29 Sep

Naked in Clos de Vougeot

Benny Bowman awoke in a pool of sweat. Luckily, he was in the shallow end.

“Are you okay?” his wife Peggy asked.

“I had a nightmare,” Benny answered.

She looked at the clock on her nightstand. It said 5:55. She would not be able to go back to sleep.

“Tell me about it,” she sighed.

“It’s this dream I sometimes have after I’ve returned from a wine buying trip to France. I’m standing in front of the Hotel des Grands Crus in Gevrey-Chambertin all dressed for dinner. A car picks me up and drives me to the Clos de Vougeot for a feast put on by the Chevaliers de Tastevin. I am seated at the head of this long table occupied by dozens of typical Burgundian vignerons wearing black berets and bib overalls. A thick smog of Gitanes and Galois hangs over the room like a mother sow over its suckling pig.”

“Your simile needs work,” she interrupted.

“Everyone is speaking French. I am speaking French.”

“You don’t speak French,” she said.

“I know…that’s the problem. I walk up to a podium, check my notes, clear my throat and begin talking to the audience. I’m speaking total gibberish with a heavy French accent. I’m waving my arms in the air to punctuate my points. Everyone stares in amazement. After a minute I become aware that no one can understand me. I feel the waves of panic approaching. Everyone begins to laugh. They point and they laugh. I realize I am not wearing any pants.

“This is really stupid. Do you want coffee?”

“Yeah.”

Peggy left the room and returned ten minutes later with two cups of coffee. Benny buried his face in the Arabica scented white steam. She picked up the notepad from her table. Recently, Peggy had gotten into the habit of writing down her thoughts in the middle of the night.

“What’s it say?” Benny asked.

She smiled and handed it to him.

Curly Howard is the John Lennon of the Three Stooges.

“What the hell does that mean?” he asked.

“I don’t know, but at 2:30 in the morning it seemed important.”

“And you thought my dream was stupid.”