en

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Glen Emery, speaking about the basement of the legendary and recently defunct Prague bar Marquis de Sade, and its owner (Emery's ex-partner) John-Bruce Shoemaker:

"Support columns had been ripped out. The Marquis de Sade was just hanging over a pit. If you got a bunch of stag party guys in there jumping up and down it could have collapsed. It would have been a fitting end to John-Bruce, having him collapse into a pit full of rats."

It's a good story.

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Also from the Prague Post: If you click on the comments below (look for the number 2), you'll see a link to another Post article, this time about me (yes, me!) and the fact that I finally moved from Prague. I didn't link to it here on the blog initially, partly due to false modesty but also because I was a bit embarrassed (for the paper, that is) that the Post had actually deemed my departure from Prague worthy of comment.

There were also a few awkward phases in there about which some people I know claim to have spoken to many people who suggest they could be interpreted as slight jabs by the author, Will Tizard. Now that it's made the comments, I guess I should respond: Hey, they spelled my name right!

It's important to note that Will's an old friend -- I met him the afternoon of the first day I moved to Prague in September 1996 -- and some of these quasi-jabs almost reach the status of inside jokes between me and him, like the thing about the tofu burger. Never mind that. Oh, alright, but it's not that interesting: Will never liked the Tulip Cafe tofu burger and suggests its lack of popularity is one reason I sold the restaurant. Actually -- ahem -- the Tulip tofu burger was consistently one of the three most popular items on the menu. Isn't that enlightening.

Now another old friend, Richard Hunt, has chimed in (see the comments) with a robust, rousing defence in a situation where I'm not sure there's much robustitude to be roused. Thank you, anyway, Richard; you the man, and I love it when you use phrases like "got the real hump," which I can only I assume to be a quaint Anglicism.

Richard makes much hay (does one say that outside the U.S. Midwest?) over my old column for Prague Business Journal. "Ad Nauseam," as it was called, covered the Czech advertising and marketing beats. To say I'll be missed by the advertising scene is a bit misleading, since I haven't written about those guys in years, but I will say that of all the silly things I ever did in Prague, this is probably the one of which I'm proudest. Granted, the subject matter was super-specialized (perhaps even more so than what I'm doing now, covering the Polish and Slovak energy and telecom sectors) and I'd say the column was read on a regular basis by, oh, maybe 20 people. But the thing is, these 20 people read it all the time, and they talked about it afterwards and remembered it, and somehow it actually felt like I was making a microscopic difference in the world around me at the time. I liked that and I miss it.

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Nobody in Dublin gave a shit about the riots up in Belfast last weekend. It was only my friends back in Prague who suggested I write something about it. On the basis of their prodding, I pitched an article to Slate, and surprisingly, they took it. Thanks, guys.

"What's Good For The IRA ..." (my editor admitted it "wouldn't win any headline-writing contests") is the third part of what future historians will surely refer to as my Belfast Trilogy, the first two installments being "Gerry's Kid" and "The Adams Family."