Our show is brought to you by the Cafe Boeuf with your host, Maurice the maitre'd. Bonjour, Maurice.

TK: You're not sure about what?

GK: Never mind. What are the specials tonight, Maurice?

TK: Specials! Ha! (SARDONIC FRENCH GIBBERISH) Specials! You Americans. You are like children! You want we should entice you to eat ----. Why can't you eat like men, monsieur? A man does not need specials. A man says what he wants and he expects to get it. Okay?

GK: Okay.

TK: What do you wish tonight, monsieur? What does your heart crave? What do you hunger for??

GK: I want beef.


GK: I'd like it very rare, so that the inside of the beef is dark red and cool to the touch. And bleeding.

TK: You are a brave man, monsieur. I salute you! (HE KISSES HIM TWICE ON EACH CHEEK) (FRENCH GIBBERISH, IN SALUTE) A boeuf, extra rare. France is proud of you. Here. A cigarette.

GK: I don't smoke.

TK: A pity. I'll smoke it for you. (STRIKES MATCH, INHALES DEEPLY, EXHALES. HEAVY COUGHING) Don't worry. I'm fine. No problem. (COUGHS. SUDDEN RECOVERY) What else?

GK: I want potatoes.

TK: Excellent. Excellent!

GK: French fried potatoes.

TK: Monsieur----

GK: Yes----

TK: Monsieur, all of the potatoes at the Cafe ---- these are all French potatoes---no?

GK: Yes----

TK: So if we fry them, they are French fried potatoes, and if we boil them, they are French boiled potatoes, and if we mash them, they are French mashed potatoes----- no?

GK: Yes, of course.

TK: It is not necessary to refer to them as French----

GK: Right.

TK: They already are French. This is assumed.

GK: Of course.

TK: The potatoes do not need your recognition in order to be French potatoes----

GK: No.

TK: They are well aware of it themselves.

GK: I'm sure.

TK: They go proudly to the stove.

GK: Good.

TK: You wish fried potatoes----

GK: Yes, please.

TK: What else?

GK: A vegetable.

TK: What kind?

GK: I don't care. What do you have?

TK: What do you want?

GK: It doesn't matter. Anything. Brussels sprouts.

TK: We don't carry those. Please. Something else----

GK: Carrots.

TK: Don't have carrots. Too----- (DISMISSIVE FRENCH)

GK: Cauliflower.

TK: Non, non, non....not with beef. It would insult the beef.

GK: Spinach.

TK: No good this time of year. (DISDAINFUL FRENCH)

GK: Artichokes.

TK: I don't want to watch you try to eat them.

GK: Beets.

TK: Not with red meat, no.

GK: How about parsnips, or rutabaga?

TK: Monsieur, be serious.

GK: Asparagus?

TK: We have only American asparagus. No good. (DISDAINFUL FRENCH)

GK: Onions?

TK: You want onions?

GK: Sorry.

TK: Onions with potatoes? is this a German restaurant? eh?? is my name Heinrich?? is it? am I wearing lederhosen, my friend? is this a tuba in my hand??? is it???

GK: Sorry. How about corn?

TK: Out of season.

GK: Kohlrabi.


GK: Sorry. Maybe some kind of---- okra?

TK: Never heard of it.

GK: How about--- beans?

TK: Beans? (HE CONSIDERS THIS) No, I don't think so.

GK: Or squash.

TK: Squash is not French, monsieur.

GK: How about----

TK: How about peas, monsieur?

GK: Fine.

TK: Peas, then?

GK: Peas are fine.

TK: Are you sure?

GK: Of course.

TK: I don't want to push you into this choice.

GK: It's fine. Peas.

TK: If there's something you'd rather have, just say.

GK: Please. Peas are fine.

TK: I don't wish to coerce you. That is not my way. Liberte'! That is our motto.

GK: I want peas.
TK: Very well. Peas it is then. I'll be right back. (FOOTSTEPS OFF)
GK: A message from the Cafe Boeuf. The home of good eaters, of heroism, of passion, of (KNOWING FRENCH LAUGH)---- (PLAYOFF)
©1998 Garrison Keillor