Coffee at the U.N.


FEW OUTSIDE the New York literary scene are familiar with the esoteric pleasures of the most elite of the intellectual circles, those New York Times reporter William B. "Willie" Weesel knows so well. The group of us convenes with Willie every Friday morning for brunch and coffee at the U.N. commissary to chat over the latest gossip--the rising hemlines, perhaps, or the plunging deutchsmark.

"I had a fascinating discussion with President Reagan the other day," Willie told us yesterday, as he dipped a donut into his Irish coffee. "He was telling me about the time when he was 12 and his dog ran away. He looked and looked all over town and couldn't find it anywhere. Then he came home and found the dog under his bed."

"Just goes to show you, the old man's memory is still pretty sharp."

"What did he have to say about the crisis in the Persian Gulf?" I asked.

"Well," said Willie, freshening up his cup with a jolt of hootch. "He said he thought the Egyptians had a right to the Suez Canal."


I took a nip off my hip flask and pondered that. "Well, at least he's talking," I said.

"Anyway," says Willie, "did you see the story in the Times? It seems for once we don't have the most embarrassing head of state around."

"What do you mean?"

"The Prime Minister of Greece, Andreas Papandreou, was caught in a sex scandal with a stewardess. It seems he got her a job on the state TV station and cancelled an appearance at an earthquake site to take a private cruise with her."

"Hey," says I, "I bet Mike Dukakis wishes our boy Ron could get involved with some pretty young sexpot."

"I'm sure Ron wishes he could, too," says Willie. "But some things are beyond the power of modern medicine."

ABOUT this time our good friend Buddy Commyovich, the Russian diplomat, comes sneaking up to the table wearing a trench coat and a touring cap pulled low down over his face. "Hey, guys," he whispers, "Spot me a cup of Joe?"

"How about a cup of Irish?" says Willie.

"What's an Irish?" asks Buddy.

"Irish coffee, hold the coffee," explains Willie, gesturing for me to pass my flask.

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