Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bye Bye Bertrand!

I went to my first pub quiz in Paris almost a year ago... a fortuitous event in which my good American friend and I were placed with a group of strangers and we ended up winning the game in surprising triumph... The Phoenix was born... 

Since that day, this motley crew and I have become fast friends, continuing to sharpen our pub quizzing skills, sometimes meeting for quizzes, others just for fun times, members coming and going here and there. We celebrate each other's birthdays, give somewhat unheeded advice in varying degrees of merit, and mercilessly mock at all times. One of our most significant members was not in fact part of the original team. Most of us met him during a failed attempt to attend a pub quiz at a different venue than normal. In all honesty, most of our attempts to attend pub quizzes at other venues around Paris are usually met with an epic fail. The quiz won't be on that night, or ever, and we are left to drink our beers without mind-boggling questions. On this particular evening, we met up at a random bar where we were ultimately told there would not be a pub quiz per say, but they ended up having a short sports trivia quiz in light of the game playing on the massive wide screens placed about the room. Now, it turns out that we did not officially win this game, but when the server came over with a free pitcher of beer for the elusive "Bertrand", one of our illustrious group managed to claim the title and accept the offering. Thus, Bertrand became a real member of our team henceforth...

So when Bertrand announced that he would be leaving Paris and moving back to his home country, England, it became our team's prime goal to win the final pub quiz of the year. Hopes were high, despite the fact that we had yet to score a win since that first fateful night so many months ago. We met at our usual haunt, O'Sullivan's in Chatelet, our heads held high and hopes harnessed only by the minor pragmatic reality that these quizzes are often damned hard!

We all met, fortified with beer and burgers, then put our thinking caps on. For the next couple of hours, it was very hard to tell what the results would be. There were several other teams, sometimes whooping with the overconfident joy of those who believe they have conquered all. We chose the more mature line of behaviour held by those who have won before, know their own worth, and so sit back in confidence and poise. Well, plus I had brought Christmas Kinder Eggs for everyone, so we were also rather distracted by awesomeness.

When the results were finally announced, after the hosts spent one millions years reading off answers and hyping the 2nd, 3rd and 6,000th runners up, we almost missed the proclamation that we had in fact won the quiz! At long last, we had returned to the throne, like Aragorn retaking his rightful seat of Gondor! Instead of the usual pitcher of sugary cocktails, we opted for the celebratory bottle of champagne instead and relished in the dizzying bubbles of success. We tipped our hat to our teammates and felt satisfied in the knowledge that we would be sending off our friend with his crown held hi. Bye bye Bertrand! Maybe for not but not for long.

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