“I’ll have an absinthe, hold the sweet fennel as I’m right on the brink of Ketosis,” said 24-year old Earnest Hemingway to Jules Valar, his server-person-human who was currently transitioning gender-wise and also from back of house to front of house.
Jules/Julie scribbled the order onto zie/hir/Two Spirit hemp Beaver Brand memo pad, making a mental note to purchase a less incendiary notebook when the next EBT card arrived.
Valar (sorry, less familiar but easier on this writer) enjoyed the position at the recently rechristened “Cafe Au Lait” on Rue St. Rue the Day. Until a month ago known as “Café Olé,” it was then forced to rebrand after charges of cultural appropriation.
Hemingway eyed the “Bearnaise Is Death” poster on the door of the pansexual W.C. before shifting his gaze to the tabletop placard warning patrons about capricious use of the Heimlich Come-On.
He would soon carpool in a hybrid horse-drawn carriage (Appaloosa/Shetland for idling) to Montmartre to join Fitzgerald, Stein, Toklas, and Pound for a Smart Water or twelve — that is, if Pound could hurry through his hearing at the Academy of Weights and Measures where he was to show cause as to why he should not have to alter his surname to be in line with recent metrics issued by the “higher-ups” in Brussels.
He wondered if Scott had made any headway on his new tome, The Not Really Any Better Than Any Other Gatsby, and if he would bring Zelda. Z was currently in the dairy-free soup for tweeting out some anti-Christian, anti-gay, anti-everyoneexceptZelda sentiments on a half-dozen shadow Twitter accounts. She was also very involved in the Parisian #moiaussi movement.
Stein and Toklas would be late as they were picketing Milo (yes…weirdly that one) at the Sorbonne. The gals had hired a quick twitch charcoal caricaturist to accompany them and chronicle any overreach by the local gendarmerie during the protest.
After drinks, they were all heading over to the Shakespeare and Company bookstore that was hosting a humorist night where there were to be no punchlines. (BTW are there ever any punchlines with French comedians?)
They would discuss their upcoming plans to head to Pamplona and shut down the running of the bulls next year. Last year’s breakout session ended disastrously when the requisite goatskin of red wine was passed around and everyone demurred because there was a general consensus that tannins made them flatulent and thus CO2 villains.
Unanimously conceding that length rather than quality of life was the thing, les miserables all crowded back into Victor’s Yugo for the long drive home to Paris, “The City of LED Light.”
Earnest swirled his neutered absinthe and mulled the loss of the rough draft (the draft no doubt due to the windows in their walk-up not being caulked to code) of his new novel The Daughter Also Rises. It had been lost by his wife on a visit to Gstaad where she left it in the sitting room of their green hotel where their housekeeper/planet warrior shredded and folded it into the compost heap, replacing the Christmas fir in the lobby of the hotel. I repeat, that’s Christmas “fir,” not “fur.” One has to be cautious.
He craved a Gitane, then remembered the nearest smoking area was four blocks over and two blocks down. In the sewers.
He perused an article in Le/La Monde about a group of student activists who felt the Eiffel Tower resembled a massive oil derrick. They were being triggered and wanted to shut it down because it gave them a mal de tete. They were also demanding a lower co-pay on the Laudanum they would require to quell the throbbing in their prematurely greying temples.
Hemingway was not really all that shocked by the student’s complaint. He had worked as a Safe Space Lifeguard on the Seine the previous summer. He was expected to jump in and save the kids drowning in their own bul… uh, let’s say facts. He then had a faint memory of a time of yore when Gay Paree… oops… when Paris was known for wine, not whine.
His reverie was broken by Valar, who approached the table and asked if Earnest was ready to order. “Are the escargot locally sourced?” EH asked earnestly.
“Then I’ll have the escargot to start. Do you have any extra lean beef?” He now made a conscious effort to no longer order marbled steak with his frites. He felt it fat shamed the heifer who quite unfairly gave its life for his repast.
“D’accord… then the steak frites… and a kombucha… if that indeed exists at this point in history.”
Dennis Miller hosts a twice-weekly podcast,“The Dennis Miller Option,” available on Podcastone.com and iTunes.