Dear Fellow Epicureans,

In my younger days I rented a sparsely furnished flat overlooking the wondrous sights and beautiful sounds that are Paris. The air, ever full of the joyous timbre of young lovers and old orchestrated this city with its romance and idealism.

There was only one I knew who seemed to miss the joy of Paris--my bohemian room-mate,Tim. Tim, as it happened, was a struggling mime--struggling so much as to nullify what was could have been his, the purpose of those in Paris, the enjoyment of life.

Tim came from a family of freelance arc-welders from Marseilles. Disowned by his father because he would only "mime-weld", Tim moved to Paris with his pet poodle, Bill.

Bill the Poodle became Tim's mime partner and would have been a great partner except that he would bark when Tim did the "invisible wall". As is well known, mime dogs should not bark. This canine habit of Bill the Poodle's, of course, irked Tim to no end. In fact, Tim would have beaten the fleas off of Bill the Poodle with a stick, but instead wisely controlled himself because that would've made even more noise.

You might ask, "Why didn't Tim just cut the "invisible wall" sequence out of his act?", well, Tim was loyal to Bill the Poodle and just as stubborn.

However, Tim was truly embittered toward his dog. It was the ingratitude. After all, wouldn't you be mad if you spent all that effort putting on the dog's make-up only to have the dog ruin you act? Wouldn't you feel a bit unappreciated too?

Bill the Poodle during this trying time, needless to say, was not Tim's best friend. The tension in the air was so thick, you could have plucked it out of the air and made it into a crepe.

What kept Tim going in those times I did not know. However, in the wisdom that my two weeks since has brought, I realize what it was. For in a tiny corner of this Paris that was our world lay a cozy cafe' called, most charmingly, Charles, Jr., where the price was right for a Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger. I look back and, yes, that was happiness for Tim during those times. I know that now.


Byron Let's-Do-Lunch-Today Siemsen

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