A GOURMET IN HYPERSPACE

A novel inspired by the question, What if we accustomed ourselves to act in accord with reason and science? 

by

Eion McRae

 

MAIN THEME

[Man] is still far from having accustomed himself

to act as reason and science would dictate.

                     --- Dostoevsky  "Notes from Underground"

 

Love can save the world.

                                                                 --- Dostoevsky  "The Brothers Karamazov"

 

SECONDARY THEMES

There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based

 foods that are not better provided by plants.

       --- T. Colin Campbell  "The China Study"

 

Our planet, with its remarkable array of life,

is in imminent danger of crashing.

--- James Hansen "Storms of My Grandchildren: The truth about

 the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity" (2009)

 

The Earth can't sustain our current numbers,

and inevitably, one way or another, these numbers must come down.

--- Alan Weisman "Countdown: Our last, best hope for a future on Earth" (2013)

 

There must be a better way of disposing of human wastes 

than by putting them in our drinking water.

---Theodore Roosevelt (attribution uncertain)

 

L'avenir de l'homme, c'est la femme.

(The future of man is woman.)

    --- Louis Aragon (French postcard inscription)

 

 

1.1 United Nations Secretary General Emeritus Aristotle Patras' Annual Address

 

1.1.1 Aristotle Prepares

 

United Nations Headquarters, New York

Early Evening, Tuesday 1 April 1987

 

The duties of he United Nations secretary general emeritus had always been light, and in the years he'd occupied that comfortable post, the spry, smooth-talking yet gaffe-prone Aristotle Patras had contrived to make those duties lighter still. He'd pared them down to exactly one regular public engagement, the annual all-nations Prohibition Day radio address, and in each address, with few and only slight departures, he'd limited his remarks to matters of prime importance for the survival of humanity in the face of the threats of global warming and global overpopulation, of global warfare, health-care crises and water shortages. This was a tradition he planned to continue on this Prohibition Day, 1 April 1987.

 

In spite of, or perhaps in part because of his avoidance of undue publicity, Aristotle had maintained the public's respect that he'd earned in his tenure as secretary general.  Admittedly, his annual call for virile older men, such as himself, to serve humanity in the capacity in which they were peculiarly fitted, namely as sex mentors to adolescent girls, had prompted negative comments--immoral, outré, and so on--but they had never so much as dented his facade of authority.

 

He did not, however, allow himself to be lulled into a sense of false security. He knew that in politics, credibility is tenuous.  In particular, he knew that if a certain peccadillo of his became public knowledge--namely his belief, contrary to science and reason, that aliens from other universes were poised to visit earth--his reputation for wisdom and probity could fade away in an instant. To forestall such a calamity, he had Baxter, his adjutant in New York, add to his address a few words to disavow his belief in extraterrestrials. Then he was ready, and starting at precisely 6:00 pm, Aristotle's mellow voice carried his 1987 Prohibition Day  message to the all the nations.

 

1.1.2 Aristotle's Address

"Today we observe the sixty-seventh anniversary of Prohibition Day, 1 April 1920, and all is well on the planet Earth in the universe u. For this happy circumstance we join in giving thanks to the goddess Gaea, Mother Earth, symbol of Earth as a single living entity.

"First, I will talk about the current but ever changing state of the nations. Then I will talk about matters more specifically to do with the significance of Prohibition itself. 

"We humans  have good cause to commemorate this day. Our history up to the first fifth of the twentieth century is a dreary chronicle of irrationality and discord, but on the first Prohibition day, 1 April 1920, we people and nations of Earth suddenly became accustomed to act as dictated by science and reason, which is to say in a manner calculated to promote the health and happiness of humankind and the wellbeing of Gaea herself.

"As a result of policies based on science and reason and applied with love for Gaea, fears of runaway overpopulation and of widespread warfare have been provisionally set to rest, and the threat of a global climate catastrophe, while by no means nullified, has receded significantly. Meanwhile, the land, the rivers and lakes, the seas and the atmosphere of Earth have been restored to the relatively salubrious state that prevailed sixty-seven years ago, and even, in the case of certain waterways, restored to their pristine state prior to human desecration. Furthermore, demands on Earth's resources have been reduced not only by reduction of human population but also by reduction of average adult body size.

"In summary, despite persistent difficulties in developing, in the interest of population control, a corps of young women supremely capable of serving as mothers, and despite the harm of a demographic imbalance resulting from the simultaneous reduction of birth-rate and mortality, our overall health and vitality, and our intellectual and technical attainments have improved to an extent barely imaginable sixty-seven years ago.

"Moving on now to Prohibition itself, its nature and historical beginnings:

"Today it falls to us to salute the prime example of policies based on science and reason and enacted in the love of Gaea: the  United Nations Prohibition Statute of 1 April 1920, which prohibits commerce in animal milk and other harmful and expensive food-like substances of animal origin, including but by no means limited to meat, fish, eggs and cheese.

"Prohibition, strictly enforced, has led to a marked reduction in the consumption of these prohibited substances, or prosubs as they are commonly called, and this has led to a corresponding reduction in the incidence of many deadly diseases including cancer and heart disease, as well as a host of other afflictions. Also, by bringing virtually to a halt the perverse practice of raising animals for production of prosubs, Prohibition has substantially though indirectly contributed to the restoration of our earthly environment.

"Yet from the day it went into effect worldwide, Prohibition has been the target of protests and vilification from people profiting from commerce in or addicted to prosubs. Moreover, elements of PROFATPOL, Prohibition's enforcement arm, are suspected of fraudulent dealing in prosubs, and if found guilty they will be subject to severe yet kind and usual punishment. But on the whole, science and reason prevail, and Prohibition remains in force in every one of the member nations of this body.

