The Adjustment: A Play in Three Acts
Scene: A wine magazine or newsletter (not Wine Enthusiast).
Disclosure page: “All wines are tasted blind, unless otherwise indicated”
Taster: Hello. Welcome to the Wine _________. Today we’re tasting 12 wines. As you can see, they’re in paper bags. This is what’s called a “blind tasting.” We know very little about the wines, except that they’re all reds from Bordeaux, and the vintage is 2005. (If we knew nothing at all about the wines, it would be called a “double blind tasting.”) By tasting the wines blind, we ensure that no psychological factors, such as bias for or against the producer, can affect the score.
[The taster proceeds to taste through the wines. He sniffs, swirls and tastes each in turn, spitting the wine out afterward in order to remain sober.]
We spit, because it’s not a good idea for a professional wine critic to become drunk while reviewing wines, although it has been known to happen!
As you can see, after tasting every wine, I make notes on this piece of paper, which I call my “tasting notes.” At this stage, these notes are roughly drafted, and even illegible to anyone but me, but the substance of my impressions is here. Later on, I will craft them into final form, but the essence and truth of my impressions will remain constant. As you can also see [holds piece of paper up], I also write down my score at this time. For instance, you can see that for wine #1, my score is 84 points. That is not a particularly good score, but then, it was not a particularly good wine.
[Fade to black.]
Scene: A TV studio. The taster is being interviewed by a well-known celebrity video journalist.
Celebrity Journalist: So you say you taste everything blind?
Taster: Oh, yes. That is our bond, our guarantee to our readers.
CJ: It is nice to have a bond, a guarantee with your fans. I have one with mine, you know. They love me!
T: Without that bond, that guarantee, you are nothing. Just a piece of flotsam and jetsam on the erratic tide of life.
CJ: How true. Without a bond, a guarantee, you cannot be a brand. You cannot sell yourself without that credibility.
T: Indeed. It is vital for one’s credibility to retain that bond, that guarantee.
CJ: Amen, brother! [both smile, bump fists.]
Scene: Later that night, in the Taster’s private home office.
[The room is entirely dark except for the bluish glow of the computer monitor, which casts an eerie, demonic glow on the Taster’s face. From over his shoulder you can see the screen, and hear the rapid pecking of his fingers on the keyboard. We see the Taster access Wine #1 -- the one he gave 84 points. We now see it is Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. The Taster drags the cursor to the score area, deletes the 84 rating, and substitutes it with a 96 rating. New camera angle: Closeup on the Taster’s face. He looks directly into the camera. His eyes glitter in the blue light. It is impossible to know just what they are saying.]
Voiceover: Ladies and Gentlemen, you have just witnessed another episode of [drumroll, dramatic synthesizer music]… The Adjustment.
Note: Any similarity between this Internet play and any real magazine or newsletter is strictly coincidental.