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He is dedicated as ever to certain indecencies and shall we say reversible brain damage. But there is a good deal to admire in Buffett's inspired evocations from this queerly amalgamated past most Americans now share. …he was among the first of the Sucking Chest Wound Singers to sleep on the yellow line . throwback altarboy of Mobile, Alabama, brings spacey up-country tunes strewn with forgotten crabtraps, Confederate memories, chemical daydreams, Ipana vulgarity, ukulele madness and, yes Larry, a certain sweetness. I took French courses for five years at my high school, Jarvis Collegiate. I was 17 when I heard about a Canadian lycée in France. And so, at age 18, I found myself on a plane heading for France. French has changed my life - and that's no exaggeration. French men, the Eiffel Tower, love, romantic walks on the Champs Élysées. I was fairly certain my parents would think my idea of going to France was a terrible one, but for a reason I'll never understand, they happily agreed to send me.Joining in the merriment are assorted loungers, loafers, aging hippies and members of Buffett's band — the Coral Reefers — who are scattered around the veranda of L' Entrepont, a harbor-side bar on St. Buffett, fighting to regain composure, declines the pineapple-juice advice and signals for another ''greenie'' (Caribbean for Heineken).In the interest of various individuals' marital harmony, it should be noted that Buffett, 32, does not know the woman in question, although she, like most members of this expatriate community of young Americans, takes a proprietary interest in Jimmy.

When you're right in the middle of exams and essays, and your French teacher asks you to participate in forced conversations with your Anglophone friends, French is frustrating. I could place an order at Mc Donald's like a fluently bilingual person: "Un hamburger, un Coca Cola et des frites, s'il vous plaît." I could read the names of Montreal's streets and stores - rue Sainte-Catherine and Château du Sexe. In France, you buy baguettes at "boulangeries" - I knew all about boulangeries, because I was perfectly bilingual.

I explained to him that Canadian bread is not as good as French bread - the flavour isn't as delicate, as natural, or as delicious. The only thing the boulanger had understood was the word "préservatifs." Here's why: When I couldn't think of the right word in French, I'd say the word in English, but with a French accent.

At the end of my five- or -ten-minute monologue, the boulanger begged me to stop. I had some success with the English words "automobile," "telephone," and "television." But it didn't work as well with the word "préservatifs." I said "préservatifs" several times while I was talking to the boulanger.

What Jimmy Buffett knows is that our personal musical history lies at the curious hinterland where Hank Williams and Xavier Cugat meet with somewhat less animosity than the theoreticians would have us believe.

put Jimmy Buffett on the musical map, he still resides in his curious hinterland, but he's moved it farther south.

By a remarkable coincidence, what people notice first about each and every one is her distinctive smile and eyes.

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