"Even as we celebrate Prohibition as a triumph of rationality, however, we must acknowledge an aura of mystery enshrouding its origin. How on earth did it happen that, on 1 April 1920, the entire population of the planet, heretofore mindlessly headed to self-destruction, suddenly switched to embrace science and reason?

As scientists have made little progress with this question, I venture to put forward a heuristic theory may serve as a useful  guide to an eventual solution. My thinking is encapsulated in my Big Split theory, or simply BS as scientists call it.

"What is this BS, and how does it work? Well, BS posits a cataclysmic event, not on earth but in the vast reaches of hyperspace, which is the medium of of all the universes. Just as a cell of a living animal or plant may split into two cells that are exact copies of the original cell, so a universe floating in hyperspace may split into two perfect copies of itself. And just as in the case of the splitting of cells, from time to time the splitting of a universe may result in an imperfect copy of the original.

"With this in mind, the central mystery may be resolved by applying BS to the universe that has accommodated humanity since prehistory, the original universe, the universe commonly referred to simply by the letter U. On or about 1 April 1920, U split into two copies of itself, one perfectly identical to U in every respect and the other, our current universe which we call u, differing from U in details that may be tiny when viewed in the grand scheme of things, but that loom large in the context of human affairs. The precise nature of these details is a matter of conjecture, but the important outcome is that we humans of u are accustomed to order our lives in accord with science and reason and the love of Gaea, instead of with a hodge-podge of primitive instincts such as ruled, and presumably still rule in U.

"I draw on the BS theory to make one last point. Many of us u-people feel nostalgia for the universe U. We long for news of our original home in the cosmos. But these yearnings must remain forever unsatisfied. It is simply not possible for any message or material body to traverse the vast stretch of hyperspace between universes. Assertions to the contrary, as frequently made by the tabloid media, are pure fantasy--

Editorial note: Material enclosed in brackets was deleted from the radio broadcast but will be restored in the official transcript.

["Uh, just a moment, urgent message-- Good Gaea! At this very moment we have a report of a possible U-person sighting here in the United States! In New Jersey’s Newark International Airport! A surveillance video shows a pathologically tall, grossly overweight adult male, attempting purchase of Ambassador Class ticket on Flight 04 to Paris, France! Scrub that, probably a hoax. So where was I? Oh, yes]--pure fantasy.

"Well, that wraps up Prohibition Day for 1987. Good-bye, and may Gaea bless these United Nations! [And all the other nations as well, all the other nations too of course all the nations too, all the...oof!]"

Aristotle Patras fell back into his chair, limp, heart pounding from swings of perceived fortune from momentary elation at an apparent confirmation of his belief in visitors from out of hyperspace, from U indeed, and despair at falling for a transparent hoax, public proof that he was a silly old man fit for nothing but prey to mean-spirited humor.

***

After a short period of bitter self reproach, however, he recalled signs that all was not lost, that from this  nettle one might, after all, pluck the rose: the technician's reassuring smiles, his thumbs-up gestures indicating that his gaffe and his senile mumbling at the end had been cleanly deleted from the broadcast message. And Baxter--yes, he distinctly remembered now--it was Baxter, the steady, honest, efficient Baxter, who had brought that urgent message and laid it on his desk. Baxter would not have done that without firm evidence that this tall, grossly overweight adult male really had some U-ness about him. If so, what a coup! What an earthshaking coup!

Another message from Baxter, this time by way of the new-fangled electronic voice-to-text system, or vex as they call it. Trust Baxter to be up with the latest gizmos! It read:

Person of interest purchased one Ambassador Class return ticket  AF4 to Paris. Name Alenby Faintwether Hoggett IV, provenance U unconfirmed. For further assistance find me at Newark Intl. Airport Term. C. Baxter.

Provenance U unconfirmed--that left open the possibility that this Alenby Faintwether Hoggett IV was a U-person, and what a grand pay-off if it were so! What a splendid take-down of of all those unimaginative folk who had mocked others' belief in in extraterrestrials! Aristotle decided right then to follow the fellow to Paris, just to make sure. He had little to lose. He was getting tired of New York, anyway, and he was already longing to spend a day or two in the City of Light before returning to his retreat in the tiny hamlet of Chezelet, located in the comfortably depopulated depths of the Touraine.

 Within a few minutes he was on his way to meet Baxter at the airport.

    

THE MAIN PLOT IN OUTLINE

 Setting

En route by air Newark NJ to Paris France, then Central France near Richelieu. All the action takes place in the universe u, starting 1987.

 Terminology not explained in the Prolog

PROFATPOL is the international police force charged with enforcing Prohibition. In the novel the term applies to the (corrupt) French branch of PROFATPOL.

XPROW is short for Extend Prohibition Now!, Ada's advocacy group urging the extension of Prohibition to sugary snacks and drinks.

Prosub means animal milk and other harmful and expensive food-like substances of animal origin including but by no means limited to meat, fish, eggs and cheese.

CHAOS AND OUCH is the acronym for diet-related diseases, often called diseases of affluence, ranging from the life threatening like cancer and heart disease to the seriously debilitating like arthritis and diabetes, to the merely painful and embarrassing like hemorrhoids.

Piglet: a small breed of swine.

PiggySpa: A comfortable, hygienic cage designed for piglets. 

Vex, or voice text, is a means of communication similar to the mobile phone in U. Often used with sound-cancelling software for privacy.

Tweel, a high-tech automobile wheel providing independently adjustable lateral (cornering) and vertical (ride) stiffness.

Hycell, an automobile powered by hydrogen fuel cell, usually mounted on tweels.

