Of Art and Artifice (and newts)

I prefer wing of bat.As this newspaper’s resident culture vulture, I’m frequently asked to attend all manner of fêtes and receptions, including a soiree for photo editor Ryan “Flash” Lely’s current show at the Sunflower Caffé. Having written the corresponding “illuminations” of Lely’s fine photos, I felt obliged to attend and was happy to find the evening a success, with many well-wishers in attendance. That is sans one would-be critic who huffed that the work must not be original since he had seen similar images and text published in both the Sonoma Valley Sun and FineLife Sonoma magazine. When I pointed out that Lely and I had published the work in the aforementioned periodicals ourselves to promote the exhibit, he accused us of plagiarizing Lely and Howell. I, of course, explained that we were Lely and Howell but he would have nothing of it. Later, after my nth glass of Robledo Family wine, I admitted to the man that I wasn’t me, but rather my evil twin Dartagnan, pointing to the tell-tale beard on my chin. He then accused me of being an imposter. “Ah-ha! So, then you admit that I’m Daedalus Howell?” He eyed me sharply, “Not at all, Mr. Lely.”

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On a roll: A Sonoma-based consumer advocacy group has tallied the amount of toilet paper lost when replacement rolls are queued for use. The term “pre-roll” refers to the amount of toilet paper pulled from the roll as one attempts to unroll its first sheets, an often difficult task since the inaugural sheet is usually glued. According to John Kreshner of Sonoma Bureau of Consumer Awareness, the amount of toilet paper wasted per annum in Sonoma is measured in miles. “In Sonoma alone, we waste enough toilet paper through pre-roll expenditure to qualify as a mini-epidemic,” said Kreshner. “Consider that, on average, it’s 15 rolls of toilet paper per mile, which means it’s 223 rolls from Sonoma to Napa. Through pre-roll, we’re wasting two percent or 4.5 rolls per household, or a quarter of a mile every year. That’s enough TP to go from the Plaza to Fourth Street East. We’re losing a lot of wipes here, people.” Kreshner released his pre-roll report via e-mail to the media, wherein he also lambasted local government for flushing his funding.

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Vino vandal: VinSpin CEO Mick Robins was formally indicted on charges of vandalism last week for allegedly tagging a local winery with the word “liars.” Robins insisted that the graffiti, sprayed on the side of Casey Hill Cellars, was part of a guerilla re-branding campaign for the winery, though proprietor Roman Casey denies retaining Robin’s services. “Everything is going to plan,” said Robins, who claims Casey asked him to create a “hip, urban” campaign. The result, Robins contends, was dubbed “In Vino Veritas” and included Robins tagging the winery as part of a “street team” in an effort to garner local press coverage. “Casey is supposed to say that we’re not working together, which is a lie, hence the new brandmark ‘liars.’ It’s genius, really. You’re interviewing me now as a direct result of my efforts on behalf of Casey Hill Cellars,” explained Robins. While Robins’ case is pending, Casey has requested a restraining order against Robins, which the accused insists is “marketing gold.” Said Robins during his arraignment, “I couldn’t have dreamed this up if I was high. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t at the time.”

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