“For something to be funny, the audience has to be in a position to sense the truth of it. It has to be primed. Satire can crystallize what’s already in the air, but it can’t really put it there.”--Garry Trudeau
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Dr. Conti's Prison Romance with Lo Hai Qu
Despite my New Year’s resolution, Lo Hai Qu is still my intern. And she’s been bugging me to write another post for HoseMaster of Wine™. I said OK, but I must be crazy. I never know whether to believe what she writes, or chalk it up to her insatiable need to make things up. Like that I’m always hitting on her. That never happened. I often don’t wear pants in my wine cellar. I’m just more comfortable that way. Made for some awkward moments when I was a sommelier, but luckily a tastevin is plenty big for me to hide behind. Anyway, here’s Lo with yet another unbelievable story.
I know you’re not going to believe this, but if I’m lyin’, you can put a Vac-u-Vin up my butt and pump out my fragrant booty bouquet. My girl Shizzangela—she’s Dr. Conti’s new penpal! Yeah, I know, it’s fuckin’ nuttier than a 40-year-old Tawny, and my forty-year-old friend Tawny is totally wacko. Shizzy is one of those girls who’s kind of attracted to bad boys, like she dates crackheads, and guys who run illegal dogfights, and wine baristas. I always tell her, “Shizzy, those guys are going to break your heart and steal your money and drink all your bottles of Skinnygirl.” Stupid Shizzy actually buys that shitty Skinnygirl wine, like it’s going to make her fat ass smaller. Have you tasted that crap? Man, it’s like drinking a big glass of Summer’s Eve. I don’t know, maybe it’s nice that girls with bulimia have their own wines.
So Shizzangela was reading about Rudy’s trial for selling fake wines, and she’s gettin’ all indignant, saying like, “Why are they putting that poor little guy in jail when all he did was prank those rich old dudes?” and “Damn, he’s cute, he kinda looks like an Indonesian Miley Cyrus.” She’s all obsessed with the guy, can’t stop reading all the blogs about him, and how much money he stole and how he faked out all these experts with his fake wines. Shizzy’s getting all turned on by what a bad boy Rudy was, fuckin’ with all the wine dorks. “Oh, Lo,” she says to me, “he even fooled that BurgHound guy. What the fuck is a BurgHound? Some guy with a boner for frigid women?” And I’m like, “No, he’s a guy who knows a lot about Burgundy.” And she’s like, “Oh. I like my idea better.”
Anyways, she decides to write this Rudy dudey a letter in jail. Like, she’s all shy about it, but I tell her that guys in jail get lots of letters from chicks, so it won’t be that weird. I mean, he’s no serial killer—those guys get all the babes. Like my aunt one time wrote a love letter to John Wayne Gacy and he sent her back this cool clown drawing that looks exactly like that woman who wrote the Wine Bible. Rudy’s single, and he’s lonely, so why not? Write the guy a letter. So, I can’t believe it, she does. And he answers! OMG, I can’t believe it. Shizzangela gets this letter in the mail from Dr. Conti, and she’s like in Heaven.
So what do I do? I stole the letter from Shizzangela’s desk and read it. It’s a pretty weird letter, really, the guy’s all feeling sorry for himself and whining about getting the shaft. Though I guess that’s kinda how most letters from guys are. Anyway, I copied it. Fuck, Shizzy’s going to kill me if she reads this, but, what are the chances? She’s a Millennial. We don’t read old guy blogs like HoseMaster of Wimps. OK, here it is.
Dear Shizzangela, Thank you for your nice letter. Unfortunately, I am not in a position at the moment to marry you, or “do you like a First Growth.” I am in jail awaiting sentencing for all kinds of trumped-up, counterfeit charges. I guess there’s irony there. I really miss being able to drink wine with my meals. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I had a nice glass of fake Domaine Ponsot, or was able to enjoy a little fake Yquem after dinner. They don’t give us wine in prison. All we get to drink is water, which, if I close my eyes, I can pretend is Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. I just have to pretend it has even less taste. It’s hard. I was used to drinking wine at big fancy dinners with famous wine people. Oh, you should have been there, Shizzangela. All I had to do was flash one of those fancy wine labels and my friends would go crazy thinking they were actually drinking old bottles of Cheval Blanc. Were those bottles fake? OK, I can admit it now. Yes, they were fake. Just like those guys faked being my friends. Bunch of L.A. shitheads, pardon my language. Once I got busted, they all disappeared. They all started saying how they knew me, had tasted wines with me, but that the wines they tasted were all legit. Assholes. Hard to tell which was more fake, the wines, or those guys’ palates. Fooling them wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was keeping a straight face. I made some mistakes. It was nice of you to say that you think I’m completely innocent. But I’m not. After a while, it was just too easy. I’d call the auction house, tell them I had cases and cases of rare wines from my “magic cellar,” and they’d sell them for me. Did they check the provenance? Sure, they did. That’s what they told the buyers. “Checking the provenance” is auction house speak for “I swear, I’ll only put the tip in.” My biggest mistake was getting too greedy. Well, that, and I was having fun making jackasses of those bigshot wine people. Isn’t that every wine lover’s dream? Those pompous pricks had it coming, and it was me, Dr. Conti, who made them look like the fools they really are. I could have put Apothic in those bottles, told them it was Lafite, and they’d have rated it 99 Points. Well, in fact, I did. Morons. I hope that you write to me again, Shizzangela. I loved the picture of you and your friends. Who’s the cute Asian girl? She’s gorgeous. Sincerely, Rudy K.
So now Shizzangela is all in love with Rudy. She’s got like a million pictures of him all over her room, and she wants to marry him and get conjugal visits. I don’t think she knows what “conjugal” means. She’s kinda dim under all that makeup. She prolly thinks it means she’ll go there and watch him keep three balls in the air at once. Now she writes him like every day, and wants to go visit him. I’m so sick of hearing about him, I could hurl like sorority gurl. But I guess that’s pretty universal right about now.
OK, yeah, that last paragraph in Rudy’s letter, I added that myself. But I know it’s what he was thinking. He’s in jail. All he can think about is feeling Lo.
After 19 years as a Sommelier in Los Angeles, twice named Sommelier of the Year by the Southern California Restaurant Writers' Association, I moved to Sonoma County to explore the other aspects of the wine business. I've spent, OK wasted, 35 years learning about and teaching about and swallowing wine. I am also a judge at the Sonoma Harvest Fair, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the San Francisco International Wine Competition--so I can spit like a rabid llama. I know more about wine than David Sedaris and I'm funnier than James Laube. Stay tuned for an informed but jaded view of everything wine and everything else.
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