Noted wine baron and bowhunting aficionado Joseph Dressner had a dream: one day, he dreamed, one very special day, he would step boldly out of the shadows and host his own Jeebus, a very special Jeebus, with food and wine and fun for all the deserving boys and girls of the eastern wine board community. He would announce it on the internet and play munificent host to the crème de la crème of wacky internet wine board characters and their long-suffering spouses.
That dream has finally come to fruition...
Chapter One: ANXIETY
So I arrive sleepily at the palatial downtown Manhattan nerve center of the Louis/Dressner wine empire, box of tiny sandwiches in one hand, large double espresso in the other. Only Dressner would schedule a Jeebus for 12:48 pm, but when he fixates on something there's no shaking him. I amble slowly past the security desk and wave to Mona, the caffeine in my hand an attempt to jumpstart my cardiac system.
Once I'm inside the main hall Dressner rushes up to me, all atwitter. "Why are all the women cancelling?" he bleats. "First Jennifer, then Josie, Carolyn, Laura, now Lisa. Who is spreading these rumors that we'll be showing stag films today? I've got sixty bottles of wine and forty-two kilos of snacks--no one's going to show up, are they?"
I gesture in the direction of Scott Wurcer: "Look," I say, "this fine gentleman came all the way from far-off Boston to attend this Jeebus. People will come, don't you worry."
He's not convinced.
I finish my coffee, look at the vast sea of open bottles, take one deep breath and plunge in, attempting nothing more than to jot down one, maybe two vague impressions per bottle. Perhaps three, if time allows.
I start with the latest version of an old favorite, the Pinon Vouvray Cuvée Tradition 1999: Quite happily aromatic, light and clean and minerally-smelling, like a freshly-scrubbed quartz doorstop that your relatives gave you and you have to put out when they come to visit even though you stub your toe on the damn thing every time you walk past it. Tastes quiet and smooth, less dense than in the past few years, the usual hint of sweetness. A small, quiet wine without a lot of density that sips smoothly. Not bad at all, but I'm going to grab a few more of the '98s.
Here's a Cazin Le Petit Chambord Cour-Cheverny Vendages Manuelles 1998: Plaster and lime rind aromas, bright and sharp nasality. Put it in the mouth, and yowee Sally, there's a shrieking tsunami of acidity rising up under my tongueboard. I ride it as long as I can, feeling the burn and finally crashing into a persistent gin-and-tonic limey finish. Romoriffic! A wild ride that gets you roamin' and rantin', focused and intensely crisp. Should've saved it for later, as the next few wines are going to seem limp in comparison. Viva romo!
I say hello to Denyse. Denyse is nice. In the background we can hear Joe, who has cornered some poor soul, going on at length: "Who'd have thought throwing a Jeebus would be so much work! No one's going to show up, are they? All this food wasted... what a disaster..."
Domaine du Closel Savennières Les Caillardieres 1999: The rechristened Cuvée Speciale does indeed seem a bit soft, a bit mellow and unfocused after the Cazin. It's a little off-dry and somewhat diffuse, minerals on the nose as always, but somewhat spectral . I try to shake it off, but I'm not getting much with this one.
Domaine du Closel Savennières Les Coulées 1999: More substance here, light honey on the nose, hints of peach. More focus than the Caillardieres, not a powerhouse but solid easy-to-drink Savenni¸rres.
Domaine du Closel Savennièrres Clos du Papillon 1999: Honeyed, corked.
There's another Closel, a Cuvée Nôn-Filtré, but just as I'm about to sample it Wine therapy's own SFJoe bursts into the room with tales of locking himself out of his apartment this morning while wearing only boxer shorts and having to skulk downstairs to the doorman for assistance. Mesmerized, I lose track of my glass and have to reboot my nose.
Gradually more and more people are arriving, although the much talked-about female boycott is holding somewhat true to form. Andrew Jacob Scott arrives, clad in an olive-drab jumpsuit and a KERMIT RULES t-shirt, and elaborates darkly on his suspicions that the ladies are hosting their own Huet/Chippendales tasting to which we are not invited. With the added presence of such noted luminaries as Manuel Munro Camblor, M. 'Love Vibe,' a friendly new contributor to these pages whose actual name escapes me at the moment, and Jayson "Whipping Boy" Cohen, Joe seems to finally exterminate and digest the butterflies that have so plagued his stomach.
