September, 29

Meanwhile back at the Raunch

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Get along little dollars.The 15th Annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction is nearly as deadly as last year’s wine-soaked charity extravaganza. The auction’s theme, the Wild Bunch, owes a direct debt to western auteur Sam Peckinpah’s film of the same name, though reverse transubstantiation finds the blood now wine and a hangover suffices for ill-gotten revenge. Though the event’s slogan “Is that a magnum in your pocket or are you just happy to be Sonoma Valley?” is more reminiscent of Jessica Rabbit than Peckinpah, the lethal phallic metaphor qua triple-entendre is apropos I suppose. Perhaps next year’s auction will make a nod to the Brady Bunch – “it’s the story of a lovely pairing…” shortly after arriving at the kick-off party at the Sonoma Mission Inn, I found myself in a fruitless conversation with some Gatsby-grade swells with the uncanny ability to condescend to me with every other word. I’m particularly sensitive to them because they greet me by name, which always makes me anxious since I can never remember theirs. When we were being herded off to dine, they inquired where I was seated to which I responded “I have no idea, um, [insert forgotten name here].” Then they cracked that I’m probably just skulking for an empty chair of an absentee. I asked them to “Save me a seat” and made a mental note to slam them in my column – if I could ever remember their frickin’ names. Later, when seated next to the NBC anchor woman who introduced pal Sawyer as the dinner’s host, I nodded to the Gatsbys’ table in a manner I realize upon reflection was a direct nick from Boba Fett. The moment was surely lost on them as the reason I bothered remains lost to me.

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