Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I am interviewing for my newspaper. I am thinking to myself, once my trade was considered romantic albeit scruffy. The Front Page. Stop the Presses! Get me Rewrite! But now just look.

My subject describes himself as a Brandy Snifter, and he has no patience with those "heatherns" who confuse him with a drinking glass. "Can a glass detect acidity from Akron?" he demands. That's his prize achievement. He reported the brewery in Ohio which did not clean the Windex from its vats.

He's an athlete, as well as an aesthete, he tells me. What he does, all day long, is open select brands of brandy and sniff the contents. He asks if I want to take his picture. He weighs nearly four hundred pounds, and I'm thinking maybe that artist for the Wall Street Journal might make him presentable. He guesses my reservations. After all, he says, some pitchers and many defensive linemen aren't exactly svelte. He wants his story placed in the sports pages, with the liquor and firearm and Russian wife ads.

"Tell about Akron," he says. "Like that Julia Roberts movie. I nailed 'em on Windex!"

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