GK:...brought to you by the Cafe Boeuf with Maurice the maitre'd your host.

(FRENCH GIBBERISH) Fifteen below zero, yesterday, and the schools were closed, but was the Cafe Boeuf? (GALLANT FRENCH TOSS OF HEAD AND SARDONIC LAUGHTER ENDING IN POSSIBILITE) (GIBBERISH) Even under terrible conditions... (GIBBERISH) we French believe in living well. (DRAMATIC QUESTION) On the coldest days when others would go to bed and turn their faces to the wall, (GIBBERISH) we French would go to the refrigerator (GIBBERISH) and take out a piece of cheese (GIBBERISH), a pumpkin (GIBBERISH), a lemon (GIBBERISH), an egg (GIBBERISH), a pickle (GIBBERISH), mustard (GIBBERISH), a little peanut butter, (SUAVE GIBBERISH) and make something truly fabulous. (SUAVE GIBBERISH) Some delicate masterpiece (SUAVE GIBBERISH), some triumph of ingenuity - (SUAVE LAUGHTER) we French laugh at adversity - (GIBBERISH) that is what it means to be French (GIBBERISH), to make from adversity a work of art (GIBBERISH) so can we close our cafe in cold weather? (TK: Non non non non non non!) ---- No. (HEROIC GIBBERISH) And so if on my way to open the Cafe on a cold morning (QUIET HEROIC GIBBERISH), I were to give my coat to a poor beggar (HEROIC GIBBERISH) and then suddenly feel very sleepy (QUIET TRAGIC GIBBERISH) and lie down in the snow (SLIGHT SOB) and sleep (FAINT GIBBERISH) I would know that another Frenchman would take my place (GIBBERISH) and prepare the onion soup (GIBBERISH INCL "CROUTONe), and the croutons, (GIBBERISH, AS HE UNCORKS WINE) and that is why, in such a cold winter (GIBBBERISH) we must never save the great wines for later (GIBBERISH), we must drink them today. (POURING, GIBBERISH INCL. "COURAGE! MON AMI!") Courage, my friends. --- A message from the Cafe Boeuf. (CLINK OF GLASSES.)

© 1996 by Garrison Keillor