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Trop de Vin, Pas Assez de Fromage

Day 7 of 30 days of writing! We’re approximately 25% done, but still 100% crazy. Today’s theme is excess.

It was July of 2003. Those heady days of post 9/11 paranoia and I’m traveling to Europe via Pittsburgh. My 5 o’clock shadow had worked late, giving my custom’s official cause to give me the “special” which included rapid-fire questioning without the cavity search.

So I answered all of his whowhatwherewhenwhy and hows and I was soon on my way. 7 hours later I’m in Paris.

I settle in to my hotel in La Defense. I pass out. My employer calls me and I meet with them at the office. You can see the Eiffel Tower from the window just like in every movie ever filmed in Paris. I laugh to myself because it seems absurd. Everyone smokes including me. It’s awful to smoke indoors.

I arrange dinner plans with people I’ve never met. Friends of friends. My buddy gave me their number back in Montreal: “When get to Paris, call Arlene and Derek. Good friends of mine.”

The apartment is near Place de la Republique in the 3rd Arrondissment. I find it easily and they buzz me up. My hosts are hospitable and welcome me warmly. While Derek hands me a glass of red, I meet the other guests and we begin to chat and work on a fresh baguette and cheese plate.

About the cheese plate.

I already have a relationship with cheese back home, but these Bries and Camemberts are something else.

I can’t stop.

It’s a merry-go-round: Conversation, baguette, Brie, wine. Conversation, baguette, Camembert, wine.

And then it’s just: Listen, baguette, cheese, wine.

Soon I cease to listen to the conversation at all anymore. It’s just me and the Chevrotin while my glass never seems to get empty.

It goes on for hours and it’s fantastic.

Around 10PM Arlene brings out the roast and we quickly devour it. By 10:15 we’re done and Derek brings out a bottle of Scotch for a nightcap. We all have a shot and considering how much we all drank, no one is drunk. Apparently bread and cheese are very absorbent.

When we finally all say goodnight and I make my way down to the street, the night hits me and I realize that I can’t actually walk. I am drunk after all. And I really can’t walk.

 

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  • I feel so sorry for you. Imagine, perfect strangers getting you drunk like that. 

  • I don’t know what your job is but the fact you get to go to France is making it WWWAAAAYYY better than my job.  I get to run over to a bank and title company to shlepp paperwork.  (Kill me now)

    I have been to Europe a few times but never Paris.  It sounds wonderful…well except for the not being able to walk part.

    Nicky, mentioned that you threatened posting cat pictures for 30 days…I think that is a great idea.

    PS  Anytime I use ANY French word ignore it’s incorrect useage.  It has been 40 years since I last took a French class….oh and there is the fact, that I sucked at it even then.

  • Sounds wonderful, but I can’t imagine how you had room for dinner after all the wine, cheese and bread.  They would have to roll me out of there.  Maybe that would’ve worked for you – since you couldn’t walk.  Seriously, I wouldn’t like that feeling.

  • God bless you, Mike!  I already loved you but now I love you even more.  Drunk and in Paris is not a bad way to go!  Sober in Paris is fine too.  Excess in Paris is the best excess of all!

  • There’s no such this as an excess of cheese and bread. Wine on the other hand…

  • If I were God…

    I think that’s a benign excess.  We’ve all been there.  Just don’t drive, right?

  • MalisaHargrove

    I want to go with you on your Paris trips! That sounds so fun…and so delicious! Well written, Mike! I felt like I was there. But I wasn’t. I am really bummed about that.

  • Barb

    sounds yummy!

  • Wow – that’s the kind of excess I would love!

  • It was an awful, awful, experience.

  • My current job isn’t THAT good. The trip was a one time deal for my previous company and by going on that trip I kind of sold my soul. That’s a whole other story.

    Love the image (as usual, nicely executed!). Thankfully I wasn’t picked up by la police.

  •  How did you get back !!!! HA HA!!!  Sounds like a GREAT time! 

  • It was seriously weird, even though my head didn’t really feel drunk. It was just an overall intoxicating evening.

  • The feeling passed after awhile. I was mainly wobbly drunk, and thankfully not blind drunk.

  • It was great, but like the title suggests (in french) there wasn’t enough cheese. Ok, there was, just not for me 🙂

  • No denying that!

  • Thanks, Malisa. Sadly, it was a one time thing and I don’t work for those idiots…I mean that company anymore. 

  • Not a chance. And driving in Paris? More foolish than drinking to excess.

  • There was no problem with the wine at all. It was scotch that really crossed the line. The results were completely surprising and unintentional.

  • I could make Paris a habit. Drinking like that, not so much. Eating that much cheese? Still do.

  • Well you could roll I’m sure. It’s hard to have any sympathy for you being unable to walk, when all I want now is bread and cheese…sigh…see, if I”d never been a Montrealer, I wouldn’t know what I’m missing.

  • I’m done after one glass of wine.  I should try having it with food next time!  =)

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