Cafe Boeuf
Saturday, June 14, 1997
Listen

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

 

TK: Bon soir, thank you for calling the Cafe Boeuf Miami. This is a recording. If you are calling to make a reservation for this evening, please call next week. We are completely full----

 

GK (ON PHONE): Maurice? Hello?

 

TK: And therefore the earliest we are making reservations for is next Wednesday. We are very sorry....

 

GK (ON PHONE): Maurice, it's Carson Wyler.

 

TK: ---for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your continued patronage.

 

GK (ON PHONE): Maurice? hello?

 

TK: Shut up. This is a recording. ---We hope that we may continue to serve you in the future.

 

GK (ON PHONE): This is not a recording.

 

TK: This is too a recording. How would you know? --- If you wish to leave a message, please do so after the tone. (TONE)

 

(SILENCE)

 

TK: Do you wish to leave a message or not? I don't have all day.

GK (ON PHONE): I need a table for tonight.

 

TK: We are full. Can't you hear?

 

GK (ON PHONE): Please. I'm begging. A table for two. In back.

 

 

TK: Monsieur, if you beg, how can a maitre d' have respect for you? Respect, monsieur. That is the secret of getting a good table. Respect.

 

GK (ON PHONE): I see.

 

TK: You must do as the French do, monsieur.

 

GK (ON PHONE): What is that?

 

TK: When the French see an obstacle, they simply deny its existence.

 

GK: (ON PHONE): I see.

 

TK: We French are rationalists, monsieur, and there is a rational way to deny the existence of almost anthing.

 

GK (ON PHONE): Okay. I am coming at seven, I must have a table, and therefore the first table I see is my table.

 

TK: Very good. Excellent.

 

GK (ON PHONE): So can I have a table? In the back?

 

TK: At seven o'clock? No.

 

GK (ON PHONE): Seven-thirty, eight....nine...ten....

 

TK: I am sorry. How about a table in the very back?

 

GK (ON PHONE): What's that?

 

TK: The loading dock.

 

GK (ON PHONE): Please.

 

TK: I have seats at the bar.

 

GK (ON PHONE): No, please. Not at the bar.

 

TK: Why not at the bar.

 

GK (ON PHONE): Please. That's where you put the tourists.

 

TK: Yes? So?

 

GK (ON PHONE): I can't sit with tourists.

 

TK: You'll have a lot to talk about.

 

GK (ON PHONE): Please. No.

 

TK: You can discuss soybean futures. Talk about basketball, the PTA.

 

GK (ON PHONE): It's the NBA.

 

TK: Who cares? P-T-A -- N-B-A --I'm French!

 

GK (ON PHONE): I'm coming at seven tonight, Maurice.

 

TK: That is better.

 

GK (ON PHONE): I will be accompanied by a mysterious and beautiful woman, a woman in black, who swept me away and I never learned her name so I can't call her and tell her there is no table.

 

TK: That is better. How French.

 

GK (ON PHONE): She is tall and has short black hair and she may or may not be leading a small jaguar on a leash.

 

TK: I like that.

 

GK (ON PHONE): I'll be there at seven and I'd like a very good Chardonnay on ice, open, not too dry, and not a penny more than $15.

 

TK: Magnifique.

 

GK (ON PHONE): And have the chef make me that lamb cassoulet -- with fresh tarragon.

 

TK: Excellent choice.

 

GK (ON PHONE): Madame will have a green salad and a small piece of beef, uncooked.

 

TK: Excellent.

 

GK (ON PHONE): And then there is the bald man with the large clock and the giraffe.

TK: Wonderful.

GK (ON PHONE): He will need a bathtub.

TK: Of course.

GK (ON PHONE): And the numeral 7.

TK: Naturally.

GK (ON PHONE): And no cheese on his clock.

TK: No cheese on his clock.

GK (ON PHONE): Thank you, Maurice.

TK: (FRENCH GIBBERISH) The Cafe Boeuf....because it is necessary for someone to be French.

© 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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