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The French Paradox

French cartoon master Jean-Jacques Sempé, whose big-nosed, slightly bewildered characters often appear on the cover of the New Yorker, once drew two old men wearing berets and riding rickety bicycles with string bags of identical long baguettes hanging from the crossbars. I remember that each man sported a little mustache and a limp cigarette dangling from a mouth set in a sour expression. The absurd caption—“We are becoming more and more American every day”—made me laugh out loud.

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