from great Heitz.

“Nice to meet you, Mallory. You made quite an entrance. You messed up my carpet.”

“Feels like you messed up mine, too.” She was quick. I was starting to like Mallory.

“Do you live around here?” I asked her, trying to change the subject.

“No. Not at all. I’m from Chicago. I’m here studying for an M.W. test I’m going to be taking next month.”

I don’t believe in coincidences. I don’t believe in a lot of things. I don’t believe in Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny, or Karen MacNeil—in reality, those are just three empty costumes. I don’t believe in aliens from outer space. If they existed, they’d be here taking jobs from Americans. I don’t believe in love either. Love is like phylloxera. Just another louse that attacks your roots. And then you die.

“You know, Mallory, it seems like you take this studying a little too seriously. You should learn to spit.”

“I wasn’t studying last night. I was out with a bunch of other M.W. candidates and, well, I guess we got carried away. The last thing I remember I was getting in a car with this beautiful blonde woman, Crystal something, I think, and a bunch of other people. And then I don’t remember anything until I wake up and you’re like lousy Chardonnay--going through Mallory O’Lactic. Which is the yeast of my problems.” Yeah, I liked Mallory a lot.

“So you know Crystal Geyser?” I didn’t want to be the one to break the news to her that Crystal was deader than a winery floorstacked at Trader Joe’s. That was some party they’d had last night.

“Sure, everybody studying for an M.W. knows Crystal. She hangs around all the guys. Strange woman, though.”

“Strange? How do you mean?”

“Just strange. She told me last night, I must have been sober still, that she was sure she was going to be murdered. That’s strange, don’t you think?”

“Maybe. But, Mallory,” I told her gently, “she was right.”

And it was only then, when she fainted and I caught her before she hit my floor again, that I noticed she was wearing Avril’s bracelet.


Alfonso Cevola said...

you had me at Avril’s bracelet.

Thomas said...

A secondary storyline. Monsieur Lallemand must not be far behind.

Marcia Macomber said...

Luv it! Mallory is a superb addition to the cast of players.

So clever getting her up off the floor! And here we thought she was a cold stiff!

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I didn't want another dead body so soon after Crystal, so my Pulp Fiction improv took me to drunk. I don't know what's harder, beginning a new chapter or arriving at some sort of cliffhanger ending. But it's serious fun for me to write.

Gets the fewest comments and the fewest views, but I still love the Pulp Fiction Classics.

Sergio Vito Parente said...

Mallory O'Lactic made me think of Jim Carrey waiting in line at the supermarket in 'Me, Myself and Irene....can't stop laughing

Puff Daddy said...

Ah, it's good to have old friends return to the screen, and it is even better to meet new ones.

Mal Lactic is no bit player. Without her, Chardonnay would taste like Chablis (Sorry, Sam).

One of the reasons that you get fewer comments on these pieces is that they are complete in themselves and so loaded with great images that we cannot play in your sand box so easily. So, don't worry. Just do more of this stuff because it is so brilliant.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I've never seen "Me, Myself, and Irene," but thanks for laughing at my foolishness.


OK, it probably sounded in my previous comment like I was fishing for more comments. Not what I intended. Especially since everyone knows that to get more comments you just have to write about Parker, the 100 Point Scale, or other wine bloggers. The Poodles just love to yip and yap about themselves.

I'm a bit in love with Mallory, though Avril is my soulmate. So now the fun begins. All one needs to get Mallory O'Lactic started is some heat.

Tuna Daddy said...

"Fishing for comments?"

That would make us the fish, ahd while I don't want to carp, you can't get my sole that cheaply.

Now, to sleep, perchance to bream.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Can you tell m more about this Drunk Babe Delivery Service? Do we get to charge by the pound? If so, dude, I'm going to make a killing! Loved this chapter but I love you even more!

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I feel like breaking into a chorus of 'Salmon Chanted Evening.'

My Gorgeous Samantha,

It's the same Drunk Babe Delivery Service they use for "The Bachelor." I'm not sure if they pay by the pound, but they go way cheap on the IQ.

I love you too.

Samantha Dugan said...

Low IQ you say?! Hot damn, I am so in!

Thomas said...

"I feel like breaking into a chorus of 'Salmon Chanted Evening.'"

I know a good Chilean Bass for that one.

Blaise said...

I love a good mystery in the morning.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Blaise,

It's a mystery to me why I get up every morning.