"Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful."--Molly Ivins
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The M.S. Conspiracy
A HoseMaster of Wine Pulp Fiction Classic Chapter 10Queer Patterns
When you're a dick you can get put in some pretty crappy places. I wasn't that surprised that Tiny knew about the paper in my pooper, Tiny makes a living knowing everything, but when had it been put there without my knowing? It had to have been recently; I'd only just given myself my monthly prostate exam--I was a quart low, must be in need of a ring job. The only time that made sense was after Fugly the midget knocked me out in the Les Mars Hotel. But had Fugly done it? It was the nearest cavity for him, sure, but he'd have had to undo my pants, lower my Depends, slip off the fishnet stockings, remove my sheer black nylon panties, push aside my thong, insert the note, then put it all back before I came to. And midgets have a notorious fear of Depends, for obvious reasons.
I carefully unfolded the note that had previously been residing in my ex-wives' Divorce Lawyers Hospitality Suite. It contained a simple message. I'd halfway hoped for a fortune, you know, like "Hey, it's dark in here," or "If you can read this you're following too close." But all it said was,"Here's your M.S. certificate, Shithead!" I wondered what that was about. And then suddenly I knew.
I left Tiny still scrounging for foie gras in the Cyrus dumpster and headed over to the Healdsburg Coroner's Office where Lorna and Veronica's sister should be dressing up the slabs by now. Healdsburg doesn't see a lot of murders, not usually anyway, yet the town has a Medical Examiner. Medical Examiner isn't her full-time job, by day she's a butcher at Big John's market. Stuffs a mean pork loin. Her name is Avril Cadavril. Avril was getting ready to examine Veronica's sister. Maybe it's me, but drawing those lines all over her and labeling the different cuts seemed a little cold. I will admit, the chuck looked pretty good though, worth way more than two bucks.
"Hello, Avril, is that the girl from the Hotel Healdsburg?"
"Yup," Avril responded. I'd sort of forgotten how unattractive Avril was. Two hundred pounds of sausage stuffed into one casing. But years of being a butcher, having more blood on your hands than Donald Rumsfeld, will take their toll. But, I guess, she knew the steaks when she took the job.
"Have you checked her anus yet?" This is what life comes down to. The joy of childhood turns to the acne-covered ache of adolescence followed by the uncertainties and badly chosen sexual adventures of young adulthood which finally lead to following a real passion--wine; you follow that passion to a small town in wine country thinking you'll finally realize part of your dreams and you end up an illustrated meat dummy with a dick standing over you asking, "Have you checked her anus yet?" God's great plan.
"No, Hosemaster, I haven't. You're the only asshole I've looked at all day."
I slipped on a pair of surgical gloves, quickly put my hands to my ears, fingers splayed, and said in my best Bullwinkle voice, "Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!" and gently explored Veronica's sister's Alaskan pipeline. Sure enough, there was a slip of paper.
"Well," I said to Avril, "look what I found."
"Inspected by No. 28?" Hey, it was a butcher joke.
"Not exactly. But, you know, Avril, I'm just trying to help you not be so behind in your work." The paper read exactly like the one that had been put into my Wine Spectator office, "Here's your M.S. certificate, shithead!"
"What do you suppose that means?" Avril asked me.
"Don't know, babe, but I'll do the suppositorying around here, if you don't mind. Where's the other woman's body, the one from Les Mars?"
"Sure," said Avril, "now I guess women are from Les Mars and men are from Anus. She's over here."
Avril walked over to an adjacent gurney and removed the white sheet that was covering Lorna like she was a Forest Lawn toreador and I was an adoring crowd. "Did you check her anus?"
This is what life comes down to. The wonder of childhood turns to the weekly beatings of adolescence followed by the wearing of women's undergarments in young adulthood which finally lead to discovering the joy of substance abuse--wine; you follow that passion to a hick town in wine country only to end up covered in a white tablecloth on a gurney with a dick standing over you asking, "Did you check her anus?" Praise the Lord.
I already knew the answer by the way Avril was staring at me, like she was a brand new shoe and I was a great big turd. I carefully turned Lorna on her side and began to check her Nigerian hijacker runway. As I felt around for the expected Surprise in Every Backdoor Box, the door to the morgue suddenly opened, and when I looked over my shoulder to see who it was I was shocked to see Veronica and Jessica bursting in. Thank goodness they hadn't arrived a few minutes sooner when I was paying a booty call on Veronica's sister.
"What the hell do you think you're doing, Hoseprober?"
"Looking for clues, Jessica. I think I've found something."
"What? Your breath mints?"
"No, Chief," I said as I removed the expected slip of paper from Lorna's Year End Review of Wines, "this." I unfolded the note. But, to my surprise, it didn't say "Here's your M.S. Certificate, shithead." The look on my face got Jessica's attention. I'd gone as white as a picture of wine judges.
