Monday, July 7, 2014

Call Me Jancis

Call me Jancis. Everyone does, even though it’s not my name. Well, it is when I’m conducting a wine seminar, or giving a speech at some God-forsaken outpost of weird wine that wants to pretend its wines are worthwhile, like the Jura. Many days I wake up and cannot recall my birth name. I think it’s Cameron, though it could be Mel. I’ve been Jancis for so long now, it doesn’t really matter. I look like her, I walk like her, I sound like her, I spit exactly like her—I was taught that the stream should most closely resemble that of the cherub’s as it urinates into a typical Italian fountain. So you may as well call me Jancis. I’ve been a Jancis double for the past ten years. I am Jancis, though she is not me.

For the rest of this surprising tale, leap on over to



Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Man, all that talent AND I get to picture you stocking clad?! RAWR! So nice to hear the HoseMaster's voice again. I love you!

Quizicat said...

Glad you're posting again, even if its occasional. For some reason I found myself reading the piece in the voice of Charles Nelson Reilly. It seemed appropriate.

Dean Tudor said...

Ahm - mazing that who you see in the mirror each morning?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Something of a stupid piece, in retrospect. The idea was interesting, I just wish I'd been a bit more mean. But it often seems to me there must be more than one Jancis, just like Saddam Hussein had all those doubles. Could be the same people.

I love you, too.

Sure, I can live with Charles Nelson Reilly as a Jancis impersonator. He's got the right set of Walmart glasses. Let's go with that.

Most of the time. When I wear my Phyllis Diller fright wig to bed (don't ask) I actually see Nat MacLean. That helps sober me up.

Nick Harman said...

I am still not sure how you even pronounce Jancis.

Charlie Olken said...

A lot of people use body doubles. Robert Parker, for instance. Often rumored that there is more than one of him in there.

Or you. I hear that you, or someone pretending to be you, turns up at County and State Fair judgings and falls asleep at his tasting table.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Oh, that's easy. The "c" is hard, like in "Moby Dick." And the "J" is pronounced as if she were Spanish. So you just say, "Yank-his Robinson." Simple.

I fired my double that falls asleep at wine competitions and replaced him with one that wets himself. More convincing.

Charlie Olken said...

Are you sure you have the right person? I always heard the name as Yank-his Johnson.

Charlie Olken said...

Ron, does your tasting double have a name?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Well, of course, it would be "J" pronounced like it's German, not Spanish. Spanish would be "Hank his." German would be "Yank His," and she'd better not marry Hugh.

Yes, my double does have a name. Larry Anosmia, MS.

Marcia Macomber said...

Charlie gets extra points!

Damn, I could visualize all of it much too well. Yes, you weren't quite as mean as expected. Perhaps Jancis isn't as easy a target as Nat or Alice?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,
I wasn't as mean as I might have been, and it wasn't because of the target. I set out to write a bit of a gentler satire. Why, I don't know, but that's kind of what was in my head as I wrote it. Clearly, whatever audience I have expects much more viciousness from the HoseMaster. But, as I've said countless times, I do all this for the simple exercise of writing, and many times I'm exploring tone or rhythm or pacing.

I liked the premise, and chose to take it in a direction I usually wouldn't. Jancis isn't any harder a target than Alice or Natalie MacLean, though she's less controversial. The piece is less raucous, more gentle, than my usual Voice. Perhaps the wrong choice. I haven't the vaguest idea.

Charlie Olken said...

Ah, Larry. One of my favorites. No wonder the picture of you face down asleep at the tasting table with Alfonso trying to pay you to wake up looked so familiar.

Marcia Macomber said...

FIRST!!! Where else can we say, "Congratulations!!!" How obnoxious can I get with the punctuation?!?! LOL ***Another Wine Blog Award to stash in the HoseMaster's Bathroom***

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,
There has been an audible yawn about the Poodles this year, at least as far as I can tell. I think everyone likes the WBC, the parties and the pretending we're talented part, but the Poodles have been met, it seems, with a deafening silence. I only knew that I had won because Mary Orlin, one of my fellow nominees for Best Writing, had the graciousness to send me a congratulatory note. It would be dishonest to say I'm not happy to have won--we all like to win. This makes it two years in a row for Best Writing for the HoseMaster, and it's satisfying to be recognized by the talented judges and voted for by folks who read wine blogs. Truthfully, I thought our category was the best of the categories in terms of actual talent, so it's an honor. Chris Kassel should have won, but he doesn't care either.

Thanks to everybody who finds my work funny and worthwhile. I always wish my work were a lot better, but the pursuit of the right Voice, the seamless joke, the belly laugh, keeps me going.

I've won three Poodles, can a Pulitzer be far behind?

By the way, it's very hard to stash a virtual award in the bathroom. And that's what I get for winning. Nothin'. And they wonder why the awards have so little meaning... Come on, Wark, you're the marketing guy, get the lousy sponsors to pony up some money and prizes, for God's sake.

No matter. Thanks to everyone who reads, and who voted for the HoseMaster of Wine™. Lo Hai Qu is supremely pissed.

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