The sounds coming from my second floor bathroom are pretty common. Lots of bubbling, gurgling, and an occasional squeak. A few years ago that would have been from the kids, but today it is from the fifteen gallons of wine fermenting in my new wine cellar that is upstairs. In the bathroom no less.
Yes, the kids brought home a science project for adults and just like the old days, left it for mom to finish while they one went on a trip and the other back to work.
So my brother calls and asks if I can watch his two young daughters and all I can think of is giving them a bath straddling the three huge containers of fermenting wine juice. And what will they tell the teacher about their weekend?
Not only do I have to watch the cat, now I have wine duty. And both of the girls already checked in on the wine to make sure that I had correctly followed the directions for the next step. Newsflash. It is not rocket science, more like baking as you measure yeast and stir. I think I can handle it.
They asked if I would make them labels for their bottles and I was to come up with the name. Oh that is my specialty. Vino di Flush. Chateau Potty. Nature Calls. In the Drink. Ripe Wipe. Niagara Trickle. Back ‘o Noir. I could go on all night.
“We will serve no wine before it’s time.” Orson Wells
Since the last batch of wine making was such a success, the kids went to Fredonia, NY to get some more grape juice to make even more wine. That means our upstairs bathroom will once again become a wine cellar.
The kids have no space to make this wine, this time even a greater amount than before, and once again the parents will become foster vintners. My first thought was that I’d rather have grandchildren but then the wine turned out pretty good this last time, there were no diapers involved or screaming so I am okay with it.
My girlfriend’s daughter did my hair and it is so wonderfully colored that it really deserves to be seen by someone important, but since that is not very likely, I will settle for turning heads at Aldees and at the mailbox at the end of my driveway. This is as much exposure I can muster in a rural area where the largest village nearby has a population of 1800.
The other development is my recent acquisition of kettle bells. They were on sale at Aldees for $24.99. I have been swinging them around, which is kind of fun. Since they really make me sweat, I am not sure how long I will actually use them. Perhaps the latest health insurance survey I had to take that let me know my BMI is too high might motivate me. Maybe.
Free samples. Never met one I didn’t like. As all good advertisers know, the word free sets off an internal human magnet that is uncontrollable. Free food samples at Sam’s Club are my favorites, especially when the old ladies are working the free sample table. Between their poor eyesight and dementia, it’s about 60 second wait until they forget you and you can go back for seconds, thirds, etc. If they are younger, you have to add the inconvenience of the time it takes to remove your coat and put your hair in a pony tail in between visits. If you have reading glasses, they can come in handy too.
This weekend will be the mother of all good freebie visits. We are doing a wine tour. You visit all these places and they give you samples of wine in hopes that you buy some. I have all my lines down for maximum freebie capacity. Things like, “Can I have one more taste of that? My palate wasn’t quite clean” or “I am almost ready to purchase this but I need one more taste to make my decision.”
This procedure is most effective when the person behind the tasting bar is very busy so that you can make a quick exit before any actual purchase. I wait for a bus of red hat ladies on their weekend outing to arrive. Nothing like a group of menopausal women to provide adequate cover. When the kids were little, their crying and screaming worked pretty well, and a pre-teen hissy fit also did they trick, but they have grown up. Now they request payment for providing such diversions. At first I thought about paying them but realized that made me a free sample whore. I rather just spend my money on the bottle of wine at this point.
Anyway, this should be a happy weekend as we go from winery to winery and I am looking forward to it very much. I hope I last past the first two stops.
“Of course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.” ~ Robert Towne