Chapter Two: RELIEF
As the crowd swells and I switch into antisocial notetaking mode, Dressner relaxes visibly, greeting each guest with a printed copy of the Louis/Dressner Top Ten Wines of 2000, all a part, as he explains cheerily, of his "Brand new campaign of relentless self-promotion!"
No, he says, I want more exclamation marks. And caps.
His "BRAND NEW CAMPAIGN OF RELENTLESS SELF-PROMOTION!!!"
I think he may try to bribe me. He knows I have my fingers on the pulse of the South African market, and he wants in. How would I react? I start to sweat.
The Jeebus careens onward, gaining momentum.
Clos de Coulaine (Papin-Chevalier) Savennières 1998: Smells lightly of honey, hints of lemon and those white coral chips that are in everyone's yard out west. Another mellow Saveni¸rres, lightly pillowy fruit covers some acidity, but there's a dark streak that runs down the spine, I can't quite place it, perhaps an almost charcoalish note, but it's rather bitter. Odd, not my favorite.
Domaine Francois Chidaine Montlouis Clos Habert 1998 (Number 8 on the L/D Top Ten): Smells pleasantly rainwatery, nice nosal layers of white honey, lemon & chalky rocks. Tastes tangy and crisp, a wine with good grab in the mouth. There's some demisec sweetness, but there's plenty of happy acidity to balance it; a pretty wine, structured, seamless and delightful. Makes me smile.
Manuel has been meandering around in lazy circles carrying on a series of animated discussions with himself. Denyse and I watch in brief puzzlement until we realize he's dictating his notes into a high-tech itty bitty recording device. "Don't be afraid," I reassure her, "it's just an especially dedicated winegeek with eye trouble, he won't hurt anyone." She's not at all sure. I think we scare her sometimes.
Just as I'm finishing this sentence in walks Anubis himself, the father confessor and therapist to us all, Robert "Doctor Bob" Callahan. The room comes to a standstill as I ritually purify the floor with salt in order to introduce Robert to Manuel. I am proud as can be to preside over this first meeting of two such storied wacky internet wine board characters.
Domaine Thomas-Labaille Chavignol Sancerre Les Monts Damnés 1999: My old nemesis, back to puzzle me. Chalk dust, hints of peach and honeydew, smells bright and fresh. A taste, and it's got a light zippy mouthfeel that conceals surprising tanginess and flexible concentration. Seems a bit hard at first, but air and time flesh out the body of the wine and bring out white-flowery, ur-honeysuckle notes, and soon any thoughts of hardness have vanished, as the wine becomes quite caressive on my tongue. A chameleon that needs more attention than I can give it right now.
Domaine Girard Sancerre La Garenne 1999: Fragrantly lime-stony nose with a light hint of cheese. Good weight, density, but turns disappointingly bitter on the finish.
Eric Texier Viognier VdT 1999: The new Turning Leaf-style label throws me for a moment, but I shake it off; it's a pale wine that seems to have a light pinkish cast to it. Have I just gotten some stray red in my glass? Hm. Anyway, it's very quiet, lightly aromatic, stony, with light tropical and floral hints, banana, apple candy, white flowers. Rather quiet in the mouth as well, with pleasantly tangy yellow fruit, but it's rather neutral today and not saying much. Now that the circle is complete Dressner begins to enter a new phase...
Chapter Three: ELATION
Dressner races up to me, glass in each hand. "Can you believe it?!" he rasps, "Someone told me there's sixteen people in here!"
I do a mental headcount. Someone is right. Joe races off, shouting happily.
I start to notice that everyone else has moved on to reds while I'm only about halfway through the whites.
Quickly, now, here's some Muscadet, a Clos des Briords Muscadet Vielles Vignes 1999. There's some strangeness here, an odd plastic note that Mr. Scott sums up nicely as "shower curtain." Underneath that is a racy, structured wine with traces of melon and white flower hints over some serious minerality. Whassup here? No time, Toulouse, move on, you've got to move on.
Here's another, a Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre etc. 1999: Smells like quarry dust. Tastes dense, sharp, tight, all structure. An impressive wine on an intellectual level; there's a whole lot of coiled intensity here but it's slightly rough going for me.
