Michael was out almost 200 euro at the casino. No Ice Queen in sight. No parties, lame clubs. All the young, hot things were in Monaco at the Grand Prix or in Cannes at the film festival. Nary a sexy bod in site in little old Antibes. It was a bad time. A dark night. Our first on the long rambling journey through Europe.
But no! There would be no depression, no ill will or bad juju on this trip of pure joy and light! Sure, the house always wins and, yeah, the lack of Ice Queen is like watching a dark thundercloud extinguish the sun on a bright afternoon by the pool. But we were in Europe, damn it! It doesn’t get much better than that! We had to make the most of it!
So, we made the most of it.
Well, we tried to make the most of it.
Food solves many problems, particularly if you’re an impoverished citizen of a third world country. If you’re a drunk twenty-something, it’s not really gonna solve any problems, but it might give you a warm cozy feeling in your tummy. And, y’know, sometimes that’s all it takes to climb back on the horse of feelin’ good, feelin’ right.
So, we stumbled on over to the local sandwich shop, where a crowd of genial locals were grabbing their late-night grub. The place served a wide variety of meats and sauces on baguettes, but, being Americans, we made the sound decision to order the sandwich that came with both a burger and fries tucked inside. It might even have been named something like “The Americano.” Or, the “Tastes Good, Tastes Great, Feels Weird Coming Out in the Morning.” Nonetheless, it satisfied. Ohhh ho ho boy did it satisfy. It satisfied so hard that we resolved then and there to eat those goddamn sandwiches every night we were in Antibes and, ideally, every night for the rest of our lives.
Around that time, a squat dude sidled up to us, recognizing us as drunk tourists, high on hamburger baguettes, eager for adventure. He introduced himself as Manny and talked at length to the others while I grew ever more intimate with my sandwich. Later, it was revealed to me that Manny had invited us out on his yacht the next day. Or rather, he had invited us out on a friend’s yacht that he was…borrowing? It might not even have been a friend – he might have been yacht-sitting for some Richie Rich type, in town for the nearby festivities. Regardless, between the food and the potential for catching rays on a gorgeous yacht, we all perked up quite a bit.
So, we stumbled on over to the local cantina. Antibes, like many tourist destinations around the world, doesn’t really have a local “flavor,” per se. Instead, it imports the best flavors from other nations and turns them into loud, well-lit places for tourists to buy expensive drinks and wonder where all the hot girls are at. Witness: the Hemingway bar and the tiki shack. And, of course, the cantina.
It had stucco walls, I’ll give it that. It also served tequila, which Drew eagerly ordered. When I say “eagerly,” I mean that he ordered a plank of tequila shots. When I say “plank,” I mean that he ordered no less than (and perhaps more than) a dozen tequila shots. As with L’Amnesia, there must have been a deal.
Food might make you feel good inside, but only tequila can really wash away the shame of losing hundreds of euros in a lame casino. Or, at the very least, it can make you wander over to the nearby table of Dutch giantesses and ask them to take shots with you.
These Dutch giantesses were perhaps only moderately giant, but time and tequila now makes me fairly certain that they had to duck through doorways and could grasp (and quaff) six shots at a time. Easily six or seven meters tall, depending on the light, but svelte and muscular, like the wild antelope. I saw one choke a boa constrictor while the other drove a monster truck through a tornado! One whispered at a distant lighthouse and it exploded in a blinding white flash! The enormous black eyes in their foreheads emitted a constant beam of searing red fire! The ground shook with their steps; buildings shattered in their presence. With their powers combined, they were… CAPTAIN PLANET!
So, we suggested that we all meet up the next day on the beaches near Monaco. I got the number of the least giant Dutch giantess and felt pretty damn good about myself. Scorin’ the number of a cutie in a foreign country, how ’bout them apples what WHAT. I dunno. It turned out to be a pretty swell evening after all, even if we got lost on the beaches the next day and never actually tried very hard to meet up with the Dutch giantesses because, well, there just wasn’t as much tequila involved and, hell, Europe’s a big place.
Not to worry, though, more opportunities to meet up with cuties were bound to come around.