It had to happen. J.J. called.

You may remember my now not-so-young French dilettante friend, Jean-Jacques Louis Henri Trebouchet de Grenouille, he of the wealthy parents and wandering girlfriend. It had been a long time …

“Ah, bonjour J.J. My, it’s been a couple of years since we’ve spoken.”

“Oui. I have been so busy pursuing the beautiful Yvette that I have not the time to keep touched with old friends. But I am having the very big news: I have move to Quebec. I am living in Montreal.”

“Wow! That’s a big change. What brought this on?”

“Well, you know how my father, he thinks I am — how do you say — useless? I am showing him here that I have the good idea. I am opening the hotel in Montreal.”

“Hotel? What do you know about running the hotel? … Er, a hotel. And why Montreal?”

“Nothing, but I know nothing about everything, so why not the hotel? And of course it must be Montreal — they speak the French here.”

“You have a point, I suppose, but there must be some reason you’ve decided to do this.”

“Of course. I have thought this carefully. It is your election.”

“Sorry, I don’t understand …”

“Well, if Mr. Trump wins, so many rich Americans will move to Canada they will need the place to stay. I will have the perfect place.”

“I know some people have said that, but they said the same thing in 2000, and didn’t go anywhere.”

“Yes, I know, but how can you not believe Mr. Michael Moore and Mr. Alec Baldwin? How could anyone who has make so much money in America not leave if Mr. Trump is elected?”

“We can only hope, but I wouldn’t want to base my business plan on that idea.”

“Oh no, I am tres certain. And of course they will come to Montreal, because they are the socialistes and adore the French culture.”

“Perhaps you should consider plan B.”

“What is this ‘plan B’?”

“That is what we in America call a backup plan — you know, in case your original idea doesn’t work out.”

“That is silly. But, OK, what are you thinking?”

“Suppose Mrs. Clinton wins. That is, after all, what a lot of people think will happen.”

“I have thought of this. I am sure many rich Republicans will come to Canada. The Koch brothers, perhaps.”

“Hmmm … Maybe, but they probably won’t go to Montreal. It is, as you say, tres socialiste. They will probably head west to Calgary.”

“Calgary? What is this Calgary?”

“It’s a big city in Alberta, very entrepreneurial, quite conservative.”

“Alberta? What is this Alberta?”

“J.J., I hate to be the one to tell you this, but maybe you should go back to France. I’m sure your father and Yvette will be glad to see you.”

“This is not such a good idea. There is the teeny problem. My father and Yvette — they have run away together. I do not think either of them really wants to see me.”

“Oh. Tell you what, send me the name of your hotel, and I’ll come visit. But do it soon, while it’s still open.”

Fred Wolferman lives in Southern Pines.

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