Monday, September 8, 2014
When a hooded member of IPOB trepanned James Laube with a Coravin, and the rebel group posted the video on YouTube, the wine community responded with outrage. It’s a graphic and horrifying video, the gaunt Laube appearing stoic as the Coravin’s needle penetrates his skull, the instrument of torture replacing the fetid air inside Laube’s head with a neutral Argon gas. “No one will be able to tell the difference in Laube’s reviews,” IPOB said in a written statement, “we just wanted everyone to get a little taste of what’s in there. Oddly, we noticed the escaping gas smelled distinctly of skunk.” The statement was entitled, “O Mercaptan! My Mercaptan!”
The trepanation of Laube, explained by the hooded IPOB thug in the video as “putting a C-hole in the A-hole,” was just the most recent offense carried out by the mysterious group of winemakers known as IPOB. To the media, “IPOB” is always said to stand for “In Pursuit of Balance.” But, according to anonymous insiders, the group’s acronym actually stands for “Incredibly Pretentious Organized Blowhards.” In the past couple of years, IPOB has managed to terrorize the wine establishment with its blend of propaganda, fear-mongering and dreadfully dull seminars, all aimed at achieving their ultimate goal—total wine domination.
After Laube’s public trepanation, his employer, Wine Spectator, released this statement:
“The Coravin-ing of James Laube will not, in any way, deter us from our mission of reducing every wine to a single number up to 100. Winemakers around the world work tirelessly each vintage to produce their wines, risking everything they own, laboring long hours every day, simply for the opportunity to have their efforts summed up by Wine Spectator in a number. We will not disappoint the vintners of the world by succumbing to one terrorist group’s insane call for ‘balance.’ Wine is, and always has been, about alcohol. The call for balance is a thinly disguised neo-Prohibitionist movement, and our colleague Laube’s glorified noogie only demonstrates how un-balanced members of IPOB are.”
Only weeks before, IPOB had claimed credit for the Napa earthquake. “Until owners and winemakers in Napa Valley back off on their obscene ripeness levels and begin to make wines the way God intended—under 13% alcohol—we will continue to use our massive accumulative brain power to destroy the very ground under them.” Seismologists at Cal Tech deny the possibility that IPOB could have triggered a massive quake with their minds noting, “Randall Grahm isn’t even a member.”
Wine terrorist experts are fearful that IPOB has become more and more desperate, and may resort to even more dangerous techniques to try and enforce their beliefs. According to records recently released under the Freedom of Information act, the group had plans to kidnap Robert Parker, Jr and force him to give high scores to the wines made by members of IPOB by waterboarding him with Ribolla Gialla. The plan nearly worked, and certainly would have worked if they’d made the Ribolla into wine first. “Hard to shove those grapes down his nostrils,” one member wryly remarked.
IPOB, according to yet another report, had plans to disrupt the annual Zinfandel tasting organized by its archrival ZAP. A few members of IPOB were planning to form a human barrier to the event by handcuffing themselves together linked to a powerful explosive device and blocking the entrance, but their plans were foiled when hackers for ZAP quickly discovered a way around the Peay wall.
Little is known about how winemakers are recruited for IPOB. Membership information is closely guarded, and the organization is tight-lipped about the actual process. Many who have attempted to join IPOB have been scorned, usually because their wines are said to lack “balance.” Yet a cursory glimpse of IPOB’s roster seems to indicate absolute randomness in who is accepted into its ranks, and who is not. There seems to be something more than “balance” in play, something else that decides what wines are up to Parr. There have been accusations that IPOB uses “balance” as a determining factor for wine the same way Republicans use “valid ID” when it comes to voting—as a red herring. And everyone knows a red doesn’t go with herring.
The brutal and escalating fight over “balance” didn’t begin with IPOB, however. Other businesses have claimed exclusive ownership of the word. FOX News laid claim to being “Fair and Balanced” with equal authority. Creating “balanced” budgets allows our legislative branches a way to legitimize income inequality. Cereal companies sell junk food to kids as “balanced” breakfasts. Humans love the idea of balance. Most think they know it when they have it, know it when they taste it, know it better than anyone else. They crave it, they admire it, and they fall for it every time. What sort of balance is that?
James Laube was released unharmed, claiming the trepanning didn’t even hurt. “Hell,” Laube said, “I’m a numbskull.”