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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wine Tasting,Catholic Bookstores & the Scone Widow

One of the best ways to raise your personal visibility in the "Food Show" is to put yourself in positions of authority. Not in the work place, but in the media.

I have a theory that if you want to be taken seriously, you cannot afford to go more than 8 weeks w/o "splashing" or showing up in the newspaper, television or the radio.

I have gotten pretty good at this over the last decade, in part because I have followed a formula that subscribes to the....

"Eventually the World Will Get Tired of Looking at J-Low's A**" theory.

That's right, no matter how compelling a focal point is, sooner or later people will tire of it, you have to present your brand with different options.

So for me, I can't just talk about bread, I have to discuss other matters, or other angles which revolve around bread.

One of the "Klecko Outlets" that got some good bang for the buck was writing different columns.

I have written for baking publications, restaurant guides, newspapers, and even a wine rag that dropped monthly.

Klecko doesn't know squat about wine,but like many things I can fake my way through it if surrounded by novices, but this publication basically went out to hardcore wine enthusiests.

So my column was called "Klecko....Man Around Town", and I would report on events across the Midwest (and occaisionally further) and I would discuss trends and gossip. I found out what celebs were drinking, the whole dealio.

During this period of time I started to enjoy wine a little bit, so I kept my eye open for classes and tastings that took place in my area.

One evening I got a phonecall from Jill Dahl A.K.A. the Widow Dahl, A.K.A. the Scone Widow, and she told me that Haskell's Spirits was having some "Drink Yourself Around Germany" tasting the following day. So Sue McGleno and I decided to meet her over there. It was in the dog days of summer, and the temp was close to triple digits. Everybody in the entire city was moving like zombies, zombies with multi layers of sweat.

When we walked into Haskell's, we saw that that had a "Tasting Table" set up right next to the area where their refridgerated cases were. Sweet Jesus of Warsaw....it felt so-so good. As if pretty angels were blowing wisps of cool air across your body.

The Scone widow was already present, I think thats why I got along with her so well, she was always punctual.If I am going to be friends with you....puntuality is critical, but then theres Sue McGleno and.....

So about a dozen of us sit down in nice wooden chairs. Chairs much to nice to be in a liqour aisle. Also there were a boat load of exotic bottles opened and baskets of crackers, cheese and deli meats that were provided to cleanse our palate, and maybe help maintain our sobriety just a bit.

Our instructor was a young bird who started off telling us about her perceptions on how wine had changed her life, culture, blah-blah-blah.....

Nobody cared, we just wanted to tilt bottles, but beggers can't issue "Shut Up" orders now, can they?

When you looked at her presentation table, you might of guessed that the process of emptying it would be a 1/2 day commitment, there was just that much stuff, but I don't know....maybe it's because she got paid by the hour that we had that table trashed and vacant within 45 minutes.

If you don't know much about wine, let me make one reccomendation, don't ever mix Rieslings and Alsace, in addition to obtaining a peyote trance, you'll also walk out to your bread truck with a shopping cart of booze products that you are unfamiliar with, and you won'y be able to drive for a couple of hours.

So now me, Sue McGleno and the Scone Widow are in the Haskell's parking lot. The sun is beating down on us without mercy. I havent even opened my vehicle yet and I'm "just took a shower" sweaty.

Sue McGleno knows that she is the clostest thing to responsible in our trio so she "Eye Spies" a Bakers Sqaure across the parking lot and suggests...

"I'm kinda drunk. I don't think any of us are safe to drive. Lets eat Pie!"

My head was swimming so I wasn't going to argue, but I will confess that it did irk me that Sue McGleno once again was able to insert pie as a soloution to one of lifes problems.

The Widow Dahl on the other hand surprised us totally. She assured us that she was wicked sober and needed to get home, but dude...I sat next to her and she was pounding like a salt dog sailor. It's hard being in this sitch, cuz you know that your friend my appear compitent, but their blood levels are more than enough to plop them in the DUI Tank.

Zoom.....no time to think about it though, the Widow split. so Sue McGleno and I reclined in a spacious booth where she took down a Chocolate Berry slice while I chipped away at Key Lime.

I know we were in there for at least an hour. Our server was giving us that "Hey Plop A**, if you are gonna stay here, you better order a cheeseburger or tip the crap out of me" look.

Eventually we got home, I unloaded 2900 bottles of things I no longer recognized and just as I was about to power nap on my couch my Son told me that we needed to go to the mall, and I had promised. He was right. I did, and now I regretted that promise and the day of his conception with every fiber in my soul. I WANTED TO TAKE A NAP!

My kids love nothing more in this world than when my Klecko codes of conduct can be used against me.Its like going to bed on Christmas night, realizing that you won't get another gift until your birthday, but then your mom pushes open your bedroom door and drags in a huge present that she can't believe she forgot to give to you.

But anyway, Sonny boy had a big smile on his face while mocking me with reassurance.....

"Don't worry Father, we'll be home in a couple of hours, but won't it be fun navigating our way through the Rosedale parking lot? It's Saturday....I don't imagine it will be too busy, and hey...maybe if we are real lucky, we'll have the sun in our eyes."

The little jerk was bursting with delight.

I so wanted to choke the punk, but at the same time, I so respected him. I totally would have used that kind of ammo against any of you if I felt your code had been broken, and better yet, that I would annoy you.

So the 2 us hop back into the bread truck and head north down Hamline Avenue so we can turn left on Randolph, but as we sat at the stoplight, who cruises through the intersection but the Widow Lindahl?

Her face has no expression,in fact she looked like one of the teen age movies were the protaginest makes a dead person drive the car, I don't know, like "WEEKEND AT BERNIES" right?

I started laughing and filled Sonny Boy in on the days earlier events and he laughed without making an audible noise, just like teen age boys will do.

So lets fast forward past the mall and other events. It's now Saturday night, and I called the Widow Scone Lady and asked her what happened? I mentioned I thought she was dead, and asked if she was OK.

"Yes,dead I was. At least for awhile. when I left you guys I really was fine, but when I got 3 blocks away. The angels showed their disapproval and struck me down. I ended up pulling into that Catholic place, what is it? Saint Patricks book something? Well it is never comforting to be drunk with priests walking around you, but it was my own damn fault for getting myself in that condition. so I grabbed a Bible and went over to the kids area and sat in a beanbag chair and pretended to read the scriptures, but I got so tired, and a little sick. So now I completly laid back in my bean bag, covered my face with the Bible and just intended to close my eyes for a couple of seconds."

Now there is a pause and I hear the Widow making a noise, but I can't tell if she is laughing or crying. It was the former.

"I passed out for over an hour and a half. When I woke up, I was disoriented.But then I heard a kid ask somebody why the woman was snoring. My face was still covered with the Bible,but I was pretty certain he was talking about me.But then I got nervous. I didn't want to move and I was afraid to take the Bible off my face. I imagined dozens of Nuns were standing over me by now."

By her voice I could tell that the Widow has embibed further since she'd gotten home. Now her explanation finishes amidst bursts of laughter.

"Just as the crucifixion robe congealed to our Savior's body, so too did that Bible stick to my face. I'm not kidding you, I was fearful that the book of Psalms had bled onto my eyelids.So when I finally pryed it off of my head, there was a small audience, just standing there looking at me."

I've never-ever-ever-ever laughed at a story so hard in my life, so now I asked how she got out of there, and if she was able to maintain even a shred of dignity during her departure.

"Of course there is no dignity left, but these people were Catholic, they don't care about things like that. It's money they want. so I just walked over to the counter and bought the Bible that I sweated on and got the hell out of there."

I truly miss the Scone Widow,

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