Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Labor Day Missive From Rickey

Imagine yourself on a warm sunny afternoon. Perhaps a Labor Day weekend, much like this one. You’re outside grilling up some savory meats on the barbeque grill with the missus. You’ve polished off a bottle of tasty Belgian trappist ale and are feeling ambitious so you duck inside to uncork a nice bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. With visions dancing in your head of the simpler pleasures in life: cheese and pate plates, good books, and film noir movies, you carefully insert the corkscrew into the bottle and begin twisting.

Twist twist twist

Ah yes, you can almost taste it now—a nice bottle of French red wine conjuring up thoughts of the grapes, the sun, and the expansive pastures on the outskirts of some sleepy town in Provence.

Twist twist twist

You know, maybe one day you’ll make your way back to rural France, perhaps start up a vineyard, hire a bunch of delightfully eccentric characters to tend to the grapes, live the breezy and uncomplicated life, and grow fat off the land.

Twist twist twist

And why not just do it? If this election turns sour, what’s holding you back? Why not just drop everything, pack your bags and relocate to Provence? You know, really get into this vineyard owning idea. Go for it full bore: buy a Renault, acquire a tract of land and grow succulent grapes, bribe unscrupulous health inspectors, get involved in labor disputes, all the while enjoying the view of the rolling French countryside groves of pine and oak from your chateau patio as a warm wind blows against your face and the languid notes of “Parlez-moi d'amour” trickle like honey from the radio. You will become an unapologetic Frenchman, and despite George W. Bush saying that “the trouble with the French is that they don't have a word for ‘entrepreneur’”, you’re going to prove the ignorant schmuck wrong. You will start a successful winery goddamnit. You will consume the nectar of life, that sweet syrup which is incapable of lying. Yes, that’s it, tomorrow you’re going to locate your passport, liquidate your assets, and make some inquires. France, here you co…

Twist twist twist pull and… SNAP

Oh dear god no. Sweet fancy moses, this is not happening. Disaster. The cork has snapped in twain. How many fucking times have you passed by that rabbit contraption in the department store and told yourself you didn't need it because you're a man capable of opening a bottle of wine on his own? Well who's laughing now? The goddamned rabbit, that's who. Ok, relax, it’s all good, nothing is fucked here dude. You must remain calm. Let’s just try inserting the corkscrew again and try to get the stub out.

No dice, you have merely succeeded in only pushing cork debris into the wine.

Alright, alright, don’t panic. Where’s the missus, still outside tending to the barbeque? She hasn’t lit the back yard ablaze yet? Whew, ok. Damn this cheap cork, don’t these people realize that people are depending on you? Alright, where’s a knife? You’re not giving up here, not by a long shot. Did Napoleon give up the first time they tried banishing him to Elba? Did Louis Pasteur abandon hope when his peers told him that cholera in chickens really wasn’t worth curing? Did the French capitulate before German aggression in 1940? Shit no, they cobbled together a barricade of baguettes and water lilies to keep the invaders out, and it fucking worked.

You fetch a knife and begin poking at the now mutilated cork.

Well this was clearly a bad idea, you’ve managed to completely dull a knife and get even more cork particles in the wine. Is the missus still out there? And she’s not on fire? Good. Ok, it’s last resort time. You have a bold idea: you will pour the wine into a bowl and use a strainer to filter out the cork debris. This will work. This is where you make your stand. This is your Maginot Line.

And, quelle, surprise, it’s worked! (well sort of anyway). Your makeshift Maginot Line strainer has filtered out the bulk of the Gaulic Horde of cork debris. You latel yourself some wine, make a quick mental note to include a punch bowl set on the wedding registry, and head back outside. Enjoy the holiday folks, and this Labor Day weekend, remember to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
[Vote for Rickey's post at Humor Blogs]

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Alex L said...

You dont have screw top bottles?

Chris Wood said...

And that's a pricey bottle too! Shit. The horrors of the broken cork (sniff). I feel for you.

Mike said...

Damn froggies. Can't even manufacture a proper cork.

That's where good ole' 'Merkin know-how comes into play. We know to water our cork trees twice a week in August, and never forget to give those Mexican cork stuffers at the factory their Labor Day bonuses.

David said...

Happy holiday weekend to Rickey and Mrs Henderson.

You must by all means get a rabbit. They are fantastic and I will take mine with me when I relocate to Italy if McSame wins in November.

weesle909 said...

Nothing like a good bowl of wine....

Bee said...

Ha ha! That happened to me once and I did the same thing!
I then had the brilliant idea to just make Sangria and nobody knew of my faux pas.

Next day, I bought the rabbit.

Bob said...

That'll teach you. Buying that French shit. There are plenty of good American wines these days that have good old screw tops.

What kind of American celebrates American LABOR with French wine?

Happy Labor Day anyway.

Rickey Henderson said...

Despite the holiday being very American in it's genesis, Rickey has long held that this day is a day to enjoy all good things in life, be they foreign or domestic. Besides, the French laid the groundwork for our nation's core democratic ideals, no?

Jeff said...

Hmmm, I like a little pulp in my orange juice, a few grounds in my coffee cup, a bit of cork in my wine. Gives you a little something extra to chew on whilst enjoying your boisson.

RMatlack said...

I always open bottles of beer and wine by smashing the neck on the edge of the counter, this way I have a weapon when I am done with my drink...Maybe Ricky should invest in the Houdini bottle opener?

It's amazing!

Ed in Westchester said...

Rickey - I thought the Rabbit was a ladies um, personal massager? (curses wife for making him watch Sex in the City)

Zachy's in Scarsdale has a great opener that is much cheaper than those expensive deals and works just as well. Ed has never broken a cork with it.

Ed also vouches for many wines that now come with screw tops (Fin being one label).