A not so short story
It all began on a cold sunny day in Copenhagen, on September 10th 2001. After finishing the 2nd annual EuroUsCup matches for the losing American team. The Cincinnati Red (neck) native decided to have a more than pleasurable day sightseeing Copenhagen by day and visiting the local bars that had not already been visited during the week of competition. After finishing a couple of hours in Christiania, throwing down a huge Filet Mignon at a local eatery, he found that the time for extracurricular events was in place. There had been several joints that have not already been visited, so why not take the opportunity now?, he asked himself.
Rolling in to the questionable establishment with the exotic name of St. Thomas Hotel, at 5:30am, sleeping for 2 hours, followed up by a trip to the local Harley dealer, set his experience up for a relaxed flight back to his native country of BBQ, Grits and Hushpuppies. Of course, the main character of this short story could not possible have anticipated that Bin Laden and his gang was up to no good on this particular day.
The first stop on the agenda was Paris France, not Paris Texas, where the story most likely would have taken a different path, but Paris France. The French capital proved to be his home for the next week or so, but we will get back to that. After total confusion, no information and realizing that Air France had cancelled all flights back to “The land of the free”, the confusion was eminent. “I need a cab, find a hotel and get settled in”, was the first few thoughts that went through our Cohiba smoking friend’s mind. And this is really where the story gets interesting.
The size of the French taxicabs proved immediately to be of a different size than the usual Chevrolet Caprice that American cab drivers swear by. A Fiat Uno does not have the same kind of room for bags, suitcases and golf clubs as a Chevy Suburban. For the readers that are not familiar with our Bratwurst loving friend, I must add that his body could remind one of the shapes that you would find in a “Tight End” for the average American football team. In Short: It just does not fit in a “Uno”. Needless to say he had packed heavy for his annual participation in the Annual Golf Extravaganza already mentioned, so he was carrying a sizeable suitcase, Carry-on bag with gifts, and of course his hard-box golf cover of a size of a contra bass.
Well situated on the side of the Paris highway heading to the city of love, our hung over, slightly irritated, not smiling any longer friend stuck his sausage looking hand out and waived at more than a hundred taxis. Did anyone stop you might ask yourself, and I can confirm that the answer is Yes, finally after more than a hundred disappointed drive byes! , One dumb French/Ethiopian driver saw the opportunity to earn some extra francs and pulled over. After spending a few moments trying to get his suitcase, bags, and coffin of a golf travel bag in to the small Fiat the following “conversation took place:
-SM: “Can you take me to a god damn hotel?”
SM: “Ya’ll have a friggin hotel here merci?”
Pierreali: “Aaaahhhhh Hotel?”
SM: “Yeah A “OTEL” (you friggin frog you), (This is the moment our Pig Picking celebrating associate realized that he didn’t have a single franc in his pocket) By the way, change of plans, take me to an ATM,”
Pierreali: “ATM? Quesquese???”
SM: “ATM!!! Don’t you have those here?”
Pierreali: “ I donno what this is this ATM ??!!”
SM: “Cash machine, ATM, Bank machine, Sirrus, Plus, Whatever you call em over here!!”
Pierreali: “Aaahhh Bancue Qui?”
After this conversation our Ethiopian/French driver start searching for a “Banc de Mini” Finally our friend gets his hands on some of his not-so-hard earned IBM money.
Next on the agenda was searching for an “otel” which under the circumstances proved to be more than challenging. Out hung over non-golfing, Budweiser drinking friend was just about to realize that every other traveler stuck in the city of lights was also in desperate search for “otel” rooms. After spending most of the morning searching for a “Banc de Mini” to get francs, the francs were now slowly disappearing spent on trying to find an “otel”. For the not so informed reader, one must inform that an “otel” room in Paris is by no means “cheap”. So after realizing that all the lesser priced rooms already where taken by other occupants, the decision was made to check in to a room with the minimum room price of $500 Francs /night. “Hell, I’m only here for a night anyway, our now non-France lover thought. Well, time proved different. After spending a couple of nights in the overprized establishment, watching the horrors of 9/11 continuously, a call was made to a colleague at IBM France. This fella had his own issues to deal with, so another decision was made to search for rooms at “otels”, this time with more luck. Finally, after investigating flight schedules for Air France and realizing that there was no flights in the nearest future, spending between 500-300 francs per night sleeping for 6 six days and counting, the need to be back in the US proved just too strong. A ticket for $700 was purchased and proved less expensive than staying in Paris another night.
Did our friend see the Eiffel tower?
Did he see the Arc de Triumph?
Did he sit and sip a glass of Campari in the Latin Quarter?
Did he learn any phrases worth mentioning?
Well these questions will not be answered in this story. We leave this up to Metz to tell us when he feels like it. Maybe his knowledge learned from his unscheduled visit to Paris could guide us to arrange a future Cup at this loving city??
Just an Idea from The Guru!