Stinkpot, an old-fashioned (1960s era or earlier) automobile powered by internal combustion engine, mounted on rubber tired wheels.

Holovision, HV, is like TV except in 3D.

HV minus two is an HV production, as a play or opera, without the visual representation of two performers.

Humanure is human waste matter. Chumanure is composted humanure. The Düngermischmaschine is a machine that converts humanure to chumanure. The Überdüngermischmaschine is a heavy duty Düngermischmaschine that works for users.

Compulocket (locket for short): A tiny computer worn, usually like an earring, by sexually promiscuous women to keep records of their lovers.

Assiette noire: a one-dish meal of black foods (such as black beans, Beluga caviar, tapenade of ripe olives) traditionally served at a suicide celebration. Also, with the inclusion of a lethal mushroom or other virulent poison for the guest of honor, the celebration itself.

 Characters

Aristotle Patras, Greek (residence  Monte-Carlo), 77, United Nations Secretary General Emeritus, an urbane roué.

Alenby Faintwether Hoggett IV, American, 45, stunt driver, an effete impotent gourmet. 

Ada Lynch PhD (biochemistry) American, 63, founder-president of Extend Prohibition Now! (XPROW). She is a sexual adventuress with a lust for big men.

Willa 't Hellenbach, Belgian, 60, cerebral news analyst and commentator.

Cleopatra Kirwan, American, 16, student, Junior Genius award recipient, an ambitious, intellectually precocious history researcher with a special interest in the early Prohibition era.

Jean-Paul Picpoul (Le Cèpe), 45, chef, a prosub addict reduced to operating a sting operation sponsored by PROFATPOL.

Olympe Picpoul née Le Montrachet, French, 45, restaurateuse, adoptive sister of Le Cèpe, post-menopausal virgin who has suffered many reverses and hardships but retains an air of distinction acquired in her upbringing in the Paris branch of the aristocratic Le Montrachet family.

Isador (Izzy) Bott MD, American, 35, a modest and thoughtful physician, aiming to specialize in rehabilitation of Substance users.

Leonard (Leo) Barton MA (English Lit) American, 35, writer, a flashy cynic with a bent for theater and self-promotion.

Professor Paul Ducru, né Paul D Beaucaillou, French, 87, a puckish polymath  famed (Légion d'honneur) for his research in biotechnology.

Catherine Cava (La Catalane or The Cat), French of Catalonian extraction, 60, a powerful politician both locally (Mayor of Richelieu) and nationally (Member of the National Assembly). She exercises virtually complete control over PROFATPOL in France.

Georges, French, 3, a piglet owned jointly by Ada and Professor Ducru.

Anastacia Oupia 15, French, sulky adolescent resisting her parents' urging that she attempt qualify for a motherhood diploma.

Part 1

Upon arriving in u, Alenby is befriended by Ada, and the two take up residence in Ada's pied a terre in France. Upon learning of the various measures adopted in u in accord with science and reason (see Prolog), Alenby reacts to them with disappointment, anger fear and incomprehension in various combinations. Inspired by by Olympe's example in her battle against adversity, his struggles to escape from Ada's domination.

Part 2: Alenby adapts to life in u, finds joy in improved health and virility, and the love of Olympe.

Synopsis

1.1 Alenby's Transition

1.1.1 An Inadvertent Excursion in Hyperspace

Air France Check In, Newark International Airport, Newark NJ USA

6 pm Tuesday 1 April 1987

Alenby is in the act of checking in for his flight to Paris (AF4) when he undergoes a U to u transition. His valise magically disappears, but he is required to pay a $200 excess baggage fee. He notices that the other people in the terminal are relatively short and thin. He is aware of the glance of a brown-eyed woman (eyes shining like a chocolate fondu, he thinks) wearing a green fedora.

1.1.2 Meanwhile, back in U

Media notice of  Alenby's disappearance includes reference to his wealthy anglophile background, his knowledge of French wines and food,  his obsession with health maintenance by medication, his skills as a youth in swimming, ballroom dancing and sports car racing, his advanced education (Oxford), his interest in classical music, especially opera. His absence is regretted by no one but his recently-divorced ex, wealthy socialite Blanche de Noires, who has found him a useful butt for jokes about his impotence.

Is it likely that Alenby took his own life? Sources close to him say "no." Thanks to a well scripted prenup, he had come out of the divorce proceedings with a tidy sum on his side of the ledger. And he was deeply involved in the design of his new Borstal sports car, having for instance insisted on an ashwood rollbar rather than the conventional steel one. 

1.2 Ada: Convictions and Doubts

1.2.1 Ada Sets Out to Paris

Bethesda, Maryland, USA, in the Universe u

About 3 pm Tuesday 1 April 1987

Ada uses a lubricant to make her brown eyes shine, puts on her green fedora, and sets off to give the "spontaneous" outdoor TV interview her XPROW staff has set up.

1.2.2 Ada Grants an Interview

In the interview, Ada answers questions about the value of Prohibition in preventing CHAOS AND OUCH. To the key question "Why do we have to have Prohibition?" she answers in effect, "Because it has been successful in preventing disease." She is aware of a logical fault in this answer but the interviewer accepts it without comment.

1.2.3 Ada Acknowledges a Weakness

Riding the fast train to Newark Airport (in u, America has fast trains) Ada frets over her mistake in the interview. As a practical matter, she fears that a sharper interviewer, like Willa 't Hellenbach, would have pointed out the mistake with results harmful results for Ada's career. At a more basic level, she is uncomfortably aware that her failure to state the real answer to Why do we have to have Prohibition? is contrary to the spirit of science and reason.

