[Dixielandjazz] A little diplomacy please

John Farrell stridepiano at tesco.net
Wed Sep 10 22:02:50 PDT 2003

This is getting interesting. Tom Wiggins spake thus:

"And even my friend John will drink to that I am sure, even if he has to
 over to France to buy cheaper Scottish Whiskey without the high tax for the
 privilege of buying it at home.  I tried to buy some "DUTY FREE" in London
 last time I passed through, and discovered I could buy the same thing here
 $10.00 a bottle less even after paying the high tax on it.  :)"

Speaking as a self-proclaimed expert on the subject I would like to deal
with a few points in that paragraph :

a) It is not Scottish Whiskey, Scotch is the correct word.
b) There is no letter "e" in Scotch whisky, it appears only in American and
Irish whiskey.
c) I would be extremely grateful if Tom could tell me where in America I can
buy a bottle of decent single malt for $10. I was in San Francisco in May,
the cheapest acceptable malt I found there was nearly $30. Of course it is
possible to buy a bottle of  bog standard blended Scotch for $10 - I can get
it here for 6 or 7 pounds but why waste valuable drinking time and good
money on rubbish fit only to clean brass doorknobs?
d) It is true that certain of my countrymen frequently go to France for the
specific purpose of stocking up on cheap booze and tobacco products, these
people are known to us as booze cruisers. A goodly percentage of them sell
the stuff illegally at a knock-down price in the UK then return to France to
collect another lot. Thank goodness I have more fulfilling things to do with
my life.

One of the reasons I go to France is the number of amazing jazz pianists who
live there - for instance Louis Mazetier, Olivier Lancelot, Jean-Paul
Simonetti and until a few years ago the best of them all - the relatively
unknown Francois Rilhac - whose pianistic prowess was without equal in my
opinion. Francois was a complex, troubled man who took his own life at the
age of just 32 years devastating all who knew him and depriving the world of
one of its brightest piano stars.

Unlike Tom I cannot get interested in the acquisition of money and the cost
of things, I have enough to indulge myself in malt, cigars, CDs, foreign
travel and a few indiscretions.  I neither know nor care how far my car will
go on a gallon of gas, I do not have to worry where my next meal is coming
from, I'm not a fancy dresser, women are now a distant memory. Why do I need
more money? Taxes are inevitable, so why worry about them?

Tom explained that his use of the word culture should have been taken to
mean musical culture. That was not made very clear in his original posting,
I am grateful to him for the clarification.

John Farrell

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