Friday, February 20, 2009

Confessions of An Amateur Oenophile

The chrome drip-collar for my wine bottle resembles a cock ring. A nice one, shiny and buffed like the buttons on your First Communion blazer or Donald Duck’s sailor suit. In fact, if you saw this thing laying in my underwear pile, tossed off for reasons unknown, you'd think "love dungeon" long before "Pinot Noir." There, I've said it. Uncomfortable as that sounded I’m not above airing my shortcomings from time to time, spending prostrate moments in the oft-neglected web confessional.

The ring comparison is an odd thought, admittedly, from one who prefers his second brain to hang in natural stasis. Yet the lustrous loop haunts me – its overt sexuality a suffocating presence during dinner parties – imparting visions of reverse cowgirl or downward dog when I should be talking geopolitics or biodiesel solutions with learned friends. Nowadays I just loiter near the appetizer trough, waiting in fear to decant plummy Merlots. And there it is, blazing like the wide eye of God, patiently resting atop its bottle until the moment we two reunite; images of engorgement wrenching my head as if the phallus of Thor were slamming upside my temple. Although I pray my mind wanders toward the label, vintage, or cypress-flanked panoramas of Chianti country, it typically wraps up business in the novelty aisles of Romantic Depot. Chalk up the foible to “Things That Cannot Be Explained Without Lobotomizing The Subject,” much like Tim Geithner’s hard-on for tax evasion, or Joaquin Phoenix’s suicidal forays into hip-hop. And things are not going to get better. How can they get better when the object of my suffering is also identified as a “drip dickey”?

Perhaps this off-color assessment derives from childhood, dredged subconsciously from the countless hours logged in my mother’s basement: a porn producer’s ground zero teeming with ersatz wood paneling and orange sofas; always a few dangerous seconds from the infiltration of zebra-print polyester, strobe lights, and walrus moustaches. One “bow chicka bow-wow” away from a twenty man gangbang during Scooby Doo cartoons.

Or maybe, just maybe, the drip-collar is a cock ring, mistakenly placed by my loving wife after having been swapped for the real thing at our last key party. Despite the Saturday night fevers in this suburban love nest, once guests believe that I’m exploiting sex toys for household usage, any modicum of class will be quashed from our social standing, all tinges of gentility stamped from our repute. I might as well drop my pants, find a lampshade, and party with the Neanderthal drifters in the lot behind the beer distributer. Or hump a fire hydrant. Hell, it might feel good to crush Busch cans against my forehead after polishing off a carton of smokes with itinerant rejects. But shamefully, the man using a cock ring to thwart wine stains on his linens is probably using a vibrator as an electric mixer, or as a defibrillator for the next time grandpa conks out. Vicious cycle, indeed.

But we’re veering down a naughty path, you and I, and this forum prefers to operate within a minimal level of decorum. That in mind, I’ll agree to banish these cerebral notions to an isolated cognizance, if you agree not to gaze quizzically the next time I pass you a pestle or hand-held citrus reamer. Of course, you might see these objects for the Protestant utility their inventors intended, laying innocently against the kitchen butcher block, waiting
to receive garlic cloves and lemons. Mind and gutter faithfully divorced. Then again, we all view the world through a different lens. And you didn’t spend much time in my mother’s basement.