A few weeks ago, I promised that the 2400th fan would get a blog post written about them. That fan was Grape Winebar and as promised, here it is. How the hell I am going to write a story about a freakin’ winebar, I dunno…
Concord Grape was born on a cold September morning in Jacksonville, Florida. His vine was next to a pond that had a never ending stream of murky water being pumped into it from a big drainage pipe. From day one, his life was not easy. Most of his brothers and sisters on the vine didn’t survive the uncommonly cold weather that fall and those who did simply became breakfast for a few squirrels, some birds and a one-eyed waitress named Sally who lived under a bridge with her husband The Troll. As Concord grew older, he could see that his future was not bright and he longed for adventure. He looked at the road and wondered what was just beyond the bend. Desperate to move on and avoid his almost assured life of a raisinhood he hatched a plan to escape this dreadful vine that was holding him back from a lifetime of excitement.
One day, as Sally was foraging for her dinner alongside her cat Maisy (who was named after a character in the musical The Boyfriend), Concord realized they could be his escape vehicles. If he could just loosen himself from his vine at the right moment, he could fall onto the fat back of Maisy and balance himself there as they left the field and he could say goodbye to the patch of boredom he had called home for so many days. (The lifespan of a grape is very short.) As Maisy moseyed underneath him, Concord used every drop of grape juice within him to release himself from the vine. At the precise moment, he felt his stem release its grip and he began to fall towards the fat cat. However, Maisy saw a mouse at the exact same time and darted away, but as luck would have it a strong gust of wind blew Concord right into the hem of Sally’s dress where he settled in for the ride of his life.
Sally finished her foraging and then squatted down to relieve herself before heading onto her next chore for the day. She made her way to town where she needed to buy some cheese and bread and also refill her prescription for antibiotics to solve a nasty urinary tract infection that she couldn’t shake. At the local Bread and Cheese R Us, Concord saw a world he had never seen before. The store was filled with the aroma of day old bread and half eaten wheels of cheese. On a shelf he also spied a huge bowl of grapes that he had never seen before. He knew this is where he was supposed to be. He was no longer a country grape living on a vine. He was now a city grape a whole 100 yards from where he grew up. He was home! As Sally reached up to find a loaf of bread that had the least amount of mold on it, Concord rolled out of the hem and onto the floor. He rolled himself under the table and stayed there until Sally paid for her groceries and left. Little did Concord know, his adventure was just beginning.
Moments later a very old man came into the store to buy his supply of grapes to make his own wine for his family run wine bar. The owner of Bread and Cheese R Us saw the man coming and reached up to the shelf to hand him the grapes that had been set aside for him. Seeing Concord on the floor, he brushed him up with his hand and tossed him into the bowl with the other grapes. Concord was now on his way to his next adventure!
The old man was named Mr. Applehead and he owned a wine bar that was very popular in Jacksonville. People from all over the land would go there just to sample the fine wine that Mr. Applehead could make. Concord soon found himself in a huge vat with thousands of other grapes. He began to make introductions to as many as he could when all of a sudden he he heard screaming from the other side of the vat. Someone was stomping on all of his new found friends and murdering them one by one. What was this horrible place he had found himself in? Why oh why was someone squishing his new friends? Had he really traveled all this way only to meet a horrible death of squishing by bare feet? Yes, he had.
Concord’s last thought was how he missed his vine in the country and how simple his life had been in the good ol’ days of that morning. As he watched a giant foot come towards him, he flashed back to fond memories with Sally and Maisy and how much fun it had been to watch his brothers and sister turn into raisins. As his insides came gushing out, he realized that he had been a fool to want more than he had on his simple vine. He had longed for adventure and instead ended up as a pile of mushy grape alongside thousands of other grapes he didn’t even know. As he began to ferment, he cried.
Months later, Concord was in a bottle of wine. There wasn’t much left of Concord as we knew him. He was no longer the round juicy grape that we knew and loved. He was now liquid amongst hundreds if not thousands of other grapes. He was also 12% alcohol and had a fruity yet earthy aftertaste. He was served to a very old lady at Mr. Applehead’s wine bar who drank him with a plate of cheese and a cracker. She only left a ten percent tip and the waiter was very unhappy but said nothing because it would have been unprofessional and he expected it anyway since she was so old. The old lady left the wine bar with Concord in her stomach. His next adventure involved a digestive tract ending with an up close and personal look at a toilet and sewer system that would eventually send him back to the very pond he had grown up near. His adventure was finally complete.