New, True Firsts, No Facts

photo, group, jan, martine, dana, vicki, yoko, marie, hilda Members Jan, Martine, Dana, Vicki, Yoko, Marie, Hilda, of the Week.

Including Sleeper of the Week

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 4. September:–  The original purpose of putting the weather report after the club report was meant to allow me to jump right into the club report without a lot of blather about inconsequential matters of no interest to any normal reader or avid club member, and to prevent me from writing opening sentences containing 480 words about next–to–nothing. I saw from last week that there were 480 words here that didn't say much of anything except about the temperature which was 25, and some baloney stuff, and that it was cloudy but this is September so that wasn't news. Had I asked, the tabac lady would have said it was cold except that there was a new one and I had to tell her how to be careful and not give me the cigarettes with filters, because the packages are nearly identical and even experienced tabac ladies slip up.

In fact it was cool today and it was windy too. It was windy yesterday and it will probably be windy tomorrow. I suppose it has something to do with hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico but I don't want to make much of it because it's bad enough that it is September. These winds here aren't hard enough to blow you over but they make life on the terraces uncomfortable. Frites get cold fast. Boring and barely true weather details follow the club report.

photo, milk of the weekFirst Milk of the Week.

The Strict Curtains of the Week Club Report

The good news today is that the Parisians have returned and the poster makers have outdone themselves with new models urging residents to get some new perfume, to rent a bike for a year, buy some flimsy underwear, get some new duds, see some movies, read some magazines full of new fashions, hot stuff and sex – all this after a boring so–called summer of re–runs, recycles and plain trash. Rumba, tango, cha cha cha!

Thus, there I was tilted towards the wind, tramping towards the club's café, La Corona, sliding my slippers across the granite stones of the Pont Neuf with a bit of glide, in memory of James Brown who showed how to do it for an entire soul set by not lifting his aligator shoes more than 1.8 millimetres off the surface of the planet. Yes. This rentrée business is pretty exciting.

photo, hot chocolate of the week Familiar hot Chocolate of the Week.

The result was that I fetched up at the club a bit ahead of time. I leaned on a rail there. Member Vicki Houlahan tilted into view, with a disparaging comment about the wind. At ten minutes to the hour I had to be careful not to start the meeting hors du club even though there is not a rule against it. Did we talk about snow? Did we talk about ranching in Australia? I didn't take notes so I don't know.

Actually Vicki said she was having French lessons on account of her first visit when the only word she knew was fromage. "I had to eat a lot of cheese sandwiches," she said. She told me about some amusing Australian customs, such as the B & S bars. Apparently married folks are off the radar so all the bachelors and spinsters get together and party at these B & S places. Vicki swore that she never heard of the five o'clock swill.

After getting inside to the club's hallowed tables and comfy seats, out of the wind, members Jan and Dana Shaw came in. Dana said he huffed down from the rue Scribe where they had had lunch with a former pupil of his. The huffing wasn't on account of the wind but from hurrying to get to the club meeting. "I didn't want to miss anything," he said. Then Marie Mazurchuk came in and when Patrick the Waiter of the Week asked her what she wanted she said, "Two minutes."

photo, knit stuff of the week Jan's Knit Stuff of the Week.

Before that came so did Yoko, who some folks will remember as Tomoko Yokomitsu, and I mention it here so we will remember who we really are. Yoko sad she talked to her boss about my apartment search but all they had were furnished palaces in the 16th arrondissement. On top of this Hilda Rambock arrived from West Vancouver, which is near Vancouver if you don't worry about the bridge. Hey–Ho! City of the Week. Jan hauled out her knitting and somebody asked her if she was a friend of Marion Nowak.

Yoko ordered the club's first Milk of the Week, a true first. Member Martine Asscher–Baudoix must have arrived because she ordered a green tea. Asked about it she said the first one she had was disgusting but she had gotten used to it. Another first – the Green Tea of the Week. Then Martine told us the latest dirty stories going around town, but Nicolas Sarkozy was the only name recognized so that kind of spoiled the effect.

One thing led to another and the conservative convention in Saint Paul came up, with Jan saying something like, "The strict curtains they hide behind," which also appeared to be a first. I had to get up to take a photo of something – a glass of wine, a bottle of water? – and when finished I saw that Hilda had fallen asleep, another club first but not entirely unexpected.

photo, sleeping member of the week First Overtired Member of the Week.

Yoko made as if to go so I harassed the members into an assembly, using it as an excuse to wake up Hilda. Martine said she was in the photo last week and Marie had to twist her arm to do it again. Slightly grumpy we all were soon out on the café terrace, in the cool wind.

We had, as you have already seen, the reds grouped in the centre, with the blacks and patterns on the wings. As soon as I looked through the finder they started acting up. They leaned one way, they leaned the other way. I saw them. I said, flap your hands. They waved them. No, not like that, flap! Then I said I wouldn't use it for the Group Photo of the Week even if it was a first. This is why I used the first photo. It's not too exciting but at least the members don't look like total whackos.

Back inside Hilda told us about Gozo. She said she went to a little village there that got big overnight without any street signs or house numbers, a sort of giant Casbah. Maybe it's because Gozo is a part of Malta and they are worried the Turks will come back. Everybody agreed, with this bit of geography, that the flag is a George Cross. Some folks call it a Maltese Cross but that was only my opinion, on account of drinking so much of it in Hamburg.

photo, the vert bag of the weekThé Vert of the Week.

Jan told us that King George VI gave all