MAGPIE TALE: Family Portrait in Alcohol
'Wine has always flowed in our family, splashing the banks of our bloodline as it rushes to the the family tree and soaks its roots before drowning its branches, retreating to leave an eternal crimson shroud.
Where did it all begin? Likely long before any of our ancestors crossed the Atlantic to Canada and then descended ever further down the Mississippi and then out to the west, scattering in random streams from Vancouver to San Diego, like the errant remnants of a spilled glass of merlot. Our now revered ancestors always had a bottle of cheap burgundy as they strolled the back alleys of Vienna picking rags or sneaking through through the loose board of a fence to steal a pair of chickens for Christmas dinner.
The New World brought only a slightly scrubbed new start. Stories of Great Great Uncle Winchell and his over-sized coats to hide his eternally present bottle.
His cousin Harriett thought she broke the chain by switching champagne and later pink and blue cocktails that her dog Jasper was always quite happy to lick away so she could delude herself into believing that any evidence of her debauchery had been erased.
Grandpa Orleans continued that tradition by never acknowledging that his problem ever existed, forever scolding his fellow plumbers guild of the evils of booze. "Don't throw your earnings down the drain, boys." They found him face down in one of his latest porcelain installations on his 37th birthday, lifeless from an alcoholic stroke and leaving nine hungry mouths to feed.
Labels: Magpie Tales