Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Favorite Hate Mail

My recent rise in readership that came about because of the San Francisco Chronicle article has been rather disconcerting. Mostly because I wasn't aware San Francisco even had a daily
newspaper. I get all my news from The Christian Science Monitor. His name is Mary Baker Eddie, and he stands outside monitoring the Christian Science Reading Room in Healdsburg. Want to have some fun? Go into a Christian Science Reading Room with a gaping flesh wound. They'll give you something to read for it, usually a year-old Wine and Spirits Magazine with a fascinating article by Patrick Comiskey on great Northwestern United States Clamato Juice cocktails. (One cocktail was even named for a noted food writer--the James Bearded Clam.) Oh, what was I saying? Oh, yeah, it's been rather a whirlwind few days, lots of Internet chatter about having me be a suicide bomber at the next Wine Bloggers Conference (they'd strap bottles of Korbel Brut to my body rigged to explode whenever Alder Yarrow congratulates himself--so, right off the bat), many more hits than usual on HoseMaster of Wine (the blog, not me), and, thankfully, a lot more hate mail! Here are a few chosen from the ol' mailbag. Suicide blogger bomber

Dear HoseMaster of Stupidity,

We've never met, but we will. I'm the wine buyer for Hell, and I have a few bones to pick with you regarding your recent insulting remarks about my customers and my by-the-glass program. First of all, where does an imbecile like you get off taking shots at Robert Mondavi and the Gallo brothers? They were making California wines cheap and famous, keeping their thumbs on the backs of migrant workers and underpaying small farmers, before you were out of diapers, which, by the way you smell, must have been an hour ago. What does an incontinent blogger wear to bed? Depends. Get it? Like the undergarment, not "it depends." Plays better in Hell.

I was talking to Bob and Ernie and Julio at the bar last night. They were having a drink with Parker and Fred Franzia, who isn't dead, but has a second home here when it gets too hot in Bumfuck, California, where he lives. I was gently pulling their fingernails out and waterboarding them (at the suggestion of Dick Cheney, who had one foot in the door here last night but got called back--what a great guy!) not with water, but with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, which is exactly the same, I guess. Anyhow, they think you should treat them with more respect. I told them that you're a douchebag, in fact, a douchebag for Joan Rivers, and that they'll get their whacks at you when you arrive here, which is undoubtedly sooner than you think. I'm not supposed to say anything, but that liver of yours is about as functional as Charlie Sheen. But maybe it's not too late for you if you back off now and lay off my boys. They don't mind the waterboarding, but they're very sensitive to criticism.

And I do not serve Lodi Zin or Gruner Veltliner by the glass, dimwit. Satan hates that shit. He's happy to see humans drink it while they're alive, but he doesn't want that in his house. I have a very interesting by-the-glass list that consists of about thirty different wines that I've carefully chosen from reviews by the most pathetic wine bloggers working! I tried to select worse wines, but, hell, oops, heck, I'm just not that good at touting crap. But BrixChicks and WineHarlot and WannabeWino take all the work out of it for me! You should see the look on Parker's face when he has to drink a glass of each. You'd think he'd died and gone to Hell, which he has. In fact, now that I think about it, taking their wine recommendations is exactly like waterboarding yourself.

So stop writing about things you don't know anything about, HoseMonster of Wine. Hey, nice article in the Chronicle!

Raj Parr
Wine Buyer, Michael Mina Restaurants and Hell

Hey Laughing Boy,

So I travel to Napa Valley, where the children of God own wineries, to attend the Wine Wroters (past tense--pretty clever, right, and why I get the big bucks) Symposium, which they tricked me into attending, by the way, by promising that I wouldn't have to listen to the Ethics Panel discussion, which, as it turned out, was actually about how to avoid having any ethics, which is what wine writers really want to know, and where do I end up at dinner that night? Well, you know where, across from you. I had to turn down invitations from some of the most powerful people in the wine world (aside from me, of course), like 1WineDude--hey, I could have had dinner with 1WineDude, dammit, except it turns out French Laundry doesn't have a children's menu. Which is odd. How do they serve the winery owners' wives? Anyway, I could have spent an evening with Charlie Olken! Yes, the Charlie Olken. Have you read this guy's comments? He's funny like one of those robots on Mystery Science Theater 3000! I could have had dinner with Steve Heimoff. Well, OK, that's never gonna happen. But instead I end up with you and Alfonso. Alfonso told me we were meeting somebody talented and famous. I was sure he meant James Laube. How many people get to actually meet James Laube?! Laube's the J.D. Salinger of wine writing, if J.D. Salinger were boring and incapable of writing an interesting sentence. But instead Alfonso plays a big practical joke on me and you show up! I haven't had such a boring evening since I watched every episode of WineLibraryTV that isn't gibberish. Both of them.

