“Red Chardonnay”

RedRoo - the confused source of a bad joke

A good day’s work done, marking and preparing lessons. After lunch, I found time for a walk, but it’s my day off so after dinner a glass of wine is in order. To the piano bar at the Glenmoriston, taking in the islands and the birch trees with another short walk.

It’s quiet when I arrive, the only other customers are two Polish girls dressed up for … for what? This is Inverness. For the hell of it, I guess.

An older couple arrive and book a table for dinner. They talk about children; it sounds like they’re on a date. Pre-dinner drinks are considered. He is actually stroking his chin as he contemplates the wine list. A decision is made and he asks the barman, who is French, “Do you serve red chardonnay?”

The world, such as it is, comprising two over-dressed Polish girls, a French barman, and the older man’s companion, stops. Everyone becomes conscious that the Wallpaper* music continues to play the cover of a New Order song but there is no escaping that everyone wishes it was playing just a little louder. I think of birch trees, not so much those on the islands as those at Yekatrinburg.

The barman prevents the deluge and reboots the world, but even he is unable to suggest if it should continue on red or white lines.

“We do not serve red chardonnay”. Just a statement, no apology. Perfect.

Red chardonnay does actually exist; the creation of a marketing man, it must exist only in his mind, not his hand – marketing people only drink white. Link to hilarious interrogation of the concept.

Parisian Elegance, or How To Sell With Rats

Rats, caught in 1920s, and displayed in Chatelet in April 2010.

On a recent trip to Paris, my phone was stolen, depriving me not only of my photographs but also my pruneaux en armangac at Louis-Phillipe. They were exchanged for a trip to the Commissariat de la Police in the cinquiéme. As consolation my old phone yielded up this delightful proof of the enduring French art of window dressing, here alerting the passerby to the services of the local rat-catcher.Continue reading “Parisian Elegance, or How To Sell With Rats”

“Foreclosure” Published!

Today’s joy has been brought by the people at The Literateur and their publication of my short story, “Foreclosure”. It’s pretension quotient comes from the Fellini-esque inspiration (surely, more Bruce LaBruce). The reality quotient comes from being written on the day Bear Stearns collapsed and the bankruptcy of the age.