Recently we shot an Adam and Mike Show sketch with a big supporting cast. Whenever we have talented performers on set, we like to show our appreciation by plying them with plenty of food and drink. One of our cast members on this particular shoot was my good friend and fellow comic Courtney Fearrington, a noted wine connoisseur and frequent guest star (I like to call him the Tony Randall of The Adam and Mike Show). Knowing he wouldn’t partake in the liquor and beer we got for everyone else, I texted him to ask what kind of wine I could pick up. His response?
“Anything from Australia.”
I’m going to plead wine ignorance here: I have no idea what kind of wine comes out of Australia. Straight up, when I ask you what kind of wine you want, I expect a color, not a continent. I didn’t even know Australia made wine. In fact, here’s the list of alcoholic beverages I assumed Australians preferred:
* Foster’s in a wine bottle
* Fermented Bloomin’ Onion
* Paul Hogan’s sweat mixed with Foster’s and a fermented Bloomin’ Onion
I didn’t know if Australian wine was readily available in the wine store downstairs from my apartment. Or anywhere nearby, really. Asking someone to pick up “Australian wine” sounds like the beginning of a scavenger hunt. “I’ll take a Melbourne red, incense, and a goat’s horn ground into a fine powder. Then the three witches from MacBeth are gonna throw all that in a boiling pot and cast some spells.”
The other possibility is that he’s trying to give me an impossible task to distract me. I’ll be running all over the city looking for wine labels with kangaroos on them while he and his buddies either plan my surprise party or case the joint.
“Are you sure we’ll have enough time? Mike should be back any minute.”
“Naaaaah, I told him to get some Australian wine. We should have pllenty of time to finish robbing his apartment.”
I get to the wine store and ask the woman behind the counter if they have anything from Australia.” Luckily, she says yes. I’d have no idea what to get in it’s place. Could I go with boring old French wine, or do I need to keep it in the southern hemisphere? “Let me me an Antarctic apertif. I hear it pairs nicely with roasted penguin.”
(Before you winos correct me: I know apertif isn’t really a type of wine. But it was alliterative and I already told you earlier in the blog I don’t know shit about wine. Do try and keep up.)
I pick one out and take it up to the register. Then I ask her, “Just out of curiosity, what distinguishes Australian wine from other wines?”
She smiled and said, “Well, it – ” and then said some other stuff I don’t recall, because my eyes glazed over as I remembered I have never, not once in my life, given a shit about anything having to do with wine. Her words and actions all became a blur. She may have said something about earthy flavors. Maybe she mimed sniffing a wine glass. The Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin may have gotten a mention. I don’t really know. All I know is I imagined myself gently touching her arm to stop her, saying, “Excuse me, madam? Remember five seconds ago when I said ‘Just out of curiosity,’ then asked you to explain wine stuff? I fear I vastly overestimated how curious I was about anything wine related. Iforgot that I fell asleep trying to watch the movie Sideways one time. Here is the cash for this purchase, along with a generous tip for your assistance. I am now going to leave. If you keep talking about wine I’ll be forced to sprint towards your front window, shattering the glass while I run through it to get out of here as quickly as possible. Good day.”
Moral of the story: if you’re going to cast Courtney in a sketch, be well-versed in the wines of the world so you can meet his prima donna, Van Halen contract rider-like demands.