1.2.4 Ada Reviews Her Options

Ada's ambition is to be appointed Substance Czarina--chief of Prohibition enforcement--in the next administration. With that in mind Ada dreams of making contact with Madame Cava, virtual chief of PROFATPOL in France. One way of making such contact would be through her Gaea-father (actually her natural father but she does not suspect this), Professor Paul Ducru--"Uncle Paul" as she calls him--who is an intimate of Mme Cava. Ada is by no means assured of Professor Duru's compliance, however. Prof Ducru has been generous over many years, for instance financing her education and providing her with an apartment as a pied à terre in his rambling old house known as Château Mourey in Chezelet near Richelieu in Central France. But Gaea-father and daughter are locked in a custody dispute involving Georges a pet piglet--a small breed of pig--that they own jointly, and they are not particularly fond of each other.. 

Ada hopes to travel in company with one of her lovers, Stig, a tennis star known as "The Slashing Swede." But Stig has not been returning her vexes lately, and Ada is ready to hook up with another man, preferably tall.   

1.3 Alenby: Champagne and Chocolate 

1.3.1 Alenby Follows the Green Fedora

Newark International Airport

6:30 pm Tuesday 1 April 1987

Intrigued by the woman with the shining brown eyes (Ada), Alenby follows her. He notices a woman  in a sari (Cleo) also following Ada. When Ada enters the office of Philippe de-- , Air France Director of Ground Operations. Alenby turns and goes to the Ambassador (1st class) departure lounge, where he samples complimentary Champagne.

1.3.2 Alenby Distracted

In the Ambassador lounge, Alenby displays superhuman ability to judge the origin and quality of Champagne. He is surprised to discover that chocolate fondu is a Substance and not to be mentioned in polite discourse. Puzzled and disturbed, he suffers symptoms of colitis and applies the usual medication.

1.3.3 Enter Cleopatra Kirwan

Cleo, disguised in a sari, has confirmed that the woman in the green fedora is Ada Lynche. Having  discarded the sari, she waits to board AF4, Tourist class.

1.4 Ada: Intrigue

1.4.1 Ada Sets Up a Meeting

Abroad Air France 004 at Gate 90, Newark International Airport 

7:15 pm Tuesday 1 April 1987

With the connivance of Philippe de--, one of her lovers listed on her compulocket, Ada contrives to be seated next to Alenby on AF4. She also arranges for Stig the tennis man to be bumped off AF4. 

1.4.2 Ada Prepares

Again with the connivance of Philippe, she obtains the $100 bills that Alenby used to pay the excess baggage fee. By inspection of these bills she finds that they, and hence Alenby, are of provenance U.

1.5.1 Olympe Montrachet-Picpoul

Hôtel-Restaurant Le Gardon, Pouzay, France

About 10 pm Tuesday 1 April 1987

Exhausted after another long day, Olympe inwardly laments her situation: a lonely menopausal virgin charged with running the once-successful hotel restaurant, Le Gardon, that is now reduced to a mere front for a secret PROFATPOL sting operation--the luxurious restaurant Le Gardon Frit. The fault for this decline of fortune rests with Olympe's adoptive brother, Le Gardon Frit's chef and PROFATPOL collaborator Le Cèpe, but Olympe is inevitably implicated in wrongdoing. She longs for escape from this doleful situation, for some echo of the happy days of her youth as the cosseted child in the Paris branch of the wealthy, aristocratic Le Montrachet family.

Upon receiving  Ada's request for a reservation, Olympe realizes that forty years earlier Ada was her governess charged with teaching her English. Olympe contemplates approaching Ada for assistance in her bid to escape from her unhappy situation in Pouzay.

1.6 The Big Split

1.6.1 The Story

Aboard Air France Flight 004

 About to depart for Paris 8:45 pm Tuesday 1 April 1987

Alenby is displeased to discover that the appointments inside the aircraft are uncomfortably small and that his reserved seat is occupied by Ada. He is however mollified by her charm and by her light-hearted version of the BS theory of the origin of the universe. She makes him aware of his status as an alien out of hyperspace.

1.6.2 Alenby Learns the Nature of Universe u

Ada continues to bring Alenby up to date with the realities of life in u. He is desolated to learn that almost all of his favorite foods are not legally available, but cheers up when Ada tells him that the black truffle is not only legal but plentiful. With reservations, he approves of the truffle bouillon, Pâtée Ducru, served at dinner aboard the aircraft.

Ada persuades Alenby to join her on vacation in France, and she enters his name in the list of lovers she keeps in her compulocket.

Aboard Air France Flight 004

About 9 pm Tuesday 1 April 1987

1.7.1 Cleo's Dream

Aboard Air France Flight 004

About 10 pm Tuesday 1 April 1987

Cleo agonizes about her many acts of delinquency (shoplifting, bribery, hacking Ada's computer) and seeks redemption in historical research funded by her Junior Genius award.

She is determined to make contact with the historical Paul D Beacaillou, if still living, with a view to learn at first hand about his part in the evolution of the Prohibition era in America.  She has documentary evidence that Ada is Beaucaillou's natural daughter with then First lady and later President Edith Bollins, and is now secretly following  Ada in the hope that she will contact her father in the course of her visit to France, and thus lead Cleo to make contact with this historically important figure.

1.7.2 Ada's Nightmare

Aboard Air France Flight 004

About 10 pm Tuesday 1 April 1987

Ada wakes from a dream of flubbing an interview with Willa 't Hellenbach. She worries about  mishaps that might lead to career damaging publicity, like being caught in a PROFATPOL roadblock in the company of an alien user.

Ada intuits that Alenby is impotent, and vexes one of her lovers, a Parisian urologist for advice. He  suggests a device--a pump--to solve the problem, and they arrange that Ada will pick it up on arrival in Paris.

