It’s a mixed-up, jumbled-up, webbed-up world, kids, and what you just read is known as ‘clickbait’—a provocative headline designed to generate reader hits.
And you bit, suckers.
First, let me apologize for baiting your click then calling you suckers: “I am sowwy”.
There are always regrets, and I think the biggest mistake I make is being too belligerent and aggressive with readers; I step on too many toes. Or fingers, if that happens to be the phalanges with which you click.
But, my intentions are well. Or good; or whatever. I am well-intentioned. And in commiseration, please note that I also succumbed to the carrot dangled by db (a.k.a. The Drinks Business) when I read the headline ‘Robert Parker Says Sorry To Burgundy’.
The gist of the db piece is that in ‘an exclusive interview’ (ooooh!), the much-criticized critic—the Kanye West of the wine terrene—made a conciliatory remark to French people about his attitude toward Burgundy during his glory years, 1978 – 1993.
Parker said, “Sure, there are always regrets, and I think the biggest mistake was when I was younger and doing Burgundy that I was too belligerent and aggressive with the Burgundians; I stepped on too many toes. I wasn’t trying to get them to change the way they made wine but to recognize some of the issues with their wines once they left Burgundy. I’ve learned through age that we all can make those points much more diplomatically. I made them way too bluntly, aggressively, and was often probably rude.”
At the time, he claims, he overly-couched his conclusions in pidgin: “I think part of the problem was that my French – which is very good now – at that time was sort of basic travel French, and I think when you talk to someone with just an elementary knowledge of a language then you can’t express subtleties or nuances.”
This is the journalistic equivalent of calling someone a felch-faced turd-burglar, then saying, “Pardon my French”.
I had a similar experience when I lived in Mexico, mentioning to some people who had invited me to their house that their six-year-old daughter—yawning and rubbing her eyes—looked ‘ready for bed’. Only I inadvertently used a bawdy colloquialism that meant that the kid looked ‘old enough to have sex.’
‘Pardon my Spanish’ didn’t really cut it.
Likewise, when Parker wrote that the wines of Domaine Faiveley taste different after being shipped than they taste in the winery’s cellar, François Faiveley wasn’t having any of this ‘something got lost in the translation’ bull-derdash: He sued. And it was a weird lawsuit, especially to bring against Parker—who is a lawyer—because nobody expects a barrel sample to taste exactly like a bottled wine shipped across the Atlantic, not even the winemaker.
In any case, Frankie F’s suit was settled, which may have simply been a matter of Parker saying, “I am sowwy”.
At the risk of being sued by men everywhere, including Parker and Faiveley, let me point out that the only circumstances under which men apologize is when they have been soundly defeated in a World War they started, or when they are trying to avoid the death penalty for a murder they committed or when they are trying to get laid.
That’s all, folks. End of list. And although the efflorescence of the apology lingo is generally proportionate to the apologizer’s desperation to benefit from it, I think we can agree that his overall sincerity tends to be pretty shallow regardless.
If your goal is to have the victors rebuild (at their expense) the country they destroyed in order to teach you a lesson (thus presumably teaching them a lesson) your apology may include what the Germans call Vergangenheitsbewältigung, which in basic travel Deutsch means ‘coming to terms with the Holocaust’.
If your goal is a sentence commutation, the words you choose may be similar to those of serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz: “I just ask you to forgive me and ask the Lord to forgive me for allowing the devil to deceive me,” which is basically apologizing on behalf of Satan instead of yourself—rather specious considering there is no Satan—and Resendiz was executed on June 26, 2006.
However, if your goal is make-up sex, the rules of engagement change. In the first place, you aren’t really sorry, you are horny, and so you will wordsmith your mea culpa with maxima ‘diminished responsibility’.
You may, for example, say, “I think my biggest mistake was when I was younger and doing [you] is that I was too belligerent and aggressive…”
This means: “But you loved it, baby. I’m a beast. Let me King Kong your Fay Wray and tie you to the bedpost.”
You might say: “I may have stepped on your toes.” This means, “Let me kiss them and make them better.”
You may say: “I wasn’t trying to get you to change the way you [dress] but to recognize some of the issues with [granny panties]. You mean, “Let’s open a bottle of Burgundy, climb into the sack and look at this Victoria’s Secret catalog together.”
When you say, “I’ve learned through age that we all can make those points much more diplomatically,” you mean: “When I said you have a big ass, I meant that skirt makes you look like you have a big ass.”
And finally, when you say, “I said some things way too bluntly, aggressively, and was often probably rude,” you mean, “I have been a bad boy and deserve punishment. Why don’t you slip into this rude little black-leather teddy and S&M boots and aggressively blunt the fuck out of me.”
But, Hold on a Sec…
… I have just realized that there is a fourth reason that men apologize, and it may be the snivelingest, demeaningest, sowwiest one of all: When an AA member agrees to the 12 Step Program, he is required to say “I am sowwy” to every single person he ever offended in a drunken stupor at any point during his long, debauched career, most of which he cannot even remember. According to Hazelton Betty Ford Clinic, Step Eight is: ‘Make a list of all persons we have harmed and become willing to make amends to them all’.
Love him or hate him, I think we all hope that Mr. Parker has not climbed aboard the temperance wagon or signed any pledges and is apologizing to Burgundy to move on to Step 11: ‘Seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God.’
Because that would be as specious as Resendiz involving Satan, wouldn’t it?
No, I think the clickbait headline was just that, and Parker isn’t really sorry about anything, and Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve Commandments are, like every other Act of Contrition, hooey for the hoe and nothing more than an excuse to get back inside her granny thongs.
As for Alcoholics Anonymous, on Parker’s rating scale I give the 12 Step Program a 69—no pun intended.
Is it too early to vote for the 2016 award? A perv with a penchant for pedantry: man I love your writing. Congrats and condolences on your deserved recognition.
A penchant for pedantry? I only date legal adults, thank you very much.