What I’m sure started out as an innocent enough evening in Prague, Czech Republic soon turned into a night that would become legen-… wait for it… and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY! (Due credit to Barney from HIMYM).
The ill-logic of tempting the grim reaper’s bony finger with a 10 tonne vehicle on one-way tracks is irrefutable. And yet, the driver of a pedestrian-stopping, jaw-dropping Weismann GT MF4 could not resist that temptation. Or so it would appear. Here’s my take on how this completely perverse event came to be:
It all started with the owner, let’s call him Daniel, appropriately meaning “God is my Judge”. Now Daniel was having an early dinner alone at Celeste, the fine cuisine restaurant perched atop Frank Gehry’s Dancing House like a minaret on a Red Square cathedral. His waiter was a young, slim Czech man whose eyes pierced through Daniel with a focused intensity that unintentionally betrayed years of training as an elite, if unsuccessful, competitor in ALMS GT3 racing for Porsche. Not that this intensity got Daniel’s waiter very far in the high-end world of serving. But no matter. Daniel was finishing his 9th glass of Brut – a quiet, selfish celebration of the sale of his company to pharma giant Pfizer. Topping off his dinner of pan-seared fillet of arctic charr with wild salmon roe, potato coins, kolhrabi and champagne sauce was a peach melba with raspberry granité and peach carpaccio over creamy vanilla ice cream.
As Daniel figuratively licked the bowl clean of his dessert, he felt the potent combination of champagne and peach melba gleefully numbing him. Not wanting to risk an encounter with the Prague Police, Daniel tipped his young Czech waiter a 50% gratuity with the condition that the waiter drive Daniel back to his swank art nouveau apartment in Prague’s old Jewish Quarter. The waiter, who had been delighted with the intellectually inspired conversation thus far, obliged his generous patron. They took one elevator down to the main floor and another to the underground parking structure where Daniel hopped in the passenger seat of his Weismann GT MF4 after liquid-confidently tossing the keys to the ex-GT3er. As the waiter slipped the handmade German coupe out of the parkade, the 4.8L BMW V8 barked, leaving the echo to play Pong off the narrowly-separated concrete walls.
Emerging from the parkade, Daniel was feeling pleased with himself. Not only had he achieved his professional goals, but he’d just made a new companion with whom to share in the celebration. What a moment. As the apple red Weismann turned the corner to cross the Čechův bridge over the Vltava river, Daniel, speaking vicariously through nine glasses of bubbly, invited his new chauffeur to play a game, just for fun. What kind of game could this half-cut guy want to play, the waiter pondered aloud? “Chicken”, replied Daniel. “With that oncoming tram”. Completely daft. But the Czech waiter was feeling confident enough in his driving skills that he could cut it close enough to entertain his patron while maintaining some semblance of safety. This dare had reawakened the waiter’s dormant intensity. And it felt damned good.
So that’s what I think happened, and here’s how I came to observe the event myself. As I descended the steps from the Letenské sady park above, witnessing dusk wrap its magnesium-lustered cloak around the Czech capital, I caught the Golden Delicious red flicker from the corner of my eye. “A Morgan!”, was my initial, and incorrect, response. I grabbed my camera just in time to take the shot below, unaware that I was about to witness the most arrogant and foolish game of chicken ever attempted, whether it be by a dumb hicks with farm machinery or a wealthy connoisseur des voitures and an unknowning Number 17.
While I don’t have the heart to reveal the outcome of this late summers evening, I will leave you with this – the sound of the BMW-sourced V8 was sirenically intoxicating as it ricocheted off the ancient walls of the Čechův bridge. While it lasted.
[Photo Credit: Second photo: Celeste Restaurant]