1.8 Feminine Suzerainty

1.8.1 Alenby Sees Signs of Feminism Rampant

Aboard Air France 004, Approaching Paris

About 5 am Wednesday 2 April 1987

Ada continues to explain life in u, touching on diverse topics such as the use of the expletive "frack," and the maintenance of personal health in relation to such practices as brushing one's teeth, taking showers, and washing one's hands.

Alenby accepts Ada's offer of u-money for his U-money. As they exchange $100 bills in their respective currencies, it occurs to Ada that Alenby's C-notes might bring an attractive price at  Sotheby's.

Coming on top of references to President Bollins and other female luminaries, the announcement of the approach to the Simone de Beauvoir (not Charles de Gaulle) Airport reinforces Alenby's disquiet at unsettling signs of feminine suzerainty in u.

1.9 Professor Ducru Ideates

1.9.1: Professor Ducru begins his Day

Château Mourey, Chezelet

About 5 h Wednesday 2 April 1987

Professor Ducru awakes with an idea related to his current research in biotechnology in mind. After vexing his idea to a colleague, a young postdoc at Institute Ducru, he allows his thoughts to drift to memories of the love of his life, Edith Bollins, mother of Ada. He receives Ada's vex asking for a private lunch for herself and lover Friday. He agrees to provide lunch but not a private one as he has already invited Aristotle Aligoté and the girl he is sex-mentoring. He receives a vex from The Cat reminding him of their Opera minus two date Friday morning and he accepts. Another vex from the Cat cancels the first and suggests lunch with two new PROFATPOL interns. He accepts, glad to have a good excuse to avoid Ada. He has acknowledged her as his daughter and has paid for her education and has provided her with a a self-contained apartment in Château Mourey, but he doesn't like her much. He also prefers the lunch date to the opera minus two session with the Cat. He thinks the Cat is losing her pep, suspects her of ingesting Substances. He dreams of dumping her and, following Aristotle's example, getting a "young'un."

1.10 Arrivals in Paris

Simone de Beauvoir Airport, Paris Roissy

About 7 am Wednesday 2 April 1987

1.10.1 Alenby à la Recherche des Bagages Perdus

Baggage Claim Area

Alenby and Ada find that Air France has no record of Alenby's lost valise.

1.10.2 Izzy Bott and Leo Barton Exchange Duffles

Baggage Claim Area, then Café Brûlante Afrique

Izzy and Leo become acquainted after each picks up the other's bag from the carousel. They buy train tickets to Richelieu, where they both have PROFATPOL internships, then go to the café.

1.10.3 Alenby Relaxes

Café Brûlante Afrique

Ada leaves Alenby in front of the café to visit her lover the Parisian urologist where she plans to secures a pump device to boost Aleby's virility. She expects to return in about 2 hours.

 Alenby settles himself in the café, takes meds designed to give him 2 hours natural healthful sleep. He sleeps.

1.10.4 Izzy and Leo Exchange Views

Café Brûlante Afrique

About 7:30 am Wednesday 2 April 1987

Izzy and Leo bond with sports talk--the Slashing Swede's chances in the French Open.

The two talk about their hopes for their PROFATPOL internships in Richelieu. Izzy hopes to work in Prison Simone Weil using water-only fasts to help Substance users return to decent society, also mentions his interest in women's health issues, menopause and menache in relation to diet. Leo hopes to create disinformation tracts and videos for PROFATPOL publicity.

Leo is disturbed at a loud roaring noise like a low-flying aircraft, but Izzy explains that it is the fat man (Alenby) snoring and gives a brief account of snoring versus diet.

Izzy and Leo leave to catch the train to Richelieu.

1.11 Seduction in F Major

The Valise, the Borstal, the Red Mercedes 650 SEX  

Parking Garage, Simone de Beauvoir Airport

10 am Wednesday April 2 1987

1.11.1 Alenby and Ada

Alenby, still in the café, awakens to discover in his wallet an overlooked document-- notice of delivery of his Borstal sports car to a particular parking slot in the Paris-Roissy airport parking garage, exactly as he had ordered but forgotten about in the distraction of his U to u transition.

Planning to leap into the Borstal and drive to a particular restaurant in Strasbourg in time for lunch, he runs to he designated slot, pulls open the door--only to find the front seat occupied by his formerly missing valise. He tries to shove the valise into the luggage area at the rear, but finds to his chagrin that it won't fit under the roll-bar--the plump ashwood roll-bar that he had insisted upon, disregarding the advice of the design engineer to install a thinner but at least equally strong roll-bar of steel.

In his excitement and effort and frustration, Alenby fears a heart attack coming on, but calms down after Ada returns and reassures him. She prevails on him to leave the Borstal in the garage and travel with her in her tomato red Mercedes SEX hycell, which happens to be parked in the next slot. The valise transferred to the trunk, the couple get in the car with Alenby at the wheel. But before he has time to familiarize himself with the controls, Ada touches a  button that converts the hycell into a private, luxuriously appointed love nest. Seduction--with the aid of the pump--follows to the heavy-breathing rhythm of the adagio from Mozart's piano concerto K456. The seduction scenario works out as well as Ada had hoped.

1.11.2: Alenby's Vision

Parking Garage, Simone de Beauvoir Airport

10:30 am Wednesday April 2 1987

Alenby notices the scent of feminine lubricity emanating from his fingertips, and he has a wonderful vision--a dozen freshly shucked oysters. Realizing it is just a figment of his imagination of unattainable bliss, he falls into renewed depression. 

