Hello. You’re one of these 8-year-olds.
What is wine?
Wine is the red thunder. Wine is the fermented soap that cleans the soul. Wine is the whiskey. Wine is the greatness of the grapes. Wine is the sweet, sour coal that fuels the fire of your mind. Wine is the good dream come to life. Wine is the nightmare put to sleep. Wine is the blood of a teenager named God. Wine is the candy that can’t be put into a Halloween bag. Wine is the toothbrush of the soul’s mangled teeth. Wine is the straw that stirs the wine. Wine is the medicine that cures the bug bites. Wine is the seatbelt. Wine is the driver. Wine is the car. Wine is the speed limit. Wine is the car that is breaking the speed limit. Wine is the cop that pulls the car breaking the speed limit over. Wine is the bribe that gets the cop to let you off with a warning. Wine is the thing you get when you arrive, and wine is the thing you get when you leave. Wine is the soul, and wine is the car.
Wine is good, and it doesn’t taste half bad either.
Anyway, it sounds like you’re obsessed with wine! And who could blame you? Every 8-year-old’s favorite athlete, The Greatest Male Sledder In The World, was recently in a commercial for basketball and drank wine throughout it, and now there’s a nation of children just like you who desperately want to drink it.
It sounds like you’re obsessed with wine! And who could blame you? Every 8-year-old’s favorite athlete, The Greatest Male Sledder In The World, was recently in a commercial for basketball and drank wine throughout it, and now there’s a nation of children just like you who desperately want to drink it.
“Hello, and you are 8 years old!” exclaim your parents, who have invited one friend over for lunch. “Is there anything we can assist you with today?”
“Do not do sign language at us,” say your parents and their one friend.
“Absolutely not!” exclaim your parents and their one friend. “It is illegal for anyone under 16 to have wine. That’s just the law, as written by the presidents in their historic 1879 tirade, The Brochure Of Laws And Flavors Concerning The Grand Island Of America.”
You sit in your room for eight long years, and then, one day, it’s your 16th birthday. You’re hungry, thirsty, and sleep-deprived, and as you walk downstairs, you realize that your parents and their one friend are long dead. As you walk around your house, you see that in your lightbulb room is a bottle of wine, which you are finally old enough to drink! Yes!
You acquired wine without getting arrested, but then again, you weren’t 8 years old when you did it.
It looks like you lose.
“Oh, is that true?” exclaim your parents and their one friend. “That’s interesting. Well, we guess that if you just smelled the wine, it couldn’t hurt. But to be safe, don’t tell a cop or a member of the secret police. Thanks!”
Your parents and their one friend present so much wine for you to smell.
“Where did you learn that type of language, and is that true?” exclaim your parents and their one friend. “That’s interesting. Well, we guess that if you just smelled the wine, it couldn’t hurt. But to be safe, don’t tell a cop or a member of the secret police. Thanks!”
Your parents and their one friend present so much wine for you to smell.
You smell so much wine.
“Well, what do you think of the smell of wine?” they ask. “It smells scalding hot because we were drinking scalding hot wine. Sometimes you just do things like that.”
It’s the best thing you’ve ever smelled in your life. It’s easy to see why your favorite athlete shoots it at his body, and it’s also easy to see why the presidents don’t want people under 16 to drink it, because even with just one huge whiff, you begin to think about a man shooting a different man who’s swimming in a lake. But that last thing doesn’t matter as much as the first.
Yeah. You definitely need to drink wine.
“Sorry, kid, no can do. It’s just so illegal. We probably shouldn’t have even let you smell wine in the first place. Your eyes are in the back of your head and everything. It’s really gross and weird. Why don’t you go outside for a while? We’re just going to do boring adult stuff like stare at each other until nighttime. You probably aren’t interested in anything like that.”
You’re outside now, and you’re 8 years old still. Normally, you’d just eat some dirt or drink some river water, but not today.
Wine is all your 8-year-old mind can think about. Even just one whiff has got you completely obsessed, and you can’t even take a second to think about your favorite thing, a home run. It’s all wine all the time in that 8-year-old head, and you just have to acquire some to drink.
But…you heard what your five parents and their one friend said. It’s completely illegal for someone your age to acquire wine. You could get arrested by the cops or the secret police, something that would look terrible on a job application.
So you have a choice to make: Do you, the 8-year-old, accept and acknowledge the inherent risk associated with attempting to acquire wine and go for it, or do you not do that and go drink some river water instead?
Okay! So you are willing to risk it all for wine. Cool.
Of course, you can’t just go into a wine store and buy wine. You’ll get arrested right away. The leader of the wine store will say something like, “Here is your wine. Also, you are 8 years old, so give me that wine back. Goodnight.” That won’t do.
So, how do you want to go about acquiring wine? Again, it should be done in such a way that avoids arrest.
A fake ID! Certainly the coolest way to try to acquire wine as a minor.
Here’s the home of the guy who makes the fake IDs in your town.
You open the door, and this is the first thing you see.
“Hello! Do not come any further, and also say ‘cheese’ right now.”
“Do not do sign language at me.”
“Here you go,” says the man behind the curtain.
He hands you this, which clearly won’t do.
“That’s the ID I give to everyone. Most of the time, it works, and that’s why my house is so big and why I have this curtain. Sorry it didn’t work out, and please leave!”
Great. Now what?
You decide to drink river water for the rest of the day instead of trying to acquire wine. Enjoy!
Good idea! If someone of legal drinking age acquires wine for you, it slightly diminishes the chance that you’ll get arrested.
