[highlight color=”black”]THIRSTY THURSDAY[/highlight]
I minored in business when I was an undergrad, and although I received high marks for my ability to crunch numbers and draw a demand curve, I never quite grasped the science behind the stock market. Sure, I understood it in theory after I embarrassingly raised my hand in a lecture and asked, “But, like, what is a stock?” As far as understanding stocks in practice, however, all I knew was that if you pulled a Martha Stewart and dabbled in insider trading, you would go to a fluffy white collar prison.
At the beginning of 2010, I moved to Paris to study one of my other scholastic concentrations (le français, bien sûr) and by chance discovered a creative way to increase my limited knowledge of the stock market — while drinking, of course! Located in the second arrondissement near l’Opéra Garnier is a bar called le Footsie. Although the name implies a cutesy environment for some under the table action, it is actually a play on London’s FTSE stock index, and le Footsie takes its stock exchange theme very seriously.
Flat screen monitors above the bar display the five types of drinks offered to patrons (bottled beers, draught beers, liquors, aperitifs and soft drinks) and the individual selections in each category are listed underneath with their corresponding price. These prices are determined by the demand for the drink, and the list is updated every four minutes.
As an example, let’s say everyone in the bar is drinking whiskey. Each time a whiskey drink is ordered, the price of whiskey rises and the prices for all the other spirits drops. This process continues until people realize that they are paying €15 for a Jack and Coke when they could be paying €4 for a gin and tonic and switch. Then gin gets too expensive and everyone moves on to tequila. And so on and so forth.
I’m not usually a fan of shticky drinking establishments, especially ones with gimmicks that make me think too hard when I’m trying to order a cocktail. Le Footsie, however, was thoroughly enjoyable. Granted, due to my remedial knowledge of stock fluctuation at that time I did not comprehend how to work the system, and thus I continuously ordered the most expensive drink on the menu as beer became cheaper than water. Nevertheless, I had a great time — in no small part to the fact that American Top 40 music was playing all night, and it had been weeks since I’d heard Rihanna.
And all else aside, I did learn an important lesson about stocks while I was dancing to Rude Boy: don’t try to figure them out when you’re drunk, or you might end up spending €80 on vodka and seltzer.
10-12 rue Danue
2e arrondissement, Paris
Tel: +33 01 42 60 07 20
Photo courtesy of my trusty iPhone