Y2K Party


“Jeez, THAT one was close!”
“Probably the next tank at the Tosco refinery. When the last one went a few minutes ago, that really made me jump; this one wasn’t quite as loud.”

We huddled in my bunker, hundreds of sandbags piled around the walls. The emergency lighting flickered, but I had chosen it to specifically bring out the color in our emergency wine rations. And that it did well, despite those annoying surges and dips in the power from my generator; those damned Japanese built it that way on purpose. Those devils don’t want us any too comfortable on Takeover Day.

“Open the Champagne!” I barked at The Other Stupid, then fired a round in his direction, just so’s he’d know I was serious. Hey, he’s always been suspicious, SAYS he’s Irish. I think he’s a damn Russian, one of those guys trained in special villages outside of Vladivostok to speak perfect, unaccented English. Well, unaccented, in his case. He scurried behind the drums of purified water, and still cowering, popped the cork. He stuck his hand up above the barrels, waving a white handkerchief. “OK, you can come back to the table, now.”

Nice pull, an ’88 Salon. Racy acidic edge, fine bead with a slight edge of burnt toast. Dry and minerally and—-


Oh, damn, the rioters just torched another car. Makes quite the sound when the gas tank goes. They’d been at it nonstop since they figured out that the police radios were down. Dwight lobbed a couple of frag grenades at the mob, and I laid fire along the kill zone. Hey, this is a PRIVATE party, guys! Well, let’s try this ’95 Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet “Vergers.” Wow, perfect for forgetting our troubles, surprisingly soft and forward, perfect balance between pineapple fruit and vanilla cream. Super length ——-

Voooooosh- BOOOM!!!

Another plane must have dropped out of the sky. Those poor schmucks, didn’t they know what NIGHT this is?!? I pushed the periscope out between some of the sandbags to take a gander. Hunh, “FinnAir,” figures. Those Finnish bastards are the next worst thing to commies. Deserved to crash, improves the species. Hell with ’em, let’s pop the next couple of bottles, ’89 and ’90 Haut-Brion, and let God sort it out. The ’90 was as roasty-toasty as ever, with some real earthiness setting in. Well fertilized earth, to be sure, with lots of rocks, but earth nonetheless. Quite elegant. The ’89, by comparison, was just more of the same thing, as if you could magically pull a proportion of water molecules out of the ’90 without disturbing anything else. We noticed a few survivors of the crash stagger toward us, so Linda pulled her piece (“It’s just a little gun.”) and wasted them before they get too close and try to drink our wine.


“What’s that racket?”
“Bullhorns. Must be the National Guard again, trying to pull that Martial Law crap.”

Kris sang them a little Uzi melody in 4/4 time to keep them outside the perimeter. Damned WASP squad leader, she had to spray him 3 or 4 times before he stopped moving. They’re not real bright, those whiteys, but they’re stubborn. Waste of good ammo. We noticed that Kris had taken a round in the bicep, but she’s a real trooper, just stuffed a truffle in the hole and opened an ’83 Guigal Cote-Rotie La Landonne. It may not be the most complex Cote-Rotie I’ve ever had, but it had all the requisite bacon, licorice, and black fruit that you’d want, with the wood well-integrated. Great balance, with enough Cote-Brune character to make Linda wince. The enormous tannins of this wine’s youth have finally started to mellow.


Another one of those damned out-of-control ICBMs whooshed overhead. Judging from the bearing, I figured out that it was on a Great Circle course for China. So, nothing to worry about. There’s too many of them, anyway. We coaxed Robin out from behind the razor wire barricade, and calmed her with some ’61 Mont-Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Sweet grenache fruit laced with a bit of pepper, only a rum-like hint to give away its age. Terrific length and balance, absolutely first rate Chateauneuf.

Dwight belly-crawled back to the wine stash and pulled a ’61 Barolo, just for the sake of symmetry. I’d mention the producer, except that the Palm Pilot that we were using started flashing black and white, and lost all its data. But I remember the color as being startlingly light (though that may have been the effect of the bright green pulsating light emanating from the direction of Livermore). The color notwithstanding, the flavors and aromas were intense, smoky cherries with a caramel haze. It was definitely showing its age, but wan’t ready for the grave by any means. I can’t say how it evolved because we sucked it down like it was the End of the World… oh, I guess it was.


As the tanks rolled by (damned New World Order guys), black helicopters circled overhead, and mushroom clouds sprouted over San Francisco, Linda took up sniper position and took out some looters; I don’t know what language they were speaking, but it sure wasn’t English. Probably some of those damned Canadians. Say what you want, my wife is mighty handy with a ‘scope and laser. With the path thus cleared, and Linda’s loving covering fire, I grabbed an ’83 d’Yquem. Just starting to get a little golden, it was a delightful finish to our little party. Viscous, muscular, honey and grass, not at all cloying. And zero cost, now that our money’s no good. Glad I stashed those gold bars. Happy New Year.

SY (1/00)