“Mike, where’s my invitation to meet the prince?”
“Sorry, Bogey, but only my most cultured clients will be there,” said Beverly Hills restaurateur Mike Romanoff.
“I’ve never met a real European prince and damn well want to.”
“You’d embarrass me.”
“The prince would be impressed to meet a movie star.”
“There’ll be a lot of stars here tomorrow night, and I trust all of them.”
“I thought we were friends, Mike.”
“What if I promise to behave?”
“I wouldn’t believe it,” said Romanoff.
“Maybe I’ll start having lunch elsewhere.”
“You’d miss me too much.”
“How about I leave you a thousand dollar deposit, Mike?”
“I’ll drop off the dough tomorrow afternoon.”
“I don’t need a deposit. Just your word you’ll behave. No more than a half dozen drinks.”
“Doubles or triples?”
“You’ll have a coat and tie ready for me, won’t you, Mike?”
“I’m already reconsidering. Maybe it’s best you skip this gala.”
“Relax, I’ll bring my own coat and tie.”
“That would be a delightful first.”
The tall and distinguished prince, forged by several great central European royal families, smiled often as he charmed many glamorous stars, and the party proceeded famously.
“Prince, may I join you here?” Bogey asked, stepping to the table and exhaling smoke.
“You certainly may. You’re a wonderful actor.”
“Thanks.” He sat across from Mike Romanoff, who was next to the prince.
“You were absolutely marvelous in Casablanca,” said the prince.
“I appreciate that. And I wanna tell you your English is perfect. How’d you learn to speak so damn well.”
“I was most fortunate to have a British governess.”
“Oh, yeah,” said Bogey, “did you fuck her?”
Notes: I learned the punch line of this meeting years ago when I read Bogie: The Definitive Biography of Humphrey Bogart by Joe Hyams.