1.12 Silk and Money

1.12.1 Alenby and Ada in a Land Glowing with Silk and Money

En route from Roissy to Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises

About 11 am Wednesday 2 April 1987

Alenby and Ada ride in the tomato red Merc SEX, mainly on back roads heading south-east towards Colombey les 2 Eglises. Alenby, at the wheel, familiarizes himself with the vehicle's handling, practices maneuvers. Ada continues to bring him abreast of happenings in u since Prohibition: popularity of graveled rather than sealed roads, reduced traffic, reduced population,  reduced human body size, footpaths for runners, popularity of recreational running, WW II called off, success of propaganda favorable to smallness in general.

1.12.2 Cleopatra Kirwan Makes Ready

Restaurant Les Dhuits, Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises

12 noon Wednesday 2 April 1987

Cleo continues to trail Ada in the hope that Ada will lead her to Paul D Beaucaillou. She has arrived in advance and is busy preparing herself to impersonate a waitress.

 

1.13 Cleo, Waitress

1.13.1 Alenby and Ada Take Lunch, with Cleo in Attendance

Restaurant Les Dhuits, Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises

1:30 pm Wednesday 2 April 1987

Waiting on Ada and Alenby, Cleo gathers evidence bearing on the identity of Paul D Beaucaillou.

1.13.2 Cleo Connects the Dots

 Mid-afternoon, Restaurant Les Dhuits

After Ada and Alenby have left the restaurant, Cleo looks up Professor Paul Ducru in Larousse Gastronomique and realizes that Ada's Uncle Paul, Professor Paul Ducru and Paul D Beaucaillou are one and the same. She travels by foot and by train to Richelieu, near Chezelet.

1.14 Alenby and Ada en route to Pouzay

1.14.1: Alenby Agrees to a Small Mac

Mid-afternoon Wednesday 2 April 1987

They stop to pick up a pair of Scottish kilted couriers [who are carrying tissue samples to Professor Ducru's laboratory, Institute Ducru in St Dyé. This is the second reference to the couriers, the first being in 1.9.1, Prof Ducru Ideates. They will be referred to again in Part 2, when Alenby inclines to kilts as running attire, and  Olympe subsequently expresses her love for him by presenting him with a kilt of genuine Scottish wool.]

Further on, Alenby complains of hunger despite having had lunch only an hour before. Ada explains that his problem as a lack of beans in his lunch selection, and suggests they stop for a fast food, bean-containing snack called a Small Mac. Alenby hesitates for fear of a smelly flatulence event, but Ada explains that, aside from users, human flatus has no smell but a hint of skatole. She overcomes Aleny's misgivings by farting, (odorlessly, at least in the air conditioned Mercedes SEX) in a rhythm that Alenby recognizes appreciatively as that of a passage from Vaughan Williams' concerto for bass tuba. Alenby is reassured about eating beans

1.15 The Düngermischmaschine

1.15.1: Alenby and Ada discuss Human Waste Disposal

Pouzay, on the on the bridge over the Vienne

7 pm Thursday 2 April 1987

Ada explains that the fishermen they see on the bank of the river are engaged in trapping fish to make 3D videos of them in their natural setting. Alenby finds it hard to understand that they always release a fish rather than kill and eat it, and he tries to explain this by assuming the river is dangerously polluted. Ada explains that river water is clean, thanks in large part to the general use of the Düngermischmaschine. She outlines the working of the Düngermischmaschine and the Überdüngermischmaschine.

1.16 Breakfast at Le Gardon

1.16.1 Scenes Disturbing and Painful

Hôtel-Restaurant Le Gardon

About 7 am Thursday 3 April 1987

 Alenby awakes alone in the tiny bedroom where he and Ada have spent the night. For a moment he thinks Ada has gone away and he is disturbed to realize how heavily he depends on Ada. His thoughts turn to Olympe. In the dining room the previous evening she acted bizzarrly anxious, and he now recognizes in her something of his own current state of mind. He also recognizes a culinary talent or at least leaning to culinary art, and behind her anxiety her senses a social background of wealth and privilege not unlike his own. He is also impressed by her distinctive height. He dresses, takes meds and goes down to petit dejeuner.

He finds Ada watching a video purportedly of U, a barbeque. She complains of his snoring. They have breakfast and coffee.

Olympe [who imagines in Alenby the man of her dreams, capable of rescuing her from her current parlous situation] makes a clumsy pass at him and he conspicuously ignores her for what seems to him an ugly impropriety. Deeply embarrassed, she  turns away with a haughty gesture and leaves the room. Alenby regrets his unkind response. Ada smiles unsympathetically.

Ada and Alenby return to their discussion of the practice of eating meat.

They go up to the their room to prepare for departure. Just before leaving, Ada goes off to grant Olympe a promised colloquy. Ada returns in an angry mood, and speaks of unpleasant recollections of Olympe as a spoilt whining brat and of Olympe's parents as wealthy aristocratic criminals (caviar runners). Ada believes Olympe is a criminal like her parents, and is now mixed up with PROFATPOL. She also tells Alenby that Olympe wishes to see him.

 Alenby rushes to Olympe's side. Tearful, but maintaining an imperious demeanor, she tells him in refined Parisian-accented French  that on leaving the hotel and crossing over the bridge, "You must go straight. Do not turn right."

As Ada and Alenby leave, Ada tells him that if they turn right after the bridge they might run into a PROFATPOL roadblock, so he must go straight. Alenby agrees to go straight, as Olympe has already suggested to him.  But it occurs to Alenby that if Olympe is mixed up with PROFATPOL and there is a roadblock, their going straight might have have unpleasant consequences for Olympe.