Luneau-Papin Muscadet Clos des Allées 1999: Wet quartz, white flower and hints of green melon. Compact and racy, bright and nervy in the piehole, a wine that is packed tight with massive structure but can turn on a dime. This has more give than the last, a bit more of a velvety skin over the Terminator-style skeleton. Andrew declares it "The best Muscadet in the whole wide world," and I appreciate his happiness, although I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool Muscadeer. In his enthusiasm he begs and pleads for what he calls 'funky tunes' to be played in the background. Joe demurs at first, then relents, and soon there is a whole lot of rhythm goin' down.
Now on to the white Corbières, first a Château La Baronne Montagne D'Alaric Corbières Vigne Combe Donzelle 1999. In the time it took me to write that name I could've tasted three more wines. Nevertheless, it's got a quiet nose, reserved hints of white and yellow flowers, light lemonial citrus, a pleasant earthiness. Good weight and balance, a wine with focus, crisp and rich but with an airy quality that gives it lightness in the mouth. Nice enough.
Its sister, a Château La Baronne Montagne D'Alaric Corbières Vigne La Prière 1999 is a bit smellier, lightly creamy-waxy, hints of butterscotch in there with the lightly perfumed floweriness. Doesn't quite have the focus of the CLBMDACVCD, mellower and a bit softer and more diffuse, but quite pleasant nonetheless, a decent little wine.
Kane arrives. I can hear Dressner shouting "I'm the king of the world!" somewhere in the background.
Here's a Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Chardonnay Beaujolais 1999: The streak continues: a lovely, slightly buttery-chalky smelling wine, with charming pear-apple fruit, hints of lemon and marzipan, and a more noticeable mineral-rainwatery streak than I remember from previous years. Tangy, crisp and velvety-smooth, a pretty, elegant wine. What more do you want from chardonnay?
Well, actually, um... maybe a Domaine de Roally Mâcon-Viré Cuvée 54-H 1998, as I take one whiff and go slightly weak in the knees. This is number three on the L/D Top Ten List ("The wine that bubbled for two years..."), and while the Brun chardonnay was subtle and balanced, this is wild and extravagant, lushly tropical, smelling of pear preserves and apple brown betty. Layered, sexy in a slatternly kind of way, a bit of sweetness, curvaceous and pillowy, oddly balanced and seamlessly acrobatic, given all the balls it has in the air at once. A brazen hussy of a wine; sure works for me.
Joe says loudly: "This is the LAST Mâcon-Viré." I look around, but .sasha is nowhere in sight to explain this line of reasoning.
Kane spots the shiny yellow wax capsule on the Overnoy white and gives a whinny of pleasure, then asks me what grape the wine is made from. I tell him. "Savagnin," I say, and when he stares at me blankly I spell it for him. Dressner walks by with a furrowed brow and Kane asks him the same question, perhaps searching for a simpler answer. "Poulsard," says Joe distractedly, thinking Kane means the Overnoy red. Kane seems happier with this scrap of disinformation, so I let it slide. Because really, isn't happiness all that matters in the long run?
I am just about to sample the Overnoy when I notice that most of the non-hard core set is leaving or has already left and that Joe's mood is rapidly undergoing another vital shift...
Chapter Four: DOUBT
Dressner corrals me and Andrew. "People are leaving, do you see? It's that music, I knew it! As soon as we put that music on people started looking for their coats. Didn't I tell you that stuff is a sure Jeebus-killer?"
Andrew assumes a hangdog expression. "Well, turn it off then, man," he says to Dressner's receding back.
I recuse myself from further social interaction and go back to trying to get through the endless lineup of bottles.
Here's a Breton Bourgueil Nuits d'Ivresse 1999: Lightly smoky bright cherry-cranberry fruit with a light underbrushy streak. Small and light but quite lightly flavorful, I like this more than the insubstantial '98. Medium-light bodied, with a lightly pleasant crushed-brick feel behind the immediate light fruit. Light, friendly.
Next up is a Breton Chinon Beaumont 1999: Less underbrushy, more gravelly, behind slightly more substantial cherry-cranberry fruit. A quiet wine, the fruit is ripe but subdued. Light, friendly.