I'm sure our paths will never cross again and Alfonso can kiss his wine career goodbye. The two of you ruined my trip like a visit to the tasting room at Castello di Amorosa (though I loved her on "The Apprentice!") But, hey, nice article in the Chronicle!

Ta-ta Sucker,
The World's Most Famous Wine Writer

Dear Mr. Washam,

What have poodles ever done to you that you constantly compare them to wine bloggers? I'm sick of it. You make me sick, and your blog makes me want to hurl up my Ken'L Ration. Poodles are honorable and noble beasts, loyal and honest, faithful and intelligent. Does that sound like a blogger to you, pinhead? Go ahead, name one who could be described like that. Gets a little sticky with that honest and honorable stuff, doesn't it? And poodles are hypoallergenic! Ever been in a room with Tom Wark? Oh my God, the guy sheds like a garter snake. Your stupid quote about wine blogging as "the attention barking of lonely poodles" is gratuitously insulting to poodles, and, beyond that it's incredibly stupid. You're a misanthropic moron. You tear everything down and do nothing to contribute to any conversation about wine. And you make fun of poodles! Every poodle on the planet is superior to you, and most beagles too. Why, the world would be a better place if, in fact, wine bloggers were poodles. Hell, they sniff each others butts enough!

But, hey, nice article in the Chronicle!


PS--I had drinks last night with Mondavi, the Gallos and Fred Franzia. They said to say,"Hi, your table is ready."


Charlie Olken said...

You know, it is a strange coincidence that I would have met the MFWWW a day or two after you apparently grossed him out at dinner with you and Alfonso.

I was sitting there quietly admiring the blond with the short skirt and long legs when MFWWW walked up to me and complained about meeting you. It is no wonder that he is now sending you hate mail.

Oh, and I want to correct one thing in his letter. He exaggerates when he says he could have had dinner with me. He must have had me confused with Jim Laube. My code of ethics keeps me from having dinner with other writers so no one can accuse me of stealing their ideas--unlike you comedians who never met someone else's funny line that you could not call your own.

Hey, this hate mail stuff is fun.

Eric V. Orange said...

You're on a roll, but hey...that last bit..35 comments??

I don't have time to read all that shit, so knock if off, eh?

I got a site to run..

I'm going to have to look for more obscurity.

You and Sans both, gettin too big fer yer britches.


Eric V. Orange said...

How come Charlie always beats me.
Don't he work?


Alfonso Cevola said...

Liberace was my neighbor, as a child, and I never remember him having any affection for young poodles. He leaned in other directions.

Samantha Dugan said...


I don't wear britches, you know that.

Mr. HoseMaster Sir,

So once again you left my hate mail out of your post. You know the one where I break yer bawls about having dinner with Sir Charles Olken...not once but twice, The Most Famous Wine Writer in the World and Alfonso, not to mention countless lunches with Tom Wark and yet....never even offered to toss peanuts in my mouth in a bar. I see where I rate around here, sheesh I thought having tots might get me, at the very least, a meeting with His Hoseness. Sniff...sniff.
Nice article in The Chronicle though.
Remember me when...
Your Unmeetable

Eric V. Orange said...


You do too.

Charlie Olken said...


I work too hard. That is why I have to take refuge here in the home of the HMW every so often.

And since the HMW sat in on our tasting last night, I was living in fear all day until he posted.

On the whole, I got off easy. He apparently was so embarrassed at how serious we are that he made up a new word or two on our behalf and then left town before I could take a picture of him as proof.

I have saved his tasting glasses, however, and am testing them for DNA. He was here, dammit.

1WineDude said...

It was so funny until the height jokes started coming out! :-)

Thomas said...

Winedude, how do you think I feel? I've been a standard poodle owner for years.

They may be smarter than wine people--they certainly are smarter than comedians...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Gang,

Eric, you're right, I need to go back to obscurity where I belong. Which is why I went to Charlie's house.


You think the MFWWW confused you with Laube? Now you're writing yourself hate mail. He may have mistaken you for Captain Kangaroo.


I saw your new post "An Italian and A Jew Walk Into..." and I thought it was about our now infamous dinner with the MFWWW. I didn't know you grew up next door to Liberace. This explains a lot.


I don't write 'em, I just post 'em. And I saw the picture of your wife on your blog and I'm really not feeling sorry for you. Every poodle has his day.


Poodles are smarter than comedians. Anyway, I'm not a standard comedian, I'm a teacup comedian.

My Gorgeous Samantha,

I love your hate mail. Especially the pictures and all the commas. Don't worry, some day, just like with Charlie, I'll be leaving my DNA at your house.

I adore you!

Oops, there's more hate mail arriving! Who knew poodles could Tweet?

Samantha Dugan said...

Always crackin' on my commas you, what do you want from a girl that took a William Shatner sentance composition class?!

Eric V. Orange said...

