Monday, January 28, 2013

Quiddick the Critic--The Best of HoseMaster

I had a terrible flu last week. So today is a rerun. I call it Best of HoseMaster. A low bar to get over. Anyway, from February 2012, here is Quiddick the Critic.

For My Gorgeous Samantha

Alone in his parlor, his nose at the ready
Quddick the Critic can’t hold his hand steady.
“I’ve spit and I’ve spit like a short-tempered camel
I’ve got very few teeth that have any enamel.

“My liver has grown to the size of Bulgaria
And my blood vessels look like a map of Bavaria.
My gut has grown huge, I’m immense for my genus,
It’s been several years since I last saw my penis.

“But I’ve got all these bottles, these bottles galore
And with nose and with tongue I must give them a score.
Reputations and lives all depend on my skills.
For my hands to stop shaking, I’ll wash down these pills.”

Quiddick the Critic is the King of all Wine,
His power unquestioned, his gift deemed divine.
One sniff of a wine, one mouthful or two,
A number emerges! Like you squeeze out a poo.

“Cassis and vanilla! White pepper and thyme!
Berries and cherries and girly parts’ slime!
Fresh green tobacco and other parts herbal!
The definitive scent of Tom Cruise’s gerbil!

“Muscular, brawny, with elegant tannin!
A sulfurous note as if shot through a cannon!”
Now Quiddick the Critic is ready to score,
“It’s brilliant, it’s classic, it rates 94!”

Thus Quiddick the Critic has ruled wine supreme.
His followers drank up his every wet dream.
With just one simple score he made up in his head
He can banish a winery to Land of the Dead.

But Quiddick the Critic has seen better days
Subscriptions are canceled, he gets no more praise.
His star has been fading, his flock has dispersed,
He was once the big cheese, but now he’s the wurst.

“I have to do something, I must regain my power,
Or I’ll end up like Verjus, incredibly sour.
Maybe I’ll pack up and travel to China,
Maybe I’ll pray that I grow a vagina.

“Everyone knows when it comes down to palates,
That women’s are better, that men’s are like mallets.”
Quiddick the Critic, at this point, was hammered,
He babbled, he dribbled, he droned on, he yammered.

When suddenly there was a knock at his door.
He reached down and picked up his pants from the floor.
“I rate the wines naked and make my selections,
It’s better than blind, and I get more erections.”

Like every wine critic, though Quiddick was King,
His sex life was barren, he played with his thing.
For a woman might want him because of his clout
But that thing in his pants was most like a dead trout.

“Who is it?” he cried, “Who’s there at my door?”
But his queries were answered with silence, no more.
His instincts were shouting, Don’t answer the knock!
It could be a winemaker armed with a Glock!

But Quiddick the Critic could scarcely ignore
His longing to know who was banging his door.
He opened it slowly, his nerves were atwitter.
But instead of one bitch, he found a whole litter.

For outside his door there were hundreds of Poodles,
Short ones and tall ones, all kits and caboodles.
“We’re here to replace you,” they said as a chorus,
“You’re over and done with, you cannot ignore us!”

“You’re Bloggers!” cried Quiddick, “the spawn of the Net!
You’re posers and douchebags and lovers of Brett.
You cannot replace me, don’t you know who I am?
I’m King of the Critics and you clowns are Spam!”

The Poodles were growling, their barking intense.
They gaped at his size, then said, “Let us flense!”
The first to attack him, he thought he had balled her…
But the one with no punch, he knew, “That was Alder!”

They all were upon him. The nuts and the fruity!
The Blake Grays, the Jim Budds, and even WineDoody.
They cut him and bit him and left him for dead,
And felt proud of themselves, at least that’s what they said.

“Now we’ll be the experts instead of that tub.
Our ignorance though, well, Ay, there’s the rub.
But you don’t need knowledge to start your own blog
You don’t need credentials, you just have to slog.

And you don’t need talent, not even a little
You just need a keyboard upon which you piddle
Your underthought thoughts, your impulsive twaddle.
Your useless descriptions of what’s in the bottle.

The world is much better with endless opinion
With more mindless noise from each mindless minion.
We’ll dazzle the wine world, we’ll learn it much faster.
And screw that damn Quiddick and fuck the HoseMaster.”

With poor Quiddick dead all the Poodles seized power.
Consumers were baffled, the wineries dour.
“They all want free samples, they all own the joints!
Old Quiddick, we miss you, your misleading points.”

But critics were dying and bloggers ascendant.
The bloggers not knowing they were codependent.
Without critics to harp on they had little to say
And slowly but surely they all went away.

The silence is welcome, like when you use Bean-o.
No Heimoff, no Alice, the late Dr. Vino.
And everyone’s happy, from shop to consumer.
Wine tastes so much better sans numbers and rumor.

And what is the moral of our tragic story?
For stories need morals like bloggers need glory.
Well, there’s not much to glean from this Seussic disaster—
Except that the sickest is our famed HoseMaster.


