First, let me just start off by saying that I would appreciate it greatly if you not leave my sight again like you did last week when you appeared to a Canadian professional tennis player In the middle of his first-round match in the 2014 Australian Open.
"I was dizzy from the middle of the first set and then I saw Snoopy and I thought, 'Wow Snoopy, that's weird'... I couldn't keep my balance anymore and I leaned over the fence and when I woke up people were all around me."
Listen Snoopy, I don't have to tell you that this is almost exactly how you and I first met exactly one year ago today, only I wasn't playing professional tennis and suffering from heat stroke, but rather sitting in a snow bank after a heavy day of wine guzzling at one of the eight unique Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula in the annual event misnamed The Winter Warm Up.
Snoopy: Why do you say "The Winter Warm Up" is misnamed? And don't you mean "wine tasting", not "wine guzzling"?
I'll take the last question first. Sure, our group engaged in the typically snooty activity called "wine tasting" while we were actually inside a winery and bellied up to the bar (do they call it that?). We pushed our $15 souvineer glass wine-tasting mug towards the haughty and aloof "bartender" for him to pour a few drips into the stemless faux crystal.
(NOTE TO SELF: It is frowned upon to tell the host in your best immitation of "Cousin Eddie" from Vegas Vaction, "fill'er'up and don't be cheap with that!")
We would then swirl the reddish liquid around, while sticking our nose in the top of the mug to get a waft of the very sophisticated beverage.
(NOTE TO SELF: It is frowned upon to stick one's tongue into the mug at this time).
We would them tip the glass to our lips and savor this fermented nectar, saying terms like "bouquet", or "fruity", or something called "tannins" or to say flowery words regarding the "finish"
(NOTE TO SELF: A favorite quote from the movie Sideways makes you sound like a wine conasewer).
Me (circa 2013): *sip* "A little citrus. Maybe some strawberry. Mmm. Passion fruit, mmm, and, oh, there's just like the faintest soupçon of like, uh, asparagus, and, there's a, just a flutter of, like a, like a nutty Edam cheese."
Aloof Bartender: Sir, that was the jug of water used to cleanse your palette between wines.
Me: Still. Just sayin'.
It was at that point last year when I got a little dizzy, turned to the bar stool next to me and said... 'Wow Snoopy, that's weird'.
Snoopy: Yes, I remember. But "wine guzzling"?
I'm getting to that! Old Mission Peninsula is a peninsula located in the northern portion of the lower peninsula of Michigan.
Person from a square state: WTF is a peninsula?
I have no idea. However, put your left hand out in front of you (palm away, thumb out and fingers together) like you're telling someone "STOP RIGHT THERE and back the f*&$k up!". Old Mission Peninsula is located on the fingernail of your ring finger.
My point is, this is not the French vineyard at the grand château (thank goodness). However, it is a vineyard engaged in the business of wine making, which has an air of haughty at its core. But we are Michiganders also, which means we like to party. So mix the two together, and what you get is a tailgate in the winery parking lot.
It is hard to be haughty while you're "chicken-wingin redneck style" a large glass bottle of fermented peach hooch while standing in a snow bank in sub zero temperatures.
"Winter Warm Up"? I don't think so. But looking forward to this year's edition later today. Ready to go Snoopy?
PICTURED: a sweating and inebriated Clint Eastwood during the bar scene in Unforgiven. This will look exactly like me at one of the wineries today at some point.