Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations: Too Cold in France

Mine Creek Revelations: Too Cold in France


YES, I AM STILL HERE looking out my window on Main Street, and I have some bad news for any of my acquaintances who like to drink wine. There are a few.

The bad news is that we were not the only ones to suffer a February Deep Freeze. They had one in France, only they called it: “Congélateur.”

Even after seeing it written out in French, I have no earthly idea how to pronounce it. Way back in January I swore I wouldn’t get fixated on how to pronounce foreign words. Comprende, Amigo?

The Deep Freeze in France has done a real bad, horrible, mean and evil downer in their vineyards (for my Baptist friends’ information, the devil’s alcoholic wine is made from grapes which grow in vineyards).

The result won’t be felt for several years when you’d normally see the wine from this year’s crop of French grapes show up in uppity restaurants and at least a few of our state’s upscale adult beverage emporiums.

Do swell American restaurants serve French wine in their drive-thru lines? Sorry, I get fixated on small details sometimes.

Anyhow, lots of areas of France were affected (and I cannot pronounce those names, either). The “Congélateur” hit about 80% of the vineyards in those regions.

“Our anguish is immense,” one Frenchie stylishly wrote.



That anguish, however, is nothing to compare with the anguish to be felt by American wine drinkers if the French decide to brazenly raid us and buy up all the available wines that are grown, stomped, mixed, aged very briefly and bottled in the Land of the Free.

In other words, will there be wine shortages in our future because of “Congélateur” and those greedy Frenchies?

I, myself, am not sophisticated enough to drink wine, but I once kissed a woman who admitted she had. She whispered to me that she might have sipped just a bit of wine from the jagged neck of a bottle which was being passed around at a family reunion. “I double dog dare you to take a hit of this, honey,” her uncle had challenged.

There are apparently many people who secretly enjoy our country’s most famous wines. Let me list some of the (to my knowledge and experience) better-known brands:

• Boone’s Farm

• Mogen David 20/20

• Atlanta After Dark

• Suddenly Elvis!

There are others but I won’t show off my impressive knowledge of domestic wines. I am a modest fellow, as both of you know.

All of those famous and popular American brands are on shelves in such metropolitan areas as Fulton, East Antoine and, soon, Lockesburg. That oughta tell you how sophisticated us Americans — especially us SW Arkies — are about wines and other important things.

You don’t have to go to San Francisco to get a decent bottle of red for $5.99 plus tax.

The European Deep Freeze also did a downer on France’s 2021 crop of beets and something called “Brassica napus subspecies, napus.” It is a member of the greens family and it is used in the making of something called canola oil.

The shortage won’t bother me! I don’t eat beets or drink canola.

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HEARD FROM.  Skip Bell, RN, also known as the Duke of Lockesburg, dropped by our office last week to brag that he had two — not one — two shoehorns.

Not just your everyday shoehorns, either. These have long handles. The great value of a shoehorn with a long handle is that, for instance, the elderly owner of the shoes doesn’t have to bend WAAAAAAY over just to force his fat foot all the way to the toe of the shoe.

Please, I am NOT inferring that the Duke of Lockesburg is inflexible or elderly or has fat feet. However, I do remind you that he was the one that brought up the topic of shoehorns in the first place.

I asked him: “Why do you need two shoehorns?”

“I can keep the shoehorns in two different rooms,” he said.

“Why two rooms?” I asked.

“Because I have two shoehorns.”

Makes perfect sense.

But of course, I DON’T have even one shoehorn with a handle, so I’ve had to resort to another solution to avoid bending WAAAAY over to force my fat feet into my shoes when I occasionally wear them.

I arrived at this solution after thinking real, real hard for almost two years.

Now I buy shoes that are two sizes too large. It’s so much easier to get my feet into them.

Also, if you see me clumping around in large shoes it might remind you of when you were a toddler and you tried to walk in your father’s shoes.

If you recall, you kinda scooted the shoes along and the heels made a clumping sound. SkaClump, skaclump.

And then you tripped and fell over.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening an email: Why is lemon juice mostly artificial ingredients, but dishwashing liquid detergent contains real lemons?

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WORD GAMES. The twins: One and Done. Hotshot college basketball recruits. I’ve always wondered if they bothered to attend any classes.

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