Wine and Cheese

Prompt: Song

Dear Wednesday,

Since the smoke and smog from the surrounding forest fires has finally dissipated and the sky is visible and we can smell grass and trees again, it’s hard to concentrate on the indoors, and that includes writing!

There are storms clouds gathering as I write this and I am thrilled just to be able to see them. We need rain, too, lots of it, as there are still hundreds of fires still burning and we’ve had barely a lick of precipitation for two months.

I don’t know anyone who has experienced this past month who will ever take a smog-free environment and fresh clean air for granted again.

Today’s casual prompt actually suggested we write about the third line in the last song we heard, which for me was an advertising jingle encouraging people to buy lottery tickets. So I altered the prompt yet have written nothing about music— still, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which relates to the prompt, “song”?


cartoon made-the-wine-i-made-the-cheese-new-yorker-cartoon_a-G-9168438-8419447

cartoon two-scientists-look-at-rats-in-a-lab-cages-zachary-kanin

Happy Wednesday and every day!



Thin Pants

Prompt: Thin

Hello Wednesday,

Tonight my sister and I watched a few old “The Launch” episodes. This is a low key but very high quality talent-search kind of program, Canada style. One of the contestants in the seven part series was Amy Bishop, who is not thin.

I am culturally naive; I don’t truly understand the discrimination that so many people experience, including friends, because of skin colour, conventional attractiveness, ethnicity, religion, height, weight or whatever. Amy Bishop feels held back because of her appearance. If she feels it, of course it is true.

As a white, fairly conformist white woman I understand that I know nothing about what others experience in these areas. I need to listen.

On the topic of “thin”, today’s Daily Prompt, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, of which only the first one relates to the theme?

cartoon thin pants

cartoon wine snobcartoon math



Prompt: Value


Two bottles of wine were laying down in the cellar, chatting. One was a bottle of blended reds, the other a more expensive Cabernet Sauvignon. Above them, an old bottle of fine French wine lay dormant, a layer of dust covering its label.

“Betcha I’m the next to go,” said the expensive Cab Sauv.

“I’m cheaper, I’ll be picked sooner,” said the blend.

“Not if the old fart up there is on the menu,” said the Cab Sauv, who was more worldly than the blend.

“How so?” asked the blended wine…

The Decoy Price


When a very expensive wine is put on the menu beside other price options, so that the middle price seems the reasonable choice.

This tactic is sometimes used with the food menu, too; for example, listing an inexpensive chicken dish, an upscale steak dish, and an outrageously priced lobster dish. The steak suddenly seems more reasonable and accessible than it would if there were no lobster on the menu.

The solution? Don’t look at the prices. Make your reasoned choices, and if the price is exorbitant, then you can scale down. Don’t let decoy prices fool you!


  • This advice brought to you by something I read on the Internet.


Prompt: Disagree


“While I disagree with you, I defend your right to express your opinion,” said Graham, and took a small sip from his glass of Merlot. “But you are wrong.”

“Thank you,” said Envy, and behind her sunglasses she rolled her eyes so hard it almost gave her a headache. She took a large sip from her glass of iced Sauvignon Blanc. The restaurant patio looked out upon acres of terraced vineyards, and was surrounded by grape vine trellises, and featured an extensive local wine list, and could not be more grape-y if it tried.

She didn’t want to argue with Graham any more. He considered discussions a cerebral exercise. He had no real opinions, except those that, for fun, opposed hers. This winery tour weekend had turned into an eye-roll extravaganza for Envy, who realized her radar for tolerable human beings was definitely rusted out.

He was adorable though, on first meeting. Very blond and thin, with mediterranean blue eyes behind large dark framed glasses, and a piquant comment to make on each of the pictures in the gallery on opening night. Envy was impressed, especially that the exhibit she had curated was so thoughtfully critiqued by such a charming person. Naively, as it turned out.

“While it is aesthetically resilient,” Graham said about Cena Navidad, “it is less a revival of a past tradition than, say, an act of meditation.”

“Do you really think so?” she asked him, tilting her head as she gazed at the print, as if that would facilitate some kind of revelation.

“Don’t you?” asked Graham, and took a small sip of his glass of Merlot.

Later on, he made love to her with a precision that was admirable, though may have been more a reflection of her need than his skill. And when he invited her on a weekend of wine touring and other decadence, she looked forward to a fascinating, and very satisfying, two days.

A winery tour was a decidedly unfortunate idea, not for Graham, who revelled in the private tastings and the opportunity to express detailed opinions, but for Envy, who had to listen to them.

Lightly smacking his lips (which also grew into an intolerable mannerism) after tasting, Graham declared the 2014 unoaked Chardonnay from one winery to be “parochially lean and sharply melancholy”. Envy was too melancholy to make love that night.

He found that a pleasant (to Envy) 2010 Merlot possessed “creamy tang overtones with a flippant cactus perfume too narcissistic for everyday consumption”. Envy was too prickly to sleep with Graham that night.

And on this, their last lunch in the valley before the drive home, he disagreed that he was an “over-dry, overrated white, with distinctly sour pickle notes and a uniformly weak finish.”

The drive back was scenic, past the crystal lakes, the dry hills turning into mountains, but inside the car it was quiet. Almost melancholy.


Prompt: Glass


“Let’s move here,” Marcus said.

They sat on a wide, granite-clad balcony overlooking dry hills spotted with green, and sinewy rows of vineyards, and mist-covered lakes far in the distance.

“Everyone says that,” Envy said.

“But we could do it,” said Marcus. He took the bottle of Pino Gris out of the ice and topped up their glasses with cold wine. He pushed the plate of food away from him.

“We have a home and commitments,” Envy reminded him, feeling stodgy and old. She wasn’t sure why she was compelled to remind him of what he already knew. It was a habit, a bad one. And the sun was behind him, and illuminated all the stray blonde hairs on his head, and he looked beautiful and saintly, and she wondered why they could not simply indulge themselves.

Envy sank into this memory, as she rode home alone, in the back of a taxi. Marcus would go to prison for what he’d done.

Envy wanted to travel back in time, and stay on that balcony, in the shade, in the heat, with the cold wine, forever.