We can only salute France for this innovation. The French have long been known for both their advanced medicine and their advanced alcoholism. In their own uniquely civilized way, they have solved their long-standing problem of terminally-ill patients out binge-drinking in the streets by providing them with a secure place in which to get hammered before they get embalmed.
The French buy-a-round-before-you-buy-the-farm-bar is a carefully controlled environment. Toasting is kept to a minimum, as the customary French toast, Votre sante, meaning "your health," is completely pointless, as is the Spanish "Salud!" and the German "Proust!" The English "Cheers!" is not likely to produce much mirth, but it's better than the Hebrew "L'Chaim!" (To Life!) which, under the circumstances, could be considered semi-sadistic. "Bottoms up!" is often a painful reminder to these patients of the position they had to assume to have medical things put up inside them. The only really appropriate toast is the Japanese "Kampei!" which, in the unimaginative way of the Japanese, means "Drink it all!" There you have it.
Wine is the only alcoholic beverage served. This is proper, because wine is the most somber of spirits, lacking the fizzy cheerfulness of beer and the sudden, violent happiness of hard liquor. Patients slurp contemplatively at their Cabernets and watch the bar TVs, which, instead of being tuned to French ESPN, constantly play shows like "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" and "Heaven is Real" to psych them up for checking out.
Besides the medical supervision the French so responsibly provide on behalf of their dying drunks, there is also a medically-trained bouncer at the bar's door to spot hospital patients who want to drink but are not terminally ill, so they can't get in and start fights.
The bar does have a "Happy Hour," but it is very sensitively publicized.
When can we expect this medical advance to reach American shores? Not before you've scratched that last item off your bucket list is the sad answer. Americans expect death to hurt. We don't even let dying people use their cell phones without shooting them dirty looks. Besides, we wouldn't be content with mere wine bars. Americans on the verge of kicking the oxygen habit would insist on a full cocktail menu of Kamikazes, Slippery Nipples, Fuzzy Navels and the drink most likely to bring on a near death experience if you're not enjoying yours sufficiently already, shots of Jagermeister. Instead of death panels we would have drink panels, and the whole high-minded project would be strangled in red tape, freighted with disclaimers and then sunk without a trace.
So now it will not only be romantic Americans and literary Americans, but ordinary drunk Americans as well, who long for the sight of France in their final moments and say to themselves wistfully, "I want to die in Paris."