FRANCE COMES TO SEATTLE IN SEARCH OF AMERICAN TOURISTS
I'm getting a fresh perspective on the state of French-American relations from a bar stool in Belltown.
Pro wrestling is on TV. The villain wears a beret and a Jean-Claude Van Damm sneer. He taunts the crowd by unfurling the French tricolor. When he gets roundly trounced by good guys in Desert Storm fatigues, the emcee shouts, "What a great time to be an American!" Deafening cheers.
The faux Frenchie's nom-de-ring is Rob Van Damm, from Battle Creek, Mich., no less, who's managed to turn his Muscles from Brussels character into a pitiful Pirate of Paris. The audience may have little sense of geography, but even here at the tavern they need someone to boo and hate, non? Mais oui. "Fuck the French," the guy to my left growls into his Fat Tire.
Time warp to Rover's and free-flowing champagne two days later...