The Missed Salon

le voltaire - puces
While at the 'Puces' you can wet your whistle at the Voltaire.

Cauliflower War Victors Yet to be Named

Paris:- Saturday, 18. April 1998:- The salon I wished I hadn't missed started yesterday I think, and runs until tomorrow. It is called the Salon du Petit Dejeuner et des Pauses Gourmandes and I missed it because I have breakfast at home.

According to the report I am missing some pretty good stuff - if you like breakfast in France. I mean, if you take a bit of fresh bread, hugely slathered with real gobs of butter, dunk it into a medium-sized soup-bowl of café which tastes like watery chicory, which leaves butter floating in it - I mean, if you want to call this a 'petit dejeuner,' then go ahead.

I once had the good luck to cross the Atlantic in a monster storm and this enabled me to have a table for eight for breakfast forcroc terrace - rain four days running. In addition to the eight place settings, I had two or three waiters; which was a good thing because they fell down often.

There was only one menu, but it was three pages of text, not counting the cover, which said 'Queen Mary' on it. You can get a fierce appetite at sea and I can remember pretty much of what I had, but it would be vulgar to mention it all. I didn't have many kippers though, because I'd just spent a month having breakfasts in Sweden.

No, I wasn't thinking of having breakfast here. Nobody is.

But I tell you; that was high-life. After 90 minutes it was alI I could do to get up from the table, grab a life-line, and haul myself uphill into the third-class veranda bar, just in time for elevenses, which cost a whole 25 cents a pop, and were always made by the head mixer just the way I liked them.

Then I would sit right in the middle of the front, and watch the bow disappear beneath the waves as big as small apartment buildings, until it was lunchtime.

Fat City Turns Real For the French

Le Parisien had the stunning news and the French were shocked. The headline screamed, 'Obesity' like an obscenity; followed by the dreaded catch-phrase, 'The New French Illness.'

France already has so many illnesses that it is the world's number one tranquilizer consumer, and oneinterior bar cafe doctor laments that the Fat War cannot be won without more and better, new drugs.

Another doctor says a possible cure may be found by following the psychological trail, but this is actually at the end of a list that starts with drugs, goes on to diets, followed by surgery, and sporting activities.

Some bistros could be good for breakfast, but most are not.

For diets the advice is always the same: take in fewer calories without suffering too much from daily deprivation - but beware of falling off the wagon. It is much worse to diet and lose than to never have dieted at all.

Fat French people make up 8.2 percent of the population; which translates into 3.5 million adults. Another part of the report says few fatties live in the Ile-de-France, which is why readers of Le Parisien are understandably shocked and horrified, because they probably didn't read this far - and have gone out and signed up for the latest low-fat psycho-drugs.

It's De-Rat Time Again

The Paris Prefect of police has announced the official opening of the de-rat season; which runs from 20. April to 20. June. Duringkiosque flottant this time all building owners and tenants are required by law to get rid of rats and mice.

If, at the end of the period, the police find any rats and mice hanging around, they can penalize the offenders - with fines, or by imposing de-rat measures.

For a whimsical breakfast, this might be the place.

For citizens who find themselves ratlos in the face of this menace, they are invited to contact the city's Service de Lutte Contre les Rongeurs, for helpful tips. If you happen to see any stray rats, would you please show them the way out of town.

The War of the Cauliflowers

Farmers who were holding the bridge at Moraix hostage lifted their siege about 20:00 last night, after their union said the government would examine the three or four thousand most needy cases.

The minister concerned, reminded anybody who would listen that subsidies have already been budgeted, amounting to 50 million francs from France and 77 million from Europe.

As the cauliflower farmers remove their barricades made out of two million cauliflowers dumped on the bridge, pig farmers have announced that they'll fight the big distributors for a fairer share of the consumer's or taxpayer's money.

Shipping News

Late report:- Friday, 10. April saw the relaunch of the Seine's popular Batobus service for the year. The service has started three weeks in advance of last year and will continue for an extra 11 days at the end of this season.

Starting at 10:00, the three boats run continuously with 25 minutes between them, until 19:00. Beginning in June and lasting until the end of August, service will be lengthened to 22:00 each day

The fare structure is a bit complex. A round trip is 50 francs, but a day ticket only costs 60 francs; and a two-day ticket is 90 francs. This is a lot easier than figuring it out by paying passage from stop to stop. If you really go nuts for the service, a season ticket is only 250 francs. Kids half price.

SportsNews

cafe tables & metroFishing season opened in Yvelines on Saturday. A license costs 387 francs. One must also be a member of a fishing club, and this costs another 100 to 200 francs annually.

24 Hours at Le Mans for motorcycles got underway this afternoon, and rated a tiny column in the paper. Motorcycle racing news from Malaysia got half this, but this was eclipsed by the report on how the 'motards' were going to fare while sleeping on the grass at the track.

Apparently this problem was solved by not sleeping at all and racing all night. In order to keep bootleg racing by fans under control, drag strips were set up for the periphèrique cowboys from Paris and they happily burned a lot of rubber during the night. Results of the official racing are unknown, but it is believed the Japanese won.

Would You Believe the World Cup SportsBar is Still Open?

While real SportsFans lead otherwise normal lives, those at the SportsBar, known as the Football Café think, talk, and dream about nothing other than the rapidly approaching World Cup championship matches. The rest of us are truly lucky that real SportsFans do have a 'Football Café' in which to while away their time, without inficting their soccer-psycho-babble on us civilians non-stop. Three cheers for the 'Football Café!'

Less uplifting are the 'official' Web sites: represented by the FIFA - which stands for Federation International - and the French Organizing Committee, known to all far and wide as the CFO. I don't what the initials stand for, just like RATP does not sound like métro to me.


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