New Bucks, New Wife, Cruel Toes

by Ric Erickson
Number 1.06 - Metropole Paris, Friday, 29. March 1996:- There are two new salons on at the Porte de Versailles, starting today. There is a salon of convertibles that I can not get to because I am going to 'Carnival' at the local school tomorrow morning - weeks late - but it's for the kids. Then, also starting today, there is the touristic salon, which I might try on Monday if I have time - after this week's salon extravaganza I would prefer to swear off them for awhile, but, who knows? Maybe there'll be a Caribe beach there, hot sun, and rum punch.

New Money Talks

If you have any old $100 bills lying around, you might want to trade them in for new ones. The US Treasury went dutch-treat with the Federal Reserve and took out a full-page ad in the IHT on Monday, to announce their new 1996 model Franklin greenback.

US paper money is called 'greenback' because the only thing on the front in green is the serial number and one of the treasury seals. I have an old $5 bill and I researched this pretty thoroughly. Franklin is bigger on the new note, but not prettier. I don't recall what is on the reverse side, if I ever knew - never having lived in Columbia or Russia.

About a month ago they were being advertised on CNN as well - another first - new model money TV ads! Besides the traditional new model 'features,' the ad guarantees, 'No recall. No devaluation. No time limit,' which, I suppose, is supposed to be reassuring to residents of certain countries - such as Columbia or Russia.

The ad goes on to point out that the United States has never devalued 'any of its currency.' If that is so, just ask yourself how many pairs of jeans you can buy today for a hundred bucks, compared to say, thirty years ago.

Proposed Marriage Limit

With the headline, "Johnny's Fifth 'I Do,'" Monday's Le Parisien broke the news that French national rocker, occasional TV movie tough guy, and almost-but-ex neighbor of mine, Johnny Halliday - ohmygod - Johnny is so famous that Le Parisien has omitted his last name! Okay, the stage name is right or wrong; Johnny's real name is really Jean-Philippe Smet, and he might be 53. The bride's name is Laeticia and she really is 22. They met in Miami a year ago, and Johnny's pal Eddy Mitchell, who I quite like whatever his real name is, was at the wedding in Neuilly too.

Johnny is still quite popular in France and regularly fills up the big joint out at Bercy for fans who come to see his tatoos - he has no garments with sleeves. He regularly poses for fan magazines with his favorite Harley and he has had about as many wives as decades in the French rock and roll business.

I think he uses the same sidemen - not for weddings - as Eddy Mitchell, but Eddy - er - sings better. There. I said it. Musically the two of them travel in about the same groove, but Eddy is somehow, more... relaxed. There is one thing that really makes Eddy stand out - really unique - Eddy is blessed, if that's the word, with a nose... very similar to the prize example owned by the late W.C. Fields.

If Johnny was my neighbor again, maybe I could get invited over some Sunday afternoon. That would be great! Watching Eddy trying to out sullen-look Johnny, until Alain Delon walks in. Well, just kidding - all I know are their screen faces and I'm sure theur real faces are much nicer.

Cruel Joke

If you haven't been turning over your egg-timer lately, you might not be aware that Monday is April Fool's Day. I'm pointing this out now, so you won't wake up with burning matches stuffed between your toes. Even more disgusting; April Fool's Day is followed by a week by the first Monday of European summer-time, when everybody here, from Finistere to the Urals, must re-set their egg-timers. Unless, of course, I forgot to re-set mine last winter-time's day. That's why this column is late again; I don't have an all-year egg-timer.
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