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“This is no longer just about German wines, is it?” asked Smith. He stumbled back through their conversation in his head trying to figure out where it had gone terribly, terribly wrong. It had begun with a simple question: which is the greatest Anbaugebiete in Germany? Easy enough, or so it seemed. You could immediately rule out Saale-Unstrut and Sachsen as being in the middle of catching up to the rest of Germany since the wall fell. Franken, Wurttemberg, Baden and Hessische Bergstrasse simply didn’t have enough Grand Cru sites to warrant serious consideration. The Rheinhessen and the Mittelrhein had some real sites, but turned out too much indifferent wine from over cropped vines. The Ahr, too small (450 hectares under vine? C’mon!). The Pfalz and the Nahe were SO CLOSE, oh they were so close, but the Pfalz tended to show its alcohol and the Nahe tended not to have a distinct personality. Total, civil, respectful agreement thus far. In the end, obviously, it was between the Rheingau and the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer: both full of the greatest, most dramatic sites in the world with wonderful slate soils and perfect southern exposures; both planted predominately to Riesling; and both making wines with longevity.

“Clearly,” said Smith, “it’s the power and elegance of the Rheingau that make it the best wine in Germany.”

“I agree,” responded Stan, “that its always remarkable to find both power and elegance in a wine, but it is more remarkable to find delicacy and finesse and such is the ‘power’ of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer.” There was just a touch of victory in Stan’s voice.

“I suppose you might suggest your yellow frock exhibits delicacy or that your exaggerated ruff has finesse?”

“Oh, jealous of my ruff are you?" asked Stan. "Typical fucking Jester - and such a tiny codpiece. No wonder you favor the Rheingau’s so-called ‘power’ – trying to compensate for something?"

“Fuck you, you goddamn clown! I suppose you think juggling bowling pins is delicate. And your dumb miming? Yah, loads of fucking finesse there. No one laughs at you anymore. You're finished, Punchinello, my friend!”

“Fuck you.”

Date Written: April 01, 2004
Author: John Slocum
Average Vote: 4.1429

04/6/2004 Benny Maniacs (4): A clear-cut four star short.
04/6/2004 Will Disney: good. more wine.
04/6/2004 qualcomm: hmm, i don't see any codpiece on punchinello.
04/6/2004 John Slocum: Stan is punchinello, Smith is the clown with the codpiece. Stop hovering in mid air.
04/6/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan (3): Why Stan and Smith. Why not Octavio and Delacourt? Why americanize the clowns? Nothing wrong with them being American of course (there's nothing ever wrong with being American) But why wouldn't they have named themselves something as extravagant as their profession, or their discussion? This would have completed the illusion for me, you know? I would have gone from wondering if these were nervous businessmen out of their territory to beliving that they were obnoxious performers from the get-go, which to me would have been superior. Bait & switch is such a popular theme in the Acmeshorts...
04/6/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: arrgh. I guess by beliving I meant believing.
04/6/2004 John Slocum: Maybe one of the clowns should have been called 'Ferucio.'
04/6/2004 Jon Matza (5): Why the low/sparse ratings here? I thoroughly enjoyed this. Slocum: is the hair-splitting & pedantry devolving into witless, spiteful name calling meant as a parody of/commentary on acme, as I suspect?
04/6/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: I'm just saying, is all. No need to get testy. I just wondered about the names. Is there a significance about Stan and Smith I'm missing? If you're going for that why not Jones instead of Stan, or Richards? Sorry if I'm a detail freak. I'm just trying to criticize constructively.
04/6/2004 Mr. Pony: What are you doing?!?
04/6/2004 Mr. Pony (4): This is what I am doing!?! I am voting?!?
04/6/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: To quote The Lerpa "uh?"
04/6/2004 John Slocum: Ferucio: I was sort of kidding, although your insistence on the names actually being clown-like seemed a little clown-like to me, and alsoyou were being so longwinded about it. It struck me that your name was a little in tenor like the names you recommended for the clowns. The thing was, I didn't want anyone to see the clowns coming and so picked bland names. Jones or Richard would have done the trick.
04/6/2004 John Slocum: Matza: I'm afraid you give me too much credit, I didn't actively intend any similarity to acme shorts commenting, but the similarity is there for sure now that you mention it. I've always been very sensitive and pick up on undercurrents of emotion on deeper levels. I'm a feeling person. A very, very feeling person. I'm also very spiritual, but not religious. I don't think you need to believe in a 'religion' to be spiritual. Etc.
04/6/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: I understand completely, and please feel free to use my name for clowns in the future. But I wonder still about the bait and switch concept. There's a set precedent and a reveal. And I wonder if the story would have been just as successful if it was two clowns arguing about fine German wine from the get-go. It seems to me that if one saw that on the street whilst sipping one's mochaccino, it might give one pause, to remember to tell friends later over dinner. I liked this short! I guess I was harsh with the stars... longwindedly yours...
04/6/2004 John Slocum: Ferucio: Seems to me your criticism is designed not so much to be constructive but for you to 'hear your own voice,' or, in this case, to read your own voice).
04/6/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: I wouldn't be at a writing site if I didn't, Slocum.
04/6/2004 John Slocum: alright then, there we are
04/7/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum (4):
04/7/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum: Interesting, Ferucio. Perhaps it would have been more effective if it were a comic then, and it showed the clowns having this argument. Then the argument would have seemed incongruous to the arguers, a la Pony's nun short. Oh, but then maybe you would have said the clowns shouldn't be clowns.
04/7/2004 Dylan Danko (4):
04/7/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: Ahh, the zing, like some kind of creamy venom in my eyes. But to be fair, yes I did see this visually. But I would always keep the clowns.
02/14/2005 TheBuyer (5): Hey, great pick, I wasn't around yet for this one.