Congrats are in order to the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, which successfully morphed into a clone of Studio 54 last Saturday – but without all the pesky celebrities. That is, unless one counts Sun photog Flash Lely’s new mustache, which made a much-anticipated entrance at a fashionably late 9:15 p.m. and was greeted by a hurricane of air-kisses and well-wishing. The mustache, a self-styled hybrid of a Fu Manchu and a traditional handlebar, had received heavy spin in the local news cycle when first discussed on the Friday edition of Mornings in Sonoma on KSVY 91.3. Local gossip blogs and blurry cell phone photos of Lely’s facial hair fueled interest and by Friday evening, my own follicle folly (in the form of a modified Van Dyke meant to disguise me as my evil twin Dartagnon Howell) had been eclipsed in the public sphere. Observers have noted that music maven J.M. Berry and councilman Ken Brown have also entered the battle of the beards. Berry is in the midst of growing a goatee to replace the one he lost last week in an unfortunate shaving accident, whereas Brown’s salt and pepper contender is likely the result of a sudden lack of razors.
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Reptile rebuffed: Since there were only two candidates for the two seats up for grabs at the Sonoma City Council, incumbent Mayor Joanne Sanders and Laurie Gallian will go unchallenged. A third candidate, a California newt, was disqualified when the council successfully argued that the newt was not indigenous to an area within the city limits. The newt, whose natural habitat is throughout Sonoma County, but not specifically in Sonoma, was nonplussed and swore vengeance before being scooped into a jar and let loose in Maxwell Park.
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Comic Caper: Mick Robbins, the beleaguered head of wine-soaked public relations firm VinSpin, has riled legal representatives of comic book juggernaut DC Comics after he made statements in court regarding “Mxyzptlk,” a mercurial, trans-dimensional rival of Superman. Robbins, who is being tried for an alleged graffiti spree at Casey Hill Cellars, received a cease and desist order after stating on public record that the purple-derby-clad trickster’s arrival in his life accounted for his recent legal foibles. As Robbins attested, “When that little dude showed up is when everything went wrong.” When prosecuting attorney Lance Fishburn countered that Mxyzptlk is a fictional character, Robbins became incensed and lambasted Fishburn for falling for one of the comic book character’s “many tricks.” Mxyzptlk was introduced to comic fans in 1944 by Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and has made sporadic appearances throughout the DC Comics oeuvre as a foil for a variety of characters. According to statements made by Robbins, the diminutive evildoer can only be vanquished when tricked into saying his own name backwards, which sends him back to his “source reality” in the fifth dimension. “You try saying ‘Mxyzptlk’ backwards,” said Robbins. “I can’t even say it forwards. How about some sympathy, people?” DC Comics could not be reached for comment.
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The so-called “Petaluma Pipeline,” 14.4-mile underground aqueduct engineered to pump Sonoma Valley wine to a new bottling plant near Lakeville Highway in Petaluma, is nearly completed. A recent test run made the pipeline only the second such conduit attempted in recorded history to successfully deliver wine. Its predecessor, the Roman Vinoduct, moved wine from ancient Rome to the harbor city of Ostia, but was capped when it later became apparent that the wine was being diverted downstream to the “party town” of Lucia (the root of our contemporary term “lush”). Engineers hope to avoid a similar fate and have not disclosed the location of the Petaluma Pipeline, though the recent spike in divining rod sales in nearby El Verano have some officials concerned.