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Let them drink champagne

Hôtel du Front Populaire (ci-devant Crillon), 10 Place de la Révolution (ci-devant Concorde), 75008 Paris, France.

I am cowering under the table by the bar with my glass of champagne when the guy under the next table downs his and heads for the door, anxious hands stretch out to drag him back to safety but he cries: No, No, the mob is in the street and I must see which way they are going, for I am their leader. Mom, I recognize the type, there are guys like him in every market and some of them survive, at that, but such scenes are not what I look for when I come to Paris, France, for lunch. It just goes to show that there is no such thing as a free ride, another fine mess Alastair Morton gets me into.

He is the guy who digs a tunnel from England to France and invites banks all around the world to pour their money down it, which we do. The guy is most persuasive: Cough up, he says, or I smash your face in, but by now the debt mounts up and the interest dries up and some of the Japanese talk of foreclosing until he asks them what they plan to do with the world's longest submarine mushroom farm.

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