Parisians love their dogs. Their furry friends accompany them everywhere, even into stores. At almost every café we’ve been to, there’s invariably a little dog patiently seated next to his owner. This one sat at the table in front of us at Deux Magots. He was infinitely more likeable and well-behaved then the subsequent table occupants (Cigar Man, who must get cancer and die).
After we vacated our table at Deux Magots so I wouldn’t reach out and smack Cigar Man with my bottle of Badoit, Jules and I found a quiet table at Café de Flore. We passed a thoroughly enjoyable two hours talking about detours and road trips and where journeys have led us. We noted how glad we were to be in Paris and discussed some of the stranger quirks we’d noticed. For instance, we remembered at Café de Flore that you’re supposed to tip the person who maintains the bathroom at restaurants. (We felt so guilty as both of us forgot on our separate bio break runs that we made an especial final trip upstairs so we could tip the girl -- and also so I could steal more toilet paper to wipe my cigar-smoke-afflicted nose. I had a tissue blow apart in my hands during one particularly loud and violent sneeze).
The table behind Jules had been vacated for not ten minutes when an older gentleman (in what had to be the hottest wool suit in the universe on what was already an uncomfortably warm day) sat down with his Bichon Frise.
“Allez,” he said to his dog, patting his knee.
The white furball jumped up in his lap and enthusiastically French kissed him. He was soon joined by the male equivalent of the batty old woman with a thousand cats: another impeccably dressed octogenarian with four dogs so small they defined “kick dog.” All four hopped up on the bench to join their master, snarl and preen at bit at the Bichon, and then, drink coffee from their owner’s cup.
L’addition, s’il vous plaît et NOW! CHECK! NOW! NOW!
First Cigar Man. Now Stupid Pet Tricks. Kill me. Kill me now.