FRANCE: Jackpots

"Why," asked the American, "are all the women in cocktail dresses at noon?" "Custom," said the Frenchman. "Why," asked the American, "are the men in mufflers and overcoats though it is hot?"

"Custom," said the Frenchman. "Why," asked the American, "does everyone stand looking at the little door with the steps leading up to it?"

"Behind that door," said the Frenchman, "the members of the Goncourt Academy are selecting the best one of the 300 novels published in France this year for Edmond de Goncourt 's 5,000-franc prize."

Five Pouilly-Fuissés. At the Restaurant Drouant...

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