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Awakenings Chapter 3: Explorations, Page 3

“You ought to know that my friend Betty at the Health Department said that that shop has failed several of their health inspections over the last few years.”

“I think I will go back to the den and work on the winery supply inventory list.” Joe leaned over and kissed Elise on her cheek. “If this is the flu, I don’t want to get you guys sick.”

Returning to the den, Joe’s discomfort continued, but not enough to stop him from continuing the exploration of the wines he had brought back from the wine tunnel.  His thoughts drifted to what his friend Roger the chemist had told him.  The Zinfandel Rosarium Clarivoyance did not do any of those things to him that Roger described.  The amount of scopolamine was probably very minute.  Joe decided to try a few cautious sips of the Paracelsus Turbo Medius 1871.  He peeled back the wax from the top of the bottle. With his practiced hand, he was able to extract the cork with one quick motion.  Sniffing the open bottle, he detected nothing malodorous.  The liquid he poured into a wine glass was a clear amber color.  Swirling the liquid in the glass, he placed his nose over the glass, detecting a faint citrus odor and a faint scent of cedar.  He noted that the clear liquid seemed to coat the glass well.  On first sip, he could sense a faint taste of pears with a faint bitterness.  The finish was not long but was dominated by the weakly bitter taste, almost like walnuts.  He then tried a couple more sips, but did not dare to drink a full glass.  Joe then returned to trying to decipher the photographic images of notes from the wine tunnel.  He soon noticed that his queasiness was completely gone.  Only then did it dawn on him!  Paracelsus was a 15th century physician who believed that properly cared for wounds would heal themselves.  Turbo was a Latin word for upset or disturb.  Medius meant middle.    The wine Paracelsus Turbo Medius was upset stomach medicine!

Joe left the den and returned to the kitchen where Elise and Cathy were still cleaning up. “I am feeling much better now, what do we have for desert?”


Ed pulled his Citroen into the driveway of DeMario’s house near the town of Big Sandy.  The large ranch style house sat across a wide driveway from an expansive metal building.  On one side of the building was a fenced yard partially filled with sprinkler pipes, water tanks, immense piles of aluminum siphons and several semi trucks with flatbed trailers.  On the other side of the building was a smaller fenced yard filled with veteran sprint cars, tires, and assorted car-racing paraphernalia.  The sign on the building said “Central Valley Irrigation Supply”.

As Ed opened the door of his car and stepped out, a voice called out from the metal building, “Good evening Ed, come take a look at my latest creation.  Have you eaten yet?  Elena has prepared a wonderful dinner and we are about to eat.”

Ed walked towards the open roll up door, a cloud of insects swarming the lights on the outside of the building. “Good evening DeMario, I am famished, I brought some good Mexican beer.”  Ed held up a six-pack of bottles for DeMario to see.

De Mario limped out of the building and reached out with one hand to shake Ed’s hand and with the other hand to grab a bottle of beer. “Welcome to Big Sandy.  I just finished with the buildup of a 68 Mustang Fastback.  I dropped in a 351 Windsor block with forged pistons, a forged crank, and forged H rods, a large intake, 50 lb injectors, and a centrifugal blower with an aftercooler.  The suspension is trick also.  I think the output is somewhere north of 650 to 700 horsepower on pump gas.”

Ed understood about half the car terms that DeMario fired at him, and savored the cool beer after the long drive down Highway 99. “I’ll bet it has a killer sound.”

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