Merci beaucoup for the Statue of Liberty, Gerard Depardieu, Brigitte Bardot, Napoleon Bonaparte and his posthumously severed penis, Proust, Gruyère, nude beaches…oh, what an endless list. Without your historic contributions to America and the world at large, surely Match.com members would only know how to say “do you want to sleep with me this evening” in one paltry language. A true tastemaker, and nowhere more so than in those fields of food, drink, fun and frivolity, it should come as no surprise that you — or more specifically, the famed Parisian nightclub Les Bains Douches — single-handedly ushered in a new era of upped-game debauchery known as bottle service.
Les Bains first set the tone of excess back in 1988 and France still has the bottle service jump on the States. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s high time the bon vivant torch was passed. The bar has been set awfully high though…
Gather ’round children, zip it, listen. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, this story is called, Attack of the 50 Foot Wine Bottle:
St. Tropez–the Cote d’Azure of the Cote d’Azure, the One Percent’s one percent, the “brat” in “bratwurst.” Nothing here is Lilliputian. A measly Coke Light costs around €15 ($18), you’re in the minority if you don’t own a yacht with an on-board helipad and “Look over there, that old fat guy and his twenty-two year old girlfriend with the fake tits look so in love!” is not something you’ll likely hear repeated.
In point of fact, overt over the top status statements abound here, especially during sweltering summer months. Vacationers with oodles of oil, textile, banking, blah blah blah bucks looking to effectively flash their peacock feathers regularly materialize the following scenario — My Patek Philippe watch reads noon. Perfect time for us to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bubbly stuff, not because we want to drink it but, because won’t it be so epic when we shake it up and pour it all over ourselves like the fun-loving free spirits we are?
Champagne showers govern the daytime milieu at St. Tropez beach clubs like Les Palmiers and Nikki Beach. Seasonal staffers carry Piper Heidsieck and DP–Dom Perignon, naturally–not by the arm-full, not by the case-load even, but in wheel barrels and metal cages meant to entrap wild animals. Truly a sight to behold, yet nothing compared to the heavy spending that occurs once the sun goes down.
The smattering of table reservation-centric drink joints that dot St. Trop’s gilded streets deserve nothing less than a cushy office in the Department of the Treasury for the amount of money they pull in on a nightly basis. Mainstays like VIP Room and Les Caves Du Roy expertly manhandle the dooks out of the Veblen good concept.And now, a brief economics refresher course: Veblen goods are commodities tending to increase in popularity as they increase in price. Ergo and henceforth, as a general rule, the greater the price of a commodity, the greater the level of douchery on the part of the person still willing to purchase it.
Only deep pockets–like Marianas Trench deep–gain entry into St. T’s most exclusive rumpus rooms. And, once inside, the bottle buying olympics that ensue put Big Apple clubs to shame. Here, all manner of country, from Brazil to the strange burgeoning nation of New England –“I’ve never heard of this country, but give it up for New England,” famed DJ Jack E, presider over Les Caves, once said–compete for the title of Biggest Spender. Regular sized bottles gets to steppin’.
Don’t expect any sparkler love, PA announcements, drop-down LED screens sporting your national flag or GoGo dancing cocktail waitresses unless you drop coin for a Jeroboam, Methuselah or Salmanzar; equal to four, eight and twelve regular sized bottles, respectively. Herein lies the future of clubbing–clubbing the way our forefather’s envisaged it. Bottles so big it takes ten men to lift even one, glow in the dark DP labels to attract humans to alcohol like moths to a flame, and revelers so hyped up on life they feel compelled to personally purchase champagne for each and every patron in the club. This is St. Tropez, people. This is France. So too could it be…AMERICA!Fellow red, white and and blue-blooded compatriots, if you’ve ever felt any sense of responsibility toward the land you call home, think not of savings accounts or mortgages, college tuition or car payments, insurance coverage or food money. At the behest of every twenty-something financial analyst who donned his best button-up shirt and spent his entire paycheck on a Thursday night at Provocateur, get thee to a nightclub and demand that you be served nothing short of a magnum. Demand that a poodle with a bright pink Mohawk deliver said magnum to you, and DEMAND that said poodle be made to sit by your side the entire night, barking each time your glass hovers close to empty.
Do this and perhaps your children shall live to see a day when the U.S. crosses the finish line first in the How Much Was The Bill!? Race. Until that day, drink responsibly dear friends or don’t drink at all. Instead, spray the ish toward the sky a la Formula One.