Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Attack of the 50-Foot Chianti Bottle

So, I'm cruising the streets of Miami- or Biloxi, or maybe Kitty Hawk- you know, somewhere near a beach.  Regardless of location, the scene is hot.  My boys are in the car with me... something badass like a Pontiac Fiero, and I'm behind the wheel.  The mood is raucous; festive.  I can only imagine Kenny Loggins' "Playing With the Boys" is blaring on the radio.  Somewhere, Pitbull has his hand in the air on a stage, saying something about doing something that involves partying.  Hell, Pitbull may be in the car with us.  This deal is just that good.

I'm loaded.  Like, "I definitely shouldn't be driving right now, but somebody has to handle keeping this mobile fiesta intact."  I think of myself as a modern-day Styles, and the Wolf is catching waves up on the roof.  No matter how bad the creeping reality of me-behind-the-wheel seems, I'm entrusted with a greater duty to my bros.  In this scenario, I'm forced to use the term "bros".

As we approach a T-intersection in the road, I see the beach in front of me.  I turn left, but due to lack of motor skills (in all senses of the term), I fumble into the oncoming lane.  It's as if I've suddenly lost all ability, experience, and knowledge of how to drive.  As I collect myself and complete the errant turn, shock and terror fill my every fiber of being.  Blocking my passage are dozens of squad cars, bright lights flashing in the black night.

The crushing weight of reality floods every sense, as I slam on the brakes, jump out of the driver's side, and lay on the ground with my hands behind my head.  In my current condition, there is no reasonable defense.  As I feel the cold steel of handcuffs clasp around my wrists- muffled echos of conversation and Miranda Rights distantly echoing at the edges of my silent introspection- I keep thinking to myself, "this has got to be a dream, right?  No.  No, this is definitely not a dream.  This is absolutely real.  I've really, really messed up."


Suddenly, I find myself in a particularly notorious customer's office.  There is nary a distant memory of DUI, Miami nights, or Pitbull.

The mood is tense, but I am confident.  We are in the midst of serious negotiation.  "I really need to get some shelf space for [product x] and [product y].  Proper exposure next to comparable competitive products is crucial for brand awareness and customer conversion."

My customer- a shrewd and seasoned liquor store owner- pauses.  I'm expecting another lecture about brand building.  He leans forward and speaks.

"Hell, of course we'll make space for you.  In fact, let's take a walk down to the floor and see where we'll put you."

As we exit the upstairs office and head down to the retail space, I sense the ominous presence of many henchmen-types in our wake.  This is a big-time shop owner, so I guess he needs his protection.  Hand on my shoulder in a fatherly manner, he begins in on me.  "You know, we could use a smart young lad like you to work the floor... you know, sell wine and such.  All my sales associates are the best in the business.  They are the ultimate professionals... all eunuchs are."

"Eunuchs??"  It's the only response my flabbergasted lips can muster.  We are now standing on the retail floor, which seems to be an odd combination of a liquor store and an old Circuit City.  Very uneasy feelings rise within me, as I see sales associates scurrying about to assist the crowds of customers.  They all have laser-focus on their work.  They all seem like robots.

I can imagine they all have their balls in jars somewhere.

"Of course," the store owner replies, as if I shouldn't be surprised.  "Eunuchs are never distracted by sinful and deviant thoughts.  They are always on-task," he exclaims with pride.

"So, are you ready to join our team?"

Sensing I'm being made an offer I cannot refuse without consequence, I politely ask if we can look at the shelves first.  Somehow, I manage to duck away while they entourage proceeds to the shelf space, and find my family (why is my family on a sales call with me?).  I see the shop owner looking around as I duck behind a stack of Peach Chocolate Moscato.  He whispers to one of his minions.  Suddenly, I'm grabbed by the crotch by one gloved hand, razor-sharp blade in the other...

I twist away in uncharacteristically-athletic fashion, corral my family, and we run out the door.  We keep running.

Suddenly, my wife, daughter, and I are eating exotic food in a shack, somewhere far from home.  I hear an amalgam of several foreign languages chattering away at other tables, mixed with the sounds of plates clanking and rum drinks being poured.  We've gone on the lam, and- for now- we are safe and distant from the castrating liquor store owner.  But, in the back of my mind, I know he knows where my family and I are, and we needn't get too comfortable...


This is the best documentation of two of the most vivid dreams I have had in a while.  I experienced both of them last night.  Needless to say, I was unusually relieved and comforted by the buzzing of an alarm clock at six in the morning.

I'm thinking the daily stresses of life in wine and spirits distribution are starting to manifest themselves a little too close for comfort.  But then again, perhaps I'll be drinking Hermitage with Ronnie James Dio in tonight's dream sequence.

Or maybe I just watched too much "Game of Thrones".  They're pretty liberal with the eunuch references.