Once upon a time, in the imaginary kingdom of Ata, a potato was called to represent the interests of the grapes at the Big Produce Market in Washington, DC.
The grapes were unhappy, but they were grapes, so they continued to do what grapes do, which is wine.
The potatoes were thrilled. Or as thrilled as potatoes can get.
“We are big, heavy, and dirty! We can squash the grapes, and profit from their wine in the Big Produce Market! Better yet, we will convince the Powers that Be that grapes are dangerous, and need our filthy skin to cover them, to make their vile liquid safe to the public! We’ll not only profit from their wine, we will own the very vessel in which it is distributed!”
(These particular potatoes happened to be fairly well educated and have nice vocabularies. How else do you think they got to the Big Produce Market?)
Meanwhile, the grapes stayed in small bunches, doing grape things, never realizing how much heavier their wine would be if it was collected in one large vat.
The potatoes churned on, spreading unsavory bits all around their own vineyard. It became so unpleasant, the bees they needed so desperately to pollinate the plants that made the grapes grow quit coming.
The potatoes were bereft, and begged the bees to return. “Oh sweet bees! We need you so desperately! Please come back to our vineyards!”
The bees, who were a little less inclined to put up with a bunch of filthy potatoes than their friends the grapes, reminded the potatoes just why they stopped coming to the vineyard, and found other delicious plants to pollinate. “Screw you, potatoes. You’ve spent many harvests poisoning the public with tales of grape shortages and pictures of fiery, burning wine casks. You have created your own problems, and we don’t want anything to do with you and your lies-come-true. Your vineyards are dangerous because you made them that way, and we won’t be tricked into your shakedown cruise.”
(Bees can be kind of mean sometimes. They’re also apparently Jay Ferguson fans.)
The vineyards continued to decline, and the grapes were eventually replaced by high-fructose corn syrup, which really was dangerous to the general public, but the Powers that Be never drank wine made from high fructose corn syrup, so the Big Produce Market continued to sell it.
The moral of the story? Don’t send a potato to represent the interests of the grapes. Also, if you’re going to wine, put it in the right cask. One more thing: don’t poop in your own vineyard and expect to have a lot of visitors, especially from worker bees.
Viva la grappe!