Now, you need someone who doesn’t care that they’re providing wine to a minor. It isn’t a crime, but it can still get them sent to jail. For example, your five parents and their one friend are in jail now, and all they did was let you smell wine. They’ll be there for quite some time unless they escape.
So, you’ll need to find someone who doesn’t care about all of that. In other words, you’ll need a badass—someone your parents and their one friend have said “Don’t go near that kid; he’s a real cool badass” about.
There’s only one person in town who fits that description.
“Do not do sign language at me,” yells Durango from inside his house.
It’s gotta be Durango.
Here are the three facts about Durango: He only has a middle name, he doesn’t go to school because he thinks “books are only for people who know how to read,” and he was thrown out of the U.S. Army at age 15 for trying to kick someone.
Durango is the type of human being who makes God say things like, “Ah, shit,” because of how cool he is. If anyone is going to get you wine, it’s him.
You kill Durango, and you’re arrested and sent to jail. Even though Durango was a badass and people are fairly happy that he no longer exists, you can’t just go around killing people. There are consequences. And jail is…The Ultimate Consequence.
Oh, they didn’t have handcuffs that could fit your 8-year-old wrists, so they told you to just hold onto this iPad for your entire sentence. Nice.
“The fuck do you want, mudass?” says Durango, whose voice sounds like that of a pretty good amateur bodybuilder. He lights a cigarette he found on the ground.
“Oh, is the little baby crying?” Durango asks, revealing one of his arms in the process.
“Stop crying! You don’t know what real pain is, kid. No one in your generation does. You’re all a bunch of goddamn piles of soft, rancid lunch meat, if you ask me. The last time I cried I was 13 years old, stationed in Antarctica. My platoon and I had been fighting for two weeks straight down in the trenches with no relief from enemy bullets or bombs. We were cold, and the coats the army had given us were just horseshit. They were tank tops, basically, without the middle part. Bunch of us got frostbite, including yours truly—me, Durango.
“It was brutal, kid. Just fuckin’ brutal. I thought I was going to die about a dozen times. Hell, maybe even two dozen times. But that’s not the reason I cried. I lost my best friend, but that wasn’t the reason I cried either. Both my parents died too, but that also was not the reason for my tears. No, I cried when I accidentally shot a penguin and it died. Shot it to fuckin’ hell, kid. Put it smack-dab right in Satan’s garage on the penguin shelf. And I just lost it. I’m not sure what it was that made me cry, exactly. I don’t even like penguins that much. Hell, I was probably trying to shoot the penguin on purpose just because I was bored and wanted to see what would happen. But it made me cry. What you’re crying about now? It doesn’t even come close to the time I cried in the army due to shooting a penguin. Nowhere near.”
“So, let’s try that again, and this time without the wet slop coming out of your head. The fuck do you want, mudass?”
“Wine? Ha! You can’t handle wine. Wine is the toothbrush of the soul’s mangled teeth, motherfucker, and your teeth are scrubbed with the palm of the town dentist. When I was in the army, I saw a whale get eaten by a much smaller whale, and I also shot a penguin. You? The worst thing that’s ever happened to you was having your five parents and their one friend get sent to jail, maybe for a very long time.”
Hmm. Looks like you’re going to have to do something badass to prove to Durango that you’re worthy of wine. What are you going to do?
“Holy shit, 8-year-old,” growls Durango. “I had no idea you were so hardcore. I like your style. It’s the style of a chef who screams, or someone who fights an animal in a boxing ring. Sure, I’ll buy you illegal wine. Let’s go.”
You write your message on the cardboard box and hop in with Durango, and after a few minutes, a 32-year-old mailman picks you up with a great deal of pride.
“There are no air holes in this box!” says the 32-year-old mailman with great pride.
Oh Christ, did you remember to poke holes in your cardboard box?
You died because you and Durango forgot to punch air holes in a box that says “Hey You Fucking Mailman, Take This To The Wine Store” on the front. When the box was delivered to the Wine Store, the leader of the wine store opened it and said, “Somebody sent me bones.” Then, he put the box in a closet and forgot about it.
That’s Durango’s skeleton. Your skeleton is somewhere on the bottom.
You arrive at what can only be described as a Wine Store in no time.
But Durango pays the Wine Store no mind. He continues on, going faster and faster, heading deeper and deeper into the woods. At no point does he say, “I accidentally missed the Wine Store and am currently in the process of turning around.”
This can’t be good.
Suddenly, Durango stops. He puts on a black-and-white sweatshirt similar to the one that an undercover cop would wear, and picks a cigarette up off the ground and puts it in his mouth.
“Get out,” says Durango with the sudden air of someone who has been an undercover cop this whole time.
“Hands behind your back, milkfuck.” says Durango. “And guess what? I’ve been an undercover cop this whole time. Yeah, that’s right. This year, my assignment for the army was to become a cop and arrest underage drinkers. I never got kicked out of the army—in fact, they gave me this promotion. That was just my cover.”
“Hell yeah, you did. But now you’re going to jail. You’re gonna get eaten alive in there, maybe for real, and not just as a metaphor.”
Durango arrested you for wanting wine, which isn’t a crime, and sent you to jail. They gave you an iPad to hold for the entirety of your sentence because your wrists were too small to fit into handcuffs.
Looks like you were unable to acquire wine without getting arrested. You lose.
“Shit,” says Durango. “You’re right. Wanting wine as a minor isn’t a crime. You didn’t drink it or smell it or acquire it or anything. Fuck. Sorry, kid. You’re free to go. My boss, the president, is going to be so disappointed in me.”
Phew! That was close—but not so close that you want to give up the search for wine. After all, it smelled really good. Remember how good it smelled? Of course you do.
Do you have any other ideas for acquiring wine?