Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Mr. Peters travels the world to taste wine. He’s a seasoned sommelier but has not yet achieved the qualification of “Master” from the Institute of Masters of Wine in the UK. The exams are much too rigorous, and the examiners are dissatisfied with Mr. Peters’ ideas. Still, he’s got his iron backbone; so he keeps insisting on the merits of a sweet Chinese wine distilled from bamboo. “The finish! Absurd!” The master says, and he turns the glass and pours the green liquor all over Mr. Peters’ horse-hide shoes. Mr. Peters ignores the insult and continues through the blind tasting part of the exam. “You know,” Peters says, “in the nineteenth century, people believed that grapes ripened better in the year a comet traversed the skies. Mm?” He concentrates on the tongue’s after-smack. “This must be a comet-wine. The cosmos is in the Nose.” At least he passed the blind tasting portion of the exam. But they’re still laughing over his tasting notes. “Ha! The Chinese aren’t known for making wine!” The masters claim, “They probably think good wine ferments in the Chairman’s underwear! Ha!” Mr. Peters respectfully approaches the master with the stiffest lips and pleas, “Will you consider my tasting notes on a wine made from Job’s tears?” The master scowls and tells Peters to wait until the next comet shoots across the sky. “Then we’ll reconsider.”

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