1.17 An Unlawful Evasion

1.17.1 Alenby and Ada Escape PROFATPOL

On back roads between Pouzay and Chezelet

Late morning Thursday 3 April 1987

Alenby and Ada set out for Chezeley, both intent on going straight after they cross over the bridge. But acting on the realization that if Olympe is mixed up with PROFATPOL and there is a roadblock, their going straight might have have unpleasant consequences for her, he turns right.

Ada, enraged at Alenby's  partiality to Olympe and for fear of a PROFATPOL roadblock, becomes hysterical, and Alenby slaps her face to bring her to her senses. Ada thanks him for saving her from "losing it."

Alenby evades the roadblock with a bravura display of stunt-driving skills, and then, totally relaxed, he tells Ada about the marvel of gastronomy--roast chicken in the manner of Bresse.

Ada realizes she wants more than anything else to devote her life to to the pleasures of gastronomy, and this epiphany is topped by an orgasm. She debates internally about inserting the latter event in her compulocket, finally puts it in Alenby's file.

They arrive at Château Mourey safely, leaving behind three PROFATPOL stinkpots in various states of destruction.

1.18 Georges Ingratiates

1.18.1 A Düngermischmaschine, Domestic Model

Château Mourey, Chezelet

12 noon Thursday 3 April 1987

Unaware of Ada's epiphany, Alenby is puzzled by her upbeat mood. He is worried about falling into the hands of PROFATPOL.

To Ada's gratification, Georges spontaneously leaps up into her arms. Alenby is charmed by the piglet's brio.

Ada shows Alenby Château Mourey's Düngermischmaschine and explains the function of the various parts including the CHUMANURE AUS chute. [This will be needed in Part 2, the Olympe Intervenes scene. The circumstance that Château Mourey has only a  Düngermischmaschine, not an Überdüngermischmaschine, will also be needed in Part 2, in the Alenby to the Rescue scene.]

The scene ends with Ada stepping into the large sunlit courtyard of Château Mourey and  throwing off her clothes with a cry of "Light of the Light."

1.19 Izzy Intuits, Cleo Perceives

1.19.1 Isador Bott MD Tends PROFATPOL's Injured

The Infirmary on the PROFATPOL Campus, Richelieu

About 11:30 am Thursday 3 April 1987

Required to tend to PROFATPOL officers injured in the roadblock fiasco, Izzy guesses that the driver of the tomato red Mercedes SEX--the "Red Baron" as he is immediately dubbed by the media--is the same as the big man he and Leo had noticed snoring in the airport café. Already sensing something louche in the entire PROFATOL setup, he  decides to keep his suspicions to himself.

1.19.2 Cleo Sights Professor Ducru

 Kitty Kat Salon, Place du Marché, Richelieu

10:30 am Friday 4 April 1987

The front entrance to Madame Cava's apartment being closed for repairs, visitors must enter by a back way by a staircase in view of the salon. Cleo observes a man climbing the stairs and entering, identifies him as Paul Ducru.

1.20 Sunshine and Micronutrients

1.20.1 Alenby and Ada Take Lunch

On the Terrace at Château Mourey

12:30 pm Thursday 3 April 1987

In the courtyard Ada gives Pâtée Ducru to Georges in his Piggy Spa. She draws Alenby's attention to the swimming pool, explains that it is filled with water diverted from the Vienne. Alenby notes the lunch preparations--4 place settings napery, Champagne, flutes.

Ada sunbathes nude,  suggests Alenby do likewise. But he hesitates to disrobe out of fear of embarrassment from display of stained  underwear from overactive colon. But when Ada absents herself to fetch regular size glasses for Champagne, he discovers he has recovered from colon problems--hence no stains. He disrobes and also sunbathes nude.

Ada and Alenby are disturbed by the arrival of Aristotle and Anastacia in running togs. Twigging  the occasion as informal, they also undress and the introductions are casual: Ari and Ana, Ada and Al.

Ada covers up her annoyance at Uncle Paul's practice of inviting other guests for lunch without warning. After serving Champagne from regular glasses Ada tactfully brings the conversation to the Ari's Prohibition Day address, and asks questions about  the problem areas identified by him: (1) Education of adolescents and (2) Demographic imbalance.

On topic (1) Ari explains that many candidates otherwise well qualified as motherhood find it difficult to bond with males until after the ideal age for bearing their first child. His suggestion is to pair such candidates with carefully chosen mature age sex mentors  to ease and accelerate the transition to motherhood readiness. He himself is a sex mentor to Ana.

On topic (2) Ari speaks of "Paul's" (Professor Ducru's) efforts to devise more effective forms of the traditional assiette noire to get rid of old people who might not be any longer enjoying life. Professor Ducru's approach (Ari explains) is to bioengineer modifications of a number of gastronomically esteemed mushrooms for even better flavor and also, with suicide function in mind, for enhanced toxicity and ease of cleanup. In short, as the planned publicity material has it, "to create mushrooms to die for, at an assiette noire to remember."

Ana reacts to Ari's disquisition by shrugging elaborately and rolling her eyes. Al has trouble containing his anger at this loopy liberal nonsense but is restrained by Ada's warning glance. In answer to comments (restrained) Ari falls back on a "greater good" argument.

Ada dons  a waitress' starched  white bonnet and apron, and she rolls out the steam trolley containing Professor Duru's lunch service. She reads the menu, which consists of mushrooms, and Professor Ducru's request for comments.

At Ada's request, Ari says grace: "Heureux ceux qui sont mort..." They partake of the mushrooms accompanied by the local red wine. (St Nicholas sauvignon franc).

Comments are supplied by Ana and transmitted Prof D via Ari. Al speculates that Prof D may have discovered the long sought elixir the ultimate meaty flavor osmazome (Brillat-Savarin p61)

After dessert of genetically engineered apricot everyone swims in the pool. Al notes Ana's form --like a seal in the water.

