Stick a Hot Cork in It

This is a post from July 2019. I’m reposting it because I’m truly fresh out of interesting things to say, even interesting to me, and that’s saying something. I mostly find myself fascinating. Except for right now. Even Blanche is like, what is with you? You’re not even fun to make fun of. And don’t get me started on COVID anniversaries. I’m not looking back at that shit, thanks very much.

And so I present, the rerun. With one addition. I brought out the subject of the post below, the Corkcicle, last weekend to test it’s capabilities for keeping something hot. The site says it can, but honestly pre-COVID I wasn’t one to need hot beverages outside. But last weekend, I had some friends over, bundled up, outside, in front of the fire pit. Seemed like a good time to test hot chocolate. I’m pleased to report it stayed hot for the nearly 3 hours we were outside in 30-ish degree weather, and then I brought it inside and it stayed hot well into the evening.

Corkcicle, I still think you have a stupid name and a dumb “lifestyle” website, but you do keep beverages cold and hot. So, well, carry on. And now on to the rerun post:

Stick a Cork in It.

Or as we say in Boston, stick a cawk in it. I have another perimenopause story for you; I keep trying to write about white privilege and white fragility, and there’s so much, I can’t quite sort it out enough to make it coherent. And that’s kind of my job as a writer. Rule # 1: Don’t write bad crap that makes readers go, wha?? I will keep trying, because that is also my job.

However, in the meantime, I’ll tell tales on myself. My perimenopause likes to take the form of random bursts of anger over dumb stuff that makes no sense. It’s super fun. Luckily I am able to control it. Except around my girls who I have been friends with since we were kids. And there is usually alcohol involved. On more than one occasion I have lost my noodle with them over trivial things. The last time, we kind of processed it in almost real time. I don’t seem to quite know I’m going there until I get really upset and my voice gets really high, and I’m half screeching and half yelling. It is a testament to my friends that they are still my friends, and also thankfully I am entertaining 95% of the time. Right guys? 🙂

So then and there we decided to have a warning word so they could let me know I was about to cross a line. I tend to work up to the big screech. We bandied about a few words, but I wasn’t feeling them, and since I only see them once or twice a year, I was afraid I would forget. Undaunted we pressed on and settled on Art Vandalay, the fictional character of the fictional company, Vandalay Industries in “Seinfeld.” We said it many times so it would sink in,  but luckily we didn’t need to use if for the rest of the weekend. However, I was on the train that Monday after our girls’ weekend, sitting down, and this young one is standing in front of me, holding a coffee travel mug. The label said “Corkcicle.” Inside my brain, I went off. Corkcicle? What the hell kind of name is that? So pretentious, so fake cool and hip. Cork and popscicle? Did the focus groups ages 20 -24 like the “irony” of it referencing the corks like adult wine and Popsicle like kid treats. It probably cost half this person’s paycheck, but it’s helping the environment and most likely building wells in Africa and keeping the rain forest from being cut down. Ugh.

I took a picture and sent it to the group. “This is what I mean! This is ridiculously pretentious! It’s a stupid coffee container for cryin’ out loud!”

The responses were swift and direct:

“Art Vandalay! Art Vandalay!”

I laughed and sent the “stand down” signal to my brain. I left Corkcicle girl to her stupid coffee container with its ridiculous name.

But as always the joke is on me. Many months later, I was chatting with a friend. We both enjoy the outdoors and wine, and especially love places where we can have both.

“My sister-in-law told me about this great thing!” she cried. “It holds an entire bottle of wine and keeps it cold! It’s perfect for outdoor movies and concerts.”

“That’s so cool,” I answered, glad for an alternative to bringing an awkward cooler jug filled with wine and a plastic bag of ice to keep it cool. “What’s the name of it?”


All prejudice forgotten, I quickly Googled Corkcicle, and there it was. Oh yes, in all its “lifestyle” branding glory. The period after Corkcicle. in their logo really makes a statement. *Cough.* I flipped through the annoying “tumbler” section to zero in on my prey.

I needed a calculator to find the right sized “canteen.” Dammit! Why are wine bottles labeled in mL? Luckily, I happened to have a bottle on hand to find out the volume. 750 ml. OK, equivalent to 25 ounces! Score! I found the cheapest one at $32.95 and clicked. Of course they have a 100 other “lifestyle” finishes that cost more.

Once the fever had cooled, I went back and read their “About” page:

“It all started back in 2010 with a question: How do you chill wine to the perfect drinking temperature without the mess of an ice bucket? After dozens of prototypes, the original Corkcicle in-bottle wine chiller (now the Corkcicle Air) was born.”

Okaaaaay, I can get behind people who ask these important questions. Maybe they aren’t too pretentious…maybe they are OK…and then the very next paragraph…

“Since then, we’ve come a long way. We kept creating innovative barware, then found our way into the hydration space, and today, continue to push the boundaries of keeping things cool in style. As we grow and evolve, our mission is still the same: Elevate the moments that matter.”

And there it is. I’ll let you have “barware” because I like things related to bars, but you are not in the “hydration space.” You make containers for water. You are not “pushing boundaries,” you are making it easy for us to sneak alcohol into places where it’s prohibited. For that I thank you. OK, and of course you donate 5% of your profits water to people who need it, excuse me, people who need to be in a hydration space.

Fine. Whatever. I have been to two movies outside this summer with perfectly chilled and perfectly hidden wine. I’m a big enough person to admit I may have misjudged you.

Until I clicked on the the “Style” page, which features many celebrities with the product. I don’t know who most of them are so we’ll take their word for it. However…

Art Vandalay!

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