ETIQUETTE: The appropriate wine to serve with Chinese food is champagne. Clearly there should be more champagne delivery services, but maybe somebody is working on that. When opening a bottle of champagne, unless you’re a football player you don’t pop the cork out with the intention of maximum velocity and fizz. Twist the cork out carefully and pour the champagne into the glass at an angle to avoid a big foaming head (champagne people call the foam “mousse”) and a waste of bubble gas. And the glass you’re supposed to use? Unfortunately, it seems that the current preferred glass is the long and skinny flute. I find that a shame because I prefer the more old fashioned coupe-style glass pictured above. One reason is because you can’t use flutes to make a champagne tower and champagne towers are hilarious, and the other reason is I like the legend that the coupe was shaped in the form of Marie Antoinette’s left breast. I hope the champagne flute’s form does not mimick the shape of anyone’s breast.
SUPERSTITION: A new ship is supposed to be christened with the breaking of a wine bottle (preferably champagne bottle) against its bow. Supposedly it is a very bad omen if the bottle does not break, but considering the glass thickness of a champagne bottle, it seems a miracle that any ships are sailing at all. If you’re at the christening of a baby instead of a ship, or at a wedding, or some other celebratory event, you should make a slit in the cork after you’ve opened the bottle and put a coin in the slit. This will ensure good fortune for the people being celebrated. Some people put a gold piece into their champagne glass in the hopes of gaining wealth, but this seems to be more of a choking hazard than anything. Maybe some opportunistic ass somewhere choked on the gold piece and successfully sued the treasury for making a dangerous gold piece that someone could choke on, but that sounds like a pretty iffy gamble to take, and you don’t want to be that person anyway.
(click on the photo above for musical accompaniment)
The legend lives on from the Gold Room on down
of the neighborhood called “Gitche Gumee.”
The street, it is said, never gives up her dead
when the paddle boats rest for the season.
For a month to month lease I sold my young niece
to the owners of Fashion of Echo.
The apartment was mine, so I bought me some wine
at the good liquor store House of Spirits.
The flat was the pride of the so-called East Side;
it looked like the houseboat on Quincy.
As duplexes go, it was bigger than most
and the landlord would pay gas and water.
The strict no pet clause, well, it gave me some pause
but we shook hands and I took the keys.
And later that night when my telephone rang,
could it be a cat howl he’d been hearin’?
My ancient feline made a tattle-tale sound
he knocked over his food dish and water.
And my landlord knew, as yes, I did too
’twas the end of my sweet tenancy.
I packed up my things and I gave back the keys,
and said, “Sir, it’s bin good t’know ya!”
I cursed my old cat and then that was that
I was out of the Edmund Fitzgerald.