...Continued from page 1

Really. Pic told me I'd have to pay 20€ for two hours of technopunkhiphop. Now I'm ashamed because I forgot the kazoos. For the ukuleles I dive back into the Batofar's hot stuffy depths, and there's the whole group of five, Hawaiian shirts, Hawaiian lights, Hawaiian nights in the red bowels of the Batofar.

Fabuleux Furieux:– 'Homage in 'Freak Style,' A Gilbert Shelton Tribute, published by Les Requins Marteaux, Collection Ferraile. 192 pages. ISBN 2–909590–99–2

Magic Pic

When I worked for the magazine for kids I often did a page called 'bricolo.' Some handy person wrote the textsphoto: denis pic lelievre and I was trusted with turning out how–to–do–it designs to match. Most projects were quite puzzling because I have no aptitude for hand–work. But if readers complained, the editors never told me.

The last time I was at the Freak Brothers Studio Pic did a trick with a euro coin. He showed me that it had two faces and I didn't doubt it. Magic for me has always been magic. He was probably disappointed that I didn't realize it was a trick.

Pic at work in the 'Freak' studio.

Pic used to do a magic page for 'Spirou,' which is another magazine for kids. There is the pin–proof balloon, the bent Métro ticket, several tricks with matches, strings, bottomless café cups, bills that break pencils, card tricks, matchbox slight–of–hand and, of course, the disappearing glass.

Two dozen of Pic's magic tricks have been gathered into one illustrated book titled '45 Tours de Magie.' Every bit of magic has its trick. Pic recommends practicing them 'all alone' until they can be done faultlessly and with ease.photo: book, 45 tours de magie

Then, while at ease, keep up a patter to distract the public from the deception and from thinking too much about the mechanics of the trick. People want to believe in magic, Pic writes, so how it's done is never to be revealed. Next step – up to you to try the magnetic matches!

45 Tours de Magie:– by Denis 'Pic' Lelièvre, published by Albin Michel. 52 pages, color. ISBN 2–226–138819–6

What Eurofoot?

On the way back from the Batofar before my bedtime I am hailed when I pass the café Rendez–vous at Denfert. It is Dimitri and 'Paris Life' author Laurel who are celebrating a job well done. They are beside the open windows which turn the café's interior into the evening's exterior.

I have my second orange juice of the night, without a care for excessive vitamins. It is pretty quiet although the dining room is fairly full, apparently for the café's TVs. We barely notice the soccer match in Portugal unwinding between France and Greece. Fans in the café are quietly intent and are not rowdy at all.

Dimitri shows me his magnum bottles of Châteauneuf–du–Pape. This is a heavy–duty red wine from the Rhone, between Avignon and Orange. The three giant bottles hold 4.5 litres – just enough for a country picnic on Sunday so long as there's enough people to soak it up.

Without noticing the change, the café seems quieter than it was. I glance at one of the TVs and see players in dark blue sitting on the grass. It is not the stance of winning players. It can only mean that Greece has triumphed. TV shows people in Portugal with white and blue faces, being out of their minds.

Friday night in the café has become funeral. The waiters look very annoyed. Asking them what's happening doesn't seem to be wise. Dimitri pays up and we get out into the night. If it had turned out differently, he might have been able to lend his Châteauneuf–du–Pape to the fête. Instead he has to carry it.

On Saturday, Le Parisien explains to its readers why France couldn't win. Apparently it wasn't just somephoto: ukulele club de paris bad fluke on Friday night. According to the paper there were five reasons for the defeat, none of which the paper mentioned in Friday's editions. 'A pitiful elimination,' the paper says on Saturday.

The Ukulele Club de Paris in action at the Batofar.

Later on Saturday, Paris' Stade Français rugby team squashes Perpignan, to win the championship of France. Monday's paper has photos of the fête, which started at 21:30 with Champagne, and the paper followed it until 06:00. No more than 200 fans turned out for the return of the hapless soccer team from Portugal.

'Poulet Duc' has an ad in Monday's Le Parisien. It says, 'supplier of energy to the Stade Français Paris, Champion de France de Rugby 2004.' Le Parisien hints that the head of the French Football Federation should resign before stepping down in December.

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