Friday, June 12, 2009

Poopy Pants Lane

"He ordered prank pizzas to 888 Poopy Pants Lane. Everyone knows Poopy Pants Lane ends in the 700 block." With this line Luigi condemns Bart Simpson most likely to
a life in prison or at the least a long spell in 'Juvie'.

Anyway, for some reason I couldn't get this line out of my head. Working in the vineyard, repetitive motions, tie, trim, repeat, move on, repetitive motions inspire repetitive thoughts, like mantras, perhaps it is meditative perhaps it is just stupid. Maybe in the sixties, if my Yoga mantra had been 'Poopy Pants Lane' rather than whatever it was (still not allowed to tell) I would be a much happier person today.

Maybe when we focus on the ridiculous operatic aspects of life we miss the real problems, maybe the real problem are much more mundane and logical. This is perhaps what Luigi is trying to tell us. What is it to be a winemaker? It is to be at once logical and conscious of the pranks of nature. It is mind numbing, humbling repetition, punctuated by the smile of someone who likes your wine, it is not living on the edge it is living beyond the edge, in a world of imaginary numbers on an imaginary street in Hilbert Space. 888 Poopy Pants Lane.

What is this ranting all about. I am trying to make some Peach Wine and I can tell you, it isn't going so well. The Pear Wine I made last year was excellent, (I can safely say that because it's all gone now) but, for some reason I can't get the Peach to behave, it is not cohering, something is not gelling. Was it ridiculous to believe that I could repeat that wonderful accident that produced the Pear Wine using another fruit entirely. I didn't believe so, but I was wrong. The fundamentals were not there; the wine is turning out acidic, sour like those straws of multi-colored powder we used to get in the candy store.
'How should I correct it. Add vanilla? No, that's a coward's way out, I need to work the wine, work the acid, not cover it with other flavors.' I tried adding Malolactic bacteria. This is the usual method used on grapes to flatten the acid profile. Then, the next day I read somewhere, Malolactic fermentation tends to mute the fruit flavors in fruit wines, sometimes you can even get a sauerkraut aroma profile, peaches and sauerkraut, I am shaking my head, I am going to end up with something more like a hot dog topping than a wine. Is this a prank? 55 gallons of Sauerkraut juice. Maybe I should have just waited, give the mantra of the wine time to work, time to sink in. Everybody knows Poopy Pants Lane ends in the 700 block. Maybe I should have just made the Pear Wine again, at the risk of repeating myself. Maybe repeating oneself isn't so bad. Maybe it is the slow death of creativity. Who knows. Maybe there is a reason. Maybe mindless repetition isn't so bad after all.
Maybe mindless repetition isn't so bad after all.
"Say, is this the bus that goes to Poopy Pants Lane?"


  1. I have not been making wine very long, in the realm of things, but I have learned a few things:

    1. Sometimes there are happy accidents. They are hard to repeat, but you should always try.

    2. Winemakers always like to try something new.

    3. No matter how much you try, the same grapes and yeast don't always guarantee that things will come out the same.

    4. Ken makes good wine.

    Keep on tying and thinking Ken!



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  3. I love that line too, and now I will be saying in my own head for the next day