I handed the paper to Jessica. "'You're next, HoseMaster,'" she read, "'unless you keep your nose out of strange bungholes.' What's this about, Hosepucker?"
I was about to tell her when Veronica screamed. I hadn't heard a scream like that since the last time I'd has sex with Avril. A loud, piercing, girly scream. Avril looked at me. She remembered when I'd screamed like that.
"What, Veronica," Jessica asked, grabbing Veronica by her shoulders and holding her tightly to her chest, turning her head away from the gorgeous dead girls, "what is it?"
Veronica was crying maniacally, gasping for breath, but she managed to point at Lorna, lying there so peacefully, my bad fortune cookie, my Pez dispenser of Death, and say, "She's my sister!"
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.
I'm living proof that alcohol kills brain cells.
What the Critics Are Saying About HoseMaster of Wine
"If you want a great hoot and howl moment or two...go read the HoseMaster's year-end reflections...that guy is without a doubt the funniest SOB in the blog-world...and thank him for having the brains and balls to target his laser of laughter on anybody...HoseMaster for President...HoseMaster for Blogger of the Year...although he would be the first to say the bar is so damn low for that award, he should win it every year..." --Robert Parker
"...With sometimes crude analogies and occasional droppings of f-bombs, Washam cleverly uses satire to expose the underbelly of the wine business. It's often hilarious stuff as long as you're not the one being lampooned. Washam takes no prisoners in skewering all that is silly, stupid, frustrating and pretentious about wine, and his favorite targets are other bloggers and writers. No one is immune."
--Linda Murphy in "Vineyard and Winery Management"
"No one is immune from California sommelier and wine judge Ron Washam's skewering. He polishes that skewer with boundless enthusiasm and acuity." --JancisRobinson.com
"As serious as the world of wine is, it does allow time for humor. Each Monday and Thursday, Ron Washam customarily posts a commentary on his needling wine blog HoseMaster of Wine. Washam, a former sommelier and comedy writer – he might say they are closely related – is the most opinionated, humorous and ribald observer in the wine world. His body of work is irreverent and remorseless. It’s almost always satire and parody, though he occasionally drifts into straight commentary, sometimes even with tasting notes. This past year, one of his posts was named the best of the year in the Wine Blog Awards. His success has spawned several imitations, which in their awkwardness show just how difficult satire is."
--Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/21/6089630/dunne-on-wine-wine-blogs-and-bloggers.html#storylink=cpy
"Please let this guy write the scripts for Saturday Night Live which has gotten so lame...his newest "wisdom" is worth an Emmy....I wonder if he is the genius behind all those Hitler/Parker,etc. clips? No one else is remotely as funny or as talented.And the wine world sure needs someone to poke fun at all the nonsense and phoney/baloney unsufferable crap out there."
"Washam uses his own blog, HoseMaster of Wine, to skewer the industry in general and wine blogs in particular. If your mouse scoots to your browser's close box while reading a wine blog, Washam may be the blogger for you."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Ron Washam, former sommelier, is easily the most bitingly funny blogger/wine writer that we have ever come across. He is an equal opportunity crusader who pillories big wineries and amateur bloggers alike, as well as everything and everyone in between...One needs a sense of humor and a tolerance for earthiness to enjoy reading The Hosemaster. We must have both because this guy deserves a wider audience, in our humble opinion." --Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
"In my opinion, and that of many others, his blog is one of the best. And in terms of satirical or parodic wine blogs, it has no peer. Ron’s alert eye catches every pretense and skewers it with laugh out loud mercilessness."
"This site should carry a warning label. It's sort of a Dave Barry/George Carlin approach to wine. The Hosemaster (real name Ron Washam) skewers fellow bloggers and industry savants with glee, while offering hilarious wine guides such as his Honest Guide to Grapes..."
--Paul Gregutt, Seattle Times
"Washam is a skilled wine judge (I have judged with him) who is willing to judge wine double blind, in public. To my knowledge, Parker does not do this and never has. So Ron's credentials are in place, and so is his sense of the absurd."
--Dan Berger, VintageExperiences
"...I consider Ron a very talented writer and I’ve long been an admirer of his scathing wit..."
"And if any free sites think they can conquer the world, there’s always the Hosemaster to take ‘em down a notch."
--Tyler Colman "Dr. Vino"
"Those of you who know Ron either love or hate him, because he throws jabs like a punch drunk boxer, and we’re all in the firing line. He’ll throw them if he hates you, and he’ll throw them if he loves you. He’s a satirist of exceptional quality."
--Jo Diaz "Juicy Tales by Jo Diaz"
"I must say you are an idiot. I've never liked you. I have no idea why people find you funny."
--Reign of Terroir
Robert (Joseph) was/is funny unlike HoseMaster who wasn't/isn't.