(GK: Garrison Keillor; SS: Sue Scott; TR: Tim Russell; TK: Tom Keith; AL: Al Franken)
GK: ... this portion of our program brought to you by the Cafe Boeuf with your host Maurice the maitre'd and the waitress Bernadette ----- Bon soir, mon amis.
TK: Eh? What about the economy?
SS: You drive an economy car?
TK: You're looking for Wisconsin, monsieur?
GK: Never mind. I'm sorry I mentioned it. Haven't seen you folks in awhile. How is the Cafe doing?
TR & SS: (FRENCH GIBBERISH, KNOWING CHUCKLES, SMUG SUPERIORITY)
GK: It's a competitive business. Lot of new restaurants opening here in downtown St. Paul. That Scottish restaurant, The Kilt N' Crock. The Canadian restaurant, with the pancake bar.
TR & SS (FRENCH GIBBERISH, CONFIDENCE)
GK: I saw you got a pretty scathing review in the Minneapolis paper.
TR & FN (FRENCH GIBBERISH, EXASPERATION)
GK: The reviewer said she had to wait 45 minutes for a coq au vin that was still half frozen in the center.
TR & SS (FRENCH GIBBERISH):
GK: She said she paid $95 for a bottle of wine that came with a free deck of playing cards taped to it. She said that in addition to accepting Visa and American Express, you ought to offer Blue Cross.
SS: It makes no difference. We do not need the critics. What do they know?
TK: They're not French, how can they judge French food? (FRENCH)
TK: Business has never been better! Look! We're taking reservations for August.
SS: August, 2004.
GK: How did you get so successful with lousy food, overpriced wine, and insulting service?
SS: Easy. We put out the "Full" sign.
TK: People begged to come in!
SS: We said, "We'll put you on the waiting list. Maybe in three hours."
TK: People love a restaurant that refuses to let them in.
GK: Who is this?
TK: This is Henri, who is our head of admissions.
TR: If you wish to make a reservation, you must allow six months before the admissions committee can meet to interview you. Please bring three personal references and a financial statement and photos of your living room furniture.
SS: Midwesterners feel that any restaurant that welcomes them in is probably not so good. So we make them wait for hours and then seat them at a tippy tippy table right next to the microwave. An hour later the food still has not arrived. They're happy.
TK: It is an honor to be insulted by someone who really knows what he's doing.
(CRUEL FRENCH LAUGHTER)
GK: A message from the Cafe Boeuf. Where the elite meet to eat.
TR: The soonest we could get you in today is 11 p.m. If you don't mind eating in the men's room.
© Garrison Keillor 2002