 1.21 Alenby Abandoned

1.21.1 Alenby and Ana Enjoy the Water of the Vienne

Château Mourey, Chezelet

About 8:30 am Friday 10 April 1987

Ada Ana and Alenby have met at the pool on  a few occasions since  the previous Friday. Alenby has recovered some of his youthful swimming skills. Ada is a highly proficient swimmer. Ana is a natural in the water, like a seal as Alenby hs already noted admiringly. It seems Ari has been busy in Geneva helping wiyth thr publicity of Prof D's assiette noire initiative. Today Ada is running late, Alenby and Ana swim laps the talk poolside. Then they sit and talmk.

Alenby has aready learned some of Ana,s history. Emotionally distant mother, ambitious/ remote/cruel fathes ambitious for their daughter to qualify for motherhood.

2.1 Alenby Incarcerated

2.1.1 Alenby and Inmate Number 314159 ("31")

A Cell, Prison Simone Weil, Richelieu

About 2 pm Friday 4 April 1987

 

2.1.2 Alenby and Dr Isador Ott  Welcome

Dr Ott's Office, Prison Simone Weil, Richelieu

About 3 pm Friday 4 April 1987

 

2.1.3 Alenby and 31

Prison Simone Weil, Richelieu

 Monday 27 April 1987

2.1.4 Alenby and Dr Ott  Debriefing

Doctors' Office, Prison Simone Weil, Richelieu

 

2.2 Touring the Hexagon

2.2.1 Alenby and Le Commissaire Sailland, alias Curnonsky

Le Commissaire's Office, Prison Fernand Point, Richelieu

About 1 pm, Monday 4 May 1987

 

2.3 Cleo Strikes Milk

2.3.1 Cleo, Georges, and Professor Ducru Take Refreshments

An Alcove in Professor Ducru's Apartment, Château Mourey

 4 May, 1987

2.3.2 Cleo Maps her Biography of Paul d Beaucaillou

Morning, 5 May, 1987

2.3.3 Cleo in Love with Math

 

2.4 Alenby at Château Mourey

2.4.1 Alenby and Jules César

May - November 1987

 

2.5 Ada Strikes Ozmazome

2.5.1 Cleo Reads Ada's Diary

Château Mourey

November 1987

2.5.2 Cleo alerts Olympe

Rest-Hôt Le Gardon

Late November 1987

 

2.6 Olympe to the rescues

2.6.1 Alenby's Escape

Prison Fernand Point

25 November 1987

 

 

Chapter 2.7 Breakfast at Château Mourey

                Chapter 2.8 Ada's Triumph

                Chapter 2.9 Two Tango

 

 

 

2.6 Olympe to the Rescues

2.6.1 Prison Fernand Point

 

2.6 Rescue scene

 Prison Fernand Point

Tgiving day 1987

 

 

Le Coin Brillat-Savarin, Restaurant Le Gardon Frit

Tgiving pm waiting for turkey

2.6.2 Alenby and Olympe

H Rest le Gardon

Pm During serving of Tgiving feast in Le C B-S

2.6.3 In the Vienne

About 9 pm Tgiving day

   

2.7 Breakfast at Château Mourey

2.7.1 Ada and Alenby Breakfast

A Kitchen Alcove, Maison Mourey

 About 9:00 am Friday 27 November 1987

2.7.2 An escape attempt foiled

L'Ile Bouchard

About noon 27 November 1987  

2.7.3 Alenby and Leo

Rest Le Gardon Frit at entry to Le Gardon

 

2.8 Ada Triumphs

2.8.1 The Cat Convenes

L'Espace Taillevent, Restaurant Le Gardon Frit

1:00 pm Friday 27 November 1987

2.8.2 Ada Calls for Repeal of Prohibition

Later pm same time & place

2.8.3 Alenby and Olympe pledge

Olympe's apartment

2.9 Two Tango

 

CONTENTS

Part 1

                Chapter 1.1 Alenby's Transition

                Chapter 1.2 Ada: Convictions and Doubts

                Chapter 1.3 Alenby: Champagne and Chocolate

                Chapter 1.4 Ada: Intrigue

                Chapter 1.5 Olympe and Cleo: Hope

                Chapter 1.6 The Big Split

                Chapter 1.7 Ada's Nightmare

                Chapter 1.8 Feminine Suzerainty

                Chapter 1.9 Professor Ducru Ideates

                Chapter 1.10 Arrivals in Paris

                Chapter 1.11 Seduction in F Major

                Chapter 1.12 Silk and Money

                Chapter 1.13 Cleo and Olympe: Aspirations

                Chapter 1.14 Farting Etiquette

                Chapter 1.15 The Düngermischmaschine

                Chapter 1.16 Breakfast at Le Gardon

                Chapter 1.17 An Unlawful Evasion

                Chapter 1.18 Georges Ingratiates 

                Chapter 1.19 Izzy and Cleo: Intuition and Perception

                Chapter 1.20 Sunshine and Micronutrients

                Chapter 1.21 Alenby Abandoned

 

Part 2

                Chapter 2.1 Alenby Incarcerated

                Chapter 2.2 A Tour of the Hexagon  

                Chapter 2.3 Cleo Strikes Milk

                Chapter 2.4 Olympe Intervenes          New 2.4 Alenby and Cleo at Château Mourey

                Chapter 2.5 Ada in Turmoil                 New 2.5 Olympe to the rescue

                Chapter 2.6 Alenby to the Rescue     

                Chapter 2.7 Breakfast at Château Mourey

                Chapter 2.8 Ada's Triumph

                Chapter 2.9 Two Tango

                

***