Did he teach you to spell too, Sans?


Samantha Dugan said...

Sadly no one did...useless without spell check.

Thomas said...


Would you like a picture of my poodle, Oliver? If so, here's his email address; he can handle the transaction himself, as long as he isn't on a job for the local newspaper--or sitting on the local newspaper.

Steve Heimoff said...

In the interests of transparency, Parker actually asked me to be his reviewer for the Wines of Hell. He said it was a very nice place to visit (I’ve never been there), albeit a little warm during the summer; but as I’ve spent time in Paso Robles in August, I didn’t think that would be a problem. However, I declined; too many potential conflicts of interest. I have many friends down there, some of them involved in the wine trade, and would have had to recuse myself in too many instances. Also, I asked Jim Laube for his opinion (which I value -- he’s been at this longer than I have, although a tad less than Mr. Olken), and Jim asked me a good question: Did I really think that being known as the Reviewer from Hell would further my career? Hmm, thought I; and it did seem a tad onerous. I decided, one evening when the rain was falling, that perhaps a brief visit to the Winelands of Hell itself might be in order, so that I could peruse, with my own eye, that place wherein I might have to live, and whose wines I would have to review. Not knowing how to get to Hell, I called 1WineDude, who told me it’s easy: Just click your sneakers three times and say, “Dr. Vino is the Supreme Blogmeister of the Underworld.” Voila, it worked, and the next thing I knew, I was in Hell (literally, if not figuratively). It was a bar, of the type with pool tables and jukeboxes and strange, questionable-looking people, but there, across the crowded floor, in the lurid red light was a face that looked familiar. I approached, and, indeed, it was he, himself, the Hosemaster, appearing to be the age of 4 or so (see his photo, above), and grinning salaciously as he proffered me a glass of something red and bubbling and hissed, with fetid breath, “This is the Pinot of a rabid llama. Laube gave it one billion points.” Something came over me, a kind of mental paralysis. I accepted the glass -- brought it to my lips -- inhaled -- the fumes swam through my brain like Drano -- I spun dizzily on my feet -- tilted my head back -- poured in the red stuff -- and...and...

It ends there, the memory. The next thing I knew I was reading Hosemaster’s blog, unable to understand if I were safe at home, or still in Hell, or in some indeterminate sphere inbetween. The phone rang; I picked it up; it was Bob Parker. He had, he explained, chosen the very Dude whose instructions had gotten me into Hell, to be his Hell Taster. I told Charlie Olken, who blogged about it, and received over 11,000 comments, including one from Vinography, who said Hell is up-and-coming and did they need any help designing websites; also one from Tom Wark, who noted (properly, in my opinion) that, as Hell is filled with distributors, 1WineDude should have ample opportunities for being invited to endless lunches and dinners, it being understood that the food there is quite spicy. At that moment, the paperboy arrived with my Chronicle, which just happened to contain the article to which the Hosemaster refers, the one in which he and Jon BonnĂ© trade quips to determine who is the most hilarious. It was, quite simply, the greatest article on the Hosemaster I have ever read.

Ron Washam, HMW said...



Eric V. Orange said...

Now Steve AND Dude are commenting here???

I gotta go.

Anyone know of quirky/funny wine related blogs that nobody else is reading?

And too, thoughtful/moving blogs? Sans is getting too busy also.


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Eric,

I'm sure you'd really enjoy the antics and brilliant wit over at DirtySouthWine. That Toady Wallace guy can really knock 'em out of the park. Golly.

For thoughtful and moving blogs, try the WineWhore. He sure makes one thoughtful about moving, mostly to another blog.

And, hey, I like having 1WineDude and Steve around. They make Samantha and me seem standoffish with each other. And I feel taller. (Oh, sorry, Joe. But I'm rather diminutive myself, and not just in the integrity department.)

Thomas said...


Get over to vinofictions; no one will ever find you there.

Samantha Dugan said...

Hey Fancy Pants....too famous to feed us now?! Going crazy down here waiting for my giggles...

Puff Daddy said...

Oh, sorry Sam. I have been busy. I have had to post several times over on that place with no sugar added, and Steve Heimoff is always fun.

So, sorry I have no added more comments here latelu.

But, and this just occurred to me, I may not be the Fancy Pants you were referring to. I mean, just because you once called me Fancy Pants on your own blog does not mean that I am the only Fancy Pants in your life.

Pity, that. I guess I will go to bed now with my hot water bottle and snifter of cognac.

Samantha Dugan said...

Puff Daddy,

Nope I was wrong, had my guys mixed up. You are indeed Fancy Pants, Ron is the one that wears "fancy pants" on his head. Sorry for the mixup.

Yeah, I see you have been busy on that sugar free blog and even saw that you, (and Our HoseMaster) were featured on Steve's blog this morning...must admit, felt all left out and junk.