November 30, 2004

Whine Wine

I swayed as I walked from my favorite Upper West Side wine bar, Bouquet. An early evening tasting party of Australian reds had left me as wasted as a wallabee. I was sashaying down the avenue humming Men At Work when my gay sixth sense began to buzz.

Something wasn’t right!

I found myself standing in front of a massive glass window showcasing a floor of designer sofas and couches. My drunken eyes trailed over the rich fabrics and plush materials when, with a gasp, I saw an upturned wine glass laying on a caramel colored leather settee. It’s blood red contents spilled from the glass and rested in a puddle across the beautiful chair.

Without hesitation I turned and ran around the corner towards the door of the furniture store. I had to let the owners know what some foolish, wine-swilling, sofa shopping buffoon had done to their showroom.

I threw the doors open and lunged at the counter. The owner, an Indian man in his fifties, looked up at me startled.

“Your chair! In the back! Hurry. Someone has spilled red wine on it!!” I pointed my hand towards the rear of the store and motioned to a sales girl to go look.

The look on the man’s face was equal parts sympathy and amusement. He moved his eyes away from mine and faced the blond salesgirl who began smirking and covered her mouth with her hand.

“What?” I was confused. “You need to clean up the wine. I’m serious. Someone totally spilled wine on your…”

Frustrated, I began to search the room for answers as to why they weren’t rushing back to clean up the mess. There were no customers around. They weren’t busy. My eyes trailed away from the cash register and towards the other chairs and sofas at the front of the store.

On one white, snowy loveseat a plastic coffee mug was over turned, plastic brown coffee spilled harmlessly onto the pallid fabric. Next to it a fake glass of coca-cola laid on its side with plastic ice cubes and soda pop covering a lemon yellow hassock.

My tipsy brain took a little time to process the beverage betrayal I was witnessing, but once it settled in I felt myself blush the color of the spilled fake red wine in the back of the store.

I looked up to the store owner and the sales girl and they both burst out into hysterical laughter as I realized my blunder. They bid me an overly enthusiastic “Thank you”, and I left the store humbled at simply trying to save their sofa.

The fake Merlot mocked me as I trudged past the showroom window.

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