Breton Bourgeuil Clos Senechal 1999: A rather more delicate, pretty nose on this one, it also has earthy, brick dusty red cran-cherry fruit. Light, friendly.
Oddly enough, even though we've all had a good chuckle over Eric Asimov saying recently in The New York Times that Chinons and Bourgueils were light, fruity wines to drink young, that's what these seem to be. Jayson classifies them taxonomically as 'café wines,' and they are indeed friendly, low-alcohol and nonagressive but pleasantly earthy and ripe.
Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses 1997: After the quiet, light 99s this one seems like a real bruiser. Vibrant nose, concentrated cherry, gravel dust, hints of toast. Lush, satiny, fleshy in the nostrils. Tighter in the mouth, there's a strong spine clothed with velvety red flesh, dense and rich. Impressive, approachable even now.
In the background I hear Joe expounding on the vintage of 2001: "Yes, '01 was an uneven vintage, but the best growers made good wine..." This precognition startles me so much that I neglect to taste the Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Croix Boissée 1998 (Number 7 on the L/D Top Ten List). Was it good? Anybody? No? Why does no one ever answer me?
Domaine Bois du Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1997 (Number 9 on the L/D Top Ten List): Hints of earthy old-leather funk over red raspberry fruit, tastes tangy, a bit sharp and tight. Good focus, somewhat ungiving, a medium-bodied wine that needs time to relax a bit.
Château La Baronne Corbières Montagne D'Alaric 1999: Ooh, this smells rich and ripely cherry-cassisish, sweet to smell, lightly toasty-smoky underneath, rich and happily lush, with one, maybe one and a half gobs. Fine balance, rich ripe fruit, tangy and crisp. Really tasty and juicy, shame it didn't make the top ten. I'd drop this in at Number 9 instead of the Bois du Boursan, but that's just the hedonistic gob-lover in me speaking.
I've been trying to avoid the next three bottles because of their absurdly long names, but here goes nothing...
Domaine de la Ferme Saint-Martin Cote du Rhone Cuvée Font de la Borry 1998: Earth, new leather over dark cherry-raspberry. Quite ripe, good structure, medium-sized. The fruit is smooth and well wrapped around a nice dark core, and the wine has a pleasant lightness. I like it.
Domaine de la Ferme Saint-Martin Beaumes-de-Venise Côte du Rhone Villages Cuvée Prestige 1998: Eucalyptus leaves, leather and peppery red berry fruit, this is softer than the DDLFSMCDRCFDLB and seems a bit all over the place, a little uncertain of what it wants to do with its life. I like the DDLFSMCDRCFDLB more.
Domaine de la Ferme Saint-Martin Beaumes-de-Venise Côte du Rhone Villages Cuvée St. Martin 1998: Bright, sharp nose, gravelly red fruit, not giving up much now. Tastes somewhat hard, but there's coiled energy in there waiting to come out, and you can sense hints of it even now. More structure than the DDLFSMBDVCDRVCP, deeper and denser than the DDLFSMCDRCFDLB, with some fine tannins. Young, reserved, quite interesting.
Manuel decides that now is the ideal time to inform me that, instead of looking like Al Gore (as I used to when I was in a non-shaggy phase), I now look like a cross between Robert Plant and that guy who was the lead singer for 'Foreigner.' Clearly the Latin Liquidator has deeper issues than mere eye trouble, and I resist the urge to screech a Hot Blooded/Misty Mountain Hop medley in the interest of not sending people screaming from the room, alarming the host even further. Does Dressner appreciate my restraint? Noooooo. His psychic pendulum is finding a new direction to swing...
Chapter Five: ANGER
Our host is getting cranky: "I wasted all that port--I opened five bottles of port and nobody's touched it!"
Callahan is rooting around in the racks on the wall for more bottles to open, and Jayson sings out "Hey, you didn't open the Godineau Grain par Grain..."
Joe waves at him: "Don't worry, you'll get your money back!" then mutters "I'm an old man, I've had four major heart operations, I don't need this... who knew a Jeebus would be so difficult?"
I promise him that I will have some port if I can make it through the dry reds and still stand up. Or at least sit upright and bring my glass to my mouth.
"Kevin's going to kill me for opening all these bottles and trashing the place. Oh, oh god, what have I done?"