Unknown said...

Brilliant, even the second time around, Sir Hosey.

Hope you feel better.

Charlie Olken said...

Not that I wish you the flu, but this reprise has me in stitches.

Loved "spawn of the net, lovers of brett" and lots more.

And if there is ever need for another Seussic book, you might want to try your hand at it.

Samantha Dugan said...

One of my all time are you.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I'm getting there. Thanks. I think I had the bird flu because my bird still aches.

This is one of those posts I still remember writing. Most of the time, once a piece is finished it vanishes from my brain. But Quiddick the Critic was a real challenge to write, and enormous fun. I hadn't read it in almost a year either, and I only reposted it because I actually enjoyed reading it.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Thanks, My Love. I did know that you always loved Quiddick. So that helped me get the nerve to rerun it. I've often kicked around doing a sequel to Quiddick, but I'm not sure I want to tackle this comic poetry again. Man, it's a lot harder than Dr. Seuss makes it look. Spend an hour doing this and you come away knowing that Seuss was truly a genius.

I love you!

Charlie Olken said...

Re Seussic poetry--

Of course, it is hard work. If it were easy, anyone could do it.

I loved reading Seuss to my kids and then years later to my grandkids. The brilliance of the rhyming, the brilliance of the word usage, the wonderful cadence.

What I found really amazing was the way you captured it. But this was not some "kids" poem filled with imiginary McGirkuses and Cats with big hats.

This was real world, and that has to limit you in some ways because you cannot invent item after image after rhyme out of whole cloth.

I meant it when I said that you should think about how you can extend the franchise here. In words, the poem must be close to the length that Seuss produced because he might often have just four lines on a page.

My first thought was that you could do another kids book, but I am now thinking about ways that you could do a wine country commentary that ran long enough to fill a whole book. I am betting it would sell if the premise were solid.

This kind of brilliant writing is too good to be limited to the likes of us. Not that we are not fully appreciative. But, and pardon my overblown praise which you hardly deserve, but very few can write like this--and I am not kidding when I suggest that there ought to be a way, beyond the Atkins diet, to extend the franchise.

Samantha Dugan said...

Believe it or not Ron I was thinking of this piece just about a week ago. You have all these new readers, (and I am so happy for and proud of you!) that can see how funny you are but I was wondering how many took the time to realize and admire how truly talented you are. This piece is fucking brilliant and a testament to your given talent. To write in such a specific and recognizable voice, and do it so seamlessly? Makes me cringe with envy and marvel in your gifts. You always make me laugh, are always grammatically perfect but it is the pieces like Quiddick that make my heart pound away in my chest...thrilling. You amaze me and I love you too!

Samantha Dugan said...

And yes, Sir Charles and I are sitting side by side trying to overwhelm you with gush....we need a dash of Thomas to balance things out.

Unknown said...

Absolutely Brilliant! A great start to an otherwise bleak Monday morning. Thanks for the giggles! ; )

voice of reason said...

I missed this the first time- I am glad that you gave us "newbies" a 2nd chance!

thanks for the imagery.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

The challenge with a piece like this is to be funny, in rhyme, without telegraphing the punchline. As for Seuss, let's not forget that he also illustrated those brilliant, timeless books. I draw like a chimney with the flue closed (Don't say FLU!). And, without fake humility, I have a mere morsel of Seuss' genius.

However, I'm flattered. Thank you very much.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
When I used to parody wine bloggers, I quickly learned that very few of them had a voice. An attitude, an ego, a skill set, yes. A genuine voice, No. That made them very hard to parody.

Seuss is fun to do because he plays with the language in a wonderful way, and once you get into the story, you begin to trust him to take you somewhere. As when you tell a story. Most Poodles take you nowhere, have nothing original or compelling to say, and say it with little flair or energy.

As for staying in the voice, well, I don't think I did that very successfully. But I had fun with it, and it is the rare piece that I actually enjoyed writing. Kind of fun to see it again for me too.

I love you--consider Quiddick the Critic dedicated to My Gorgeous Samantha. I'll change the beginning to reflect that.

You're welcome. Thanks for taking the time to say so. Hard to write comedy and not hear the laughter. Words like yours help.

Most of my eleven readers weren't around last February. Probably won't be around next February either. Glad you liked it.

Thomas said...


Ron Washam, HMW said...

You've sprung a leak! Luckily, I enjoy spring leeks.

Joe Roberts said...

< chomp! chomp! >

Rogue Wino said...

*Checks pants* Yup, still dry... barely.

Unknown said...

that was really fantastic

Ron Washam, HMW said...

The dominant Poodle gets the best bits. Enjoy.

Rogue Wino,
Damn, so close. I do enjoy making the pants wet, even my own.

Thanks. Quiddick is one of my faves, and I almost never like what I write. It's been nice to see such a positive response.