Cafe Boeuf
Saturday, May 24, 1997
Listen

...Brought to you by the Cafe Boeuf----

 

 

TK (ON PHONE): Bon soir, Cafe Boeuf. This is Maurice speaking. (LITTLE GIBBERISH) How may I help you?

 

GK: Maurice, it's Carson Wyler, I'd like to make a reservation for two for dinner tonight at seven?

 

TK (ON PHONE): (MURMURING TO HIMSELF) Wyler --- Wyler --- yes, I remember you from last time. You ordered the Manischevitz. How many in your party, Mr. Wyler?

 

GK: Two for dinner.

 

TK (ON PHONE): And what will you be wearing?

 

GK: What will I be wearing?

 

TK (ON PHONE); Yes. So we know where to seat you, monsieur.

We like to color coordinate, yes.

 

GK: I'll be wearing a gray double-breasted suit and a white shirt and a red tie.

 

TK (ON PHONE); A red tie, did you say?

 

GK; Is that going to be a problem?

 

TK (ON PHONE); Blue would be much better, monsieur.

 

GK: Okay.

 

TK (ON PHONE): Blue with a small print. No stripes, no fish, just little ---- dee, dee, dee, dee, dee ---- little dots. Oui?

 

GK: Okay.

 

TK (ON PHONE); How about your socks? Eh?

 

GK: I'll wear black socks.

 

TK (ON PHONE): Very good, very good. This is not a business occasion, is it?

 

GK: No.

 

TK (ON PHONE); We're not going to have a big conversation about mutual funds and that sort of thing----

 

GK: No, no.

 

TK (OH PHONE): We're not going to open up big sales charts and manila folders, are we, monsieur?

 

GK: No----

 

TK (ON PHONE): This is a French restaurant.

 

GK: I understand.

 

TK (ON PHONE); In a French restaurant, we talk about ideas.

 

GK: Of course.

 

TK (ON PHONE): We talk about love, beauty, philosophy----

 

GK: I'll do my best.

 

TK (ON PHONE); And if we tell jokes, we tell jokes of elegance, we have a play on words, we don't tell jokes about (RASPBERRY)---

 

GK: Fine. Good. I won't.

 

TK (ON PHONE); So do you have any thoughts about beauty, monsieur?

 

GK: What?

 

TK (ON PHONE): Is that question too complicated for you?

 

GK: Do I have thoughts about beauty?

 

TK (ON PHONE): Would you like time to think about it? I'll put you on hold.

 

GK: No, not on hold. Please.

 

TK (ON PHONE): How about a table a month from now? That'll give you time to read a book.

 

GK: Please. Tonight.

 

TK (ON PHONE): I'm sorry.

 

GK: We'll talk about beauty. I promise.

 

TK (ON PHONE): You promise?

 

GK: Please. A table for two.

 

TK (ON PHONE): I don't know----

 

GK: I'll wear the blue tie with the dee dee dee dee dee..

 

TK (ON PHONE): How about ten-thirty?

 

GK: Seven, please.

 

TK (ON PHONE): Impossible....

 

GK: Would it help if I were in a mood of black despair and smoked unfiltered cigarettes and crossed my legs and quoted Camus?

 

TK (ON PHONE): Perhaps, perhaps....

GK: How about if I wear a black turtleneck and I'm unshaven and look haunted and I talk about the comedy of Jerry Lewis---

TK (ON PHONE): Eh. Monsieur Jerry. (HE DOES JERRY LEWIS MORON). Very profound. (FRENCH GIBBERISH)

GK: The Cafe Boeuf....you have to work at it, but you can usually get in. Good luck. (PLAYOFF)

© 1997 by Garrison Keillor

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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