Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hangover Worthy of Kingsley Amis & Grape Crush

Ahh, Sir Kinglsey Amis, you've had quite the impact on me. You should probably be assigned to all college freshman, so they can learn the most important thing they'll take from school, adult socialization. Of course, by this I mean drinking, both responsibly and irresponsibly. The former tells you how you keep your head about you socially and the latter about what to do afterwards when you don't.

Today is about the latter. I went to my first wine crush yesterday, learning from the 25 years of experience of the host and a ton from the other wine makers who were there. It was great and the machinery was terrifyingly efficient. Like put the chicken in one end the the nuggets come out the other efficient. Grapes go in, crushed grapes come out and the stems are separated out. The host runs a free-run system, the grapes sit in a barrel and run off with the pressure.

It was great, and then my memory starts to fade. It might have been the dozen glasses of wine, or the number of grappa soaked cherry bombs. I'm not sure what happened, but I was hammered. I mean really drunk. And I didn't notice until I mercifully got a ride home. That's where the evening got fuzzy in real time. Right now it gets fuzzy before that, but that was the moment I knew I was screwed the next morning. My wife knew when I came home and she looked up, cackling from the couch, to ask if I wanted to watch some more episodes of The Nanny and I said yes, that sounded like a great idea.

Fast forward to 3am and I was awake with a start. No good reason, except enough alcohol left my system that I didn't feel right. No headache, one of the mercies of largely unsulfated home made wine. But everything was creepy. I wandered around a suddenly creaky house, waking the cat for comfort (he just went back to sleep) and trying to sleep on the couch, the floor, the chair, the bean bag and at one point in front of my chest freezer to be near my kegs. There I heard a weird noise which I chalked up to the physic issues I was having, but it turned out to be a different one of my kegs starting to spew beer all over the inside of the chest freezer. This time, I just didn't tighten down the flare nut on the liquid out, the last two times it was blown poppets on two different kegs. This went on for a few hours, both the spewing of beer by the keg and the insomniacal ravings inside my own head, culminating in worries I was tossed from the wine crush by my brothers and sisters in the club. This doesn't seem to be so, so far, and I'm glad for that. By 5am I had re-tightened all of the heat control knobs on the radiators, all of which opened up with the first introduction of heat to the system, and survived a few volleys from the cat who was clearly messing with me in my dangerously unstable state. Finally I was able to crawl into bed, only lightly waking my wife 4 hours before she had to go teach Sunday school.

And our man, Kingsley Amis, where was he with his great advice (sex, more booze, not moving a lot). Lost on a shelf at my in-laws, where I need it even more.

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