He is disconsolate. It's a little awkward to see a grown man so affected, so I get the hell out of there.
Château Ste. Anne Bandol 1998 (Number 11 on the L/D Top Ten): I'm a fan--Bandol is one of my favorite of the noble grapes. I've already gone through half a case of the '97, but this wine is one you might want to wait a little longer for. More spine than the '97, a bit tighter and deeper, with flashes of blackberry-raspberry fruit and an underlying streak of earthiness. Quite nice, will be nicer.
Pierre Overnoy Arbois Pupillin Poulsard 1993 (Number 4 on the L/D Top Ten): Kane hates it. 'Nuff said.
Andrew and I blearily weigh the good and bad graphical elements of the labels on various red wine bottles. We redesign a few, let a few stand. We look at the Foucault wines and agree that they can put whatever they want on the label.
Clos Rougeard (Foucault) Saumur-Champigny Clos 1997: This is a bit corked, damnit. I guess only two out of sixty is pretty lucky, though. So far.
Clos Rougeard (Foucault) Saumur-Champigny Les Poyeaux 1997: Beautiful, a thoroughbred. I won't bore everyone with still more gushing about this wine. If you see any and you don't want it, buy it and I'll pay you back, plus shipping, plus a tip. After five hours this one finally wins the Thunderbird Prize, and is in fact the only bottle emptied during the Jeebus.
Hey, it's some Brun stuff! I like him.
Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Beaujolais Cuvée à L'Ancienne 1999 (Number 1 on the L/D Top Ten List): From 5-40 year old vines. I liked the 98, the 99 is much in the same mold, only more so. Silky, nicely balanced, cherry-strawberry fruit that settles earthily on the tongue. The impression of lightness is belied by the persistence of the flavors.
Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Beaujolais Cuvée à L'Ancienne Vielles Vignes 1999: From 40-100 year old vines, 100% destemmed (the regular L'Ancienne is 30% destemmed). This seems to be a little less forward than the young vines bottling, with a shadowy dark streak that isn't present in the other. I like the hints of darkness and depth, I'll sacrifice the slighty cheerier quality of the younger vines bottling. Dogboy has said it before, but it's a sign of a world gone mad that I can buy this wine for $7.99 when Mondavi 'Coastal' Chardonnay is ten bucks.
Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Pinot Noir Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire 1999: After a '98 that I wasn't too enthusiastic about, this wine is right back to where it was in the preceding years: a pretty, smooth little pinot that woos me with its light earthy-clovey-cherry fruit, subtle juiciness and supple sense of balance. Charming.
Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Petite Sirah VdT 1999: From young vines, sees only vats, no barrels. Earthy, slightly grapey nose, heavy with hints of smoke and tar and plum. Quite interesting to smell, weightier than the preceding wines, but not entirely unsubtle. Tastes rich and earthy-plummy, good weight and balance, with a decent tarry-plum hum on the finish and substantial tannins. Not a monster, just a nicely packed medium-weight wine with some amiably rough edges. When we had brunch with Brun last year he was effusive about this grape finding its true home in Beaujolais; many there were skeptical, but the wine is promising and bears out his enthusiasm. Very nice, but will it age?
By now only the diehards remain, sitting swapping wine trade horror stories, ghastly tales of vintages being changed on labels, bottles being syringed, importers being arrested for bicycling drunk, things too ugly to dwell on. Something about this process seems to purge the foul humours that are plaguing our host, and soon he is chatting happily about circumcision and other related topics, back in top form once more. The last of the bad feeling vanishes for good when the mysterious Mrs. Doghead appears nonchalantly in the doorway with a friend in tow, much to the consternation of those present who had postulated for years that she was in fact merely an invention spawned from the fevered brain of our dear twisted Therapist.
Readers, it ain't so.
Chapter Six: PEACE
With this newfound peace I brighten up, for there is light at the end of the tunnel and now I can focus myself for the stretch run.
Here goes nothing...
Arnoldo-Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco 1993: Smells darkly cherry-raspberryish, bright and sharp in my nose, with dark tarry undertones, hints of cedar. Tight, powerful, quite an imposing wine with a spine like Nelson's Column and a good core of leathery red fruit. Brawny, crisp and tasty.
Clos de Roilette (Coudert) Fleurie 1999 (Number 6 on the L/D Top Ten List): Smoky cherry-strawberry fruit, dark and fruity-lush. Juicy tasting, berrily rich, well structured and with fine depth and balance. Very nice.
Clos de Roilette (Coudert) Fleurie Cuvée Chrystal 1999: I don't know who Chrystal is, but this is deeper, darker and smokier than the last, quite rich smelling and silky up my nose. Rich attack of deep red berry fruit, dense and structured but quite approachable, flowing juicily into a long berrylicious finish. The friendly fruit almost hides the density and depth beneath, but not quite. Very very nice.
Domaine Ruet Brouilly 1999: Warm, humming nose, smells warm and fleshy, strawberry-cherry fruit. Tastes smooth and easy, none of the depth or density of the Roilette, but soothing and pleasant to sip, although surprisingly tannic.
Maréchal Bourgogne Cuvée Gravel 1999: Another pretty pinot, light and nimble but very expressive. Lithe clove-cherry-earth fruit, crisp and flexible and racy. Keen flavors, fine balance. Good.
Domaine Franck Peillot Vin de Bugey Mondeuse 1999: Cheery cherry-strawberry nose, juicy fruity flavors, surprisingly tannic after such a cheery cherry beginning. This is the wine that was at the center of the Mondeuse-shortage madness at the end of last year.
Château d'Oupia Minervois 1999: This is the basic bottling, not the Stained Label/Les Barons Cuvée, and it's more open than I expect, silky and a bit short of hard, nice tarry undertones, with good cohesion until the finish, when sandy-fine tannins sweep in. Okay, so it needs some time after all. I think these tannins may be the straw that breaks the back of my tongue.
Mas des Chimères Coteaux du Languedoc 1998: Yup, my taste buds are finally quitting on me. My tongue feels like a dishrag: this wine tastes just like the last. Time for some tiny sandwiches before I attempt the sweeties. Sorry, Mas, but we'll have to meet again another day. Cool label, though.
I eat two tiny sandwiches and almost trip over Andrew, who is sitting on the floor with four bottles in front of him, bemoaning the fact that he hasn't gotten as drunk as he wanted because he kept forgetting to swallow.
Château Pierre-Bise Coteaux du Layon L'Anclaie 1998: Pretty tasty. Desserty-sweet and creamy but not cloying, nice crispness. Not as extravagant as the 97 or as focused as the 96, but if you take it on its own merits it's quite rich and tasty.
Château Pierre-Bise Quarts de Chaume 1997: 94 points!
Quinta do Infantado Ruby Port NV(Number 5 on the L/D Top Ten List): Lisa and I have bought more of this wine than any other wine in the history of the universe. We now have a "Decant Half into an Old Half Bottle and Stick it in the Fridge" policy meant to keep us from polishing off an entire bottle by ourselves at one sitting and regretting it in the morning. It's showing well once more, lightly brambly red-clay fruit, lovely balance, medium sweetness, earthy-red and delicious. Can't lose with this one if you're looking for ruby Port.
Quinta do Infantado Tawny Port NV: I'm not quite as partial to the tawny as I am the ruby, but this is another fine wine, dark red with a slight brownish hue; slightly nutty berry-based aromas, still seems redder than most tawnies, more berryful. Adds an overtone of nuttiness to the red earthy fruit in the ruby. Nice balance, good crispness, medium-light sweetness. Very tasty.
There are a few more Infantados (including some cute thumb-sized bottles), and I know I've missed a few other wines, but after seven hours I'm simply out of steam and have to go locate the Lovely Lisa, who has apparently gotten lost somewhere in the concrete jungle while returning from booth bunny duties at the Javits Center for some friendly Indonesians. I help tidy up, stepping over the bodies of winegeeks have fallen by the wayside, wincing as gallons of sweet, sweet leftovers are poured into buckets and disposed of, and as I slip out the door I see Joe bringing out a stack of videocassettes with titles like Debbie Does DRC and Deep Punt. My curiosity almost gets the best of me, but I know if I go back I'll be there for five more hours, so I sneak quietly out past a dozing Mona.
I smile wistfully to myself as I pad down the hall. Was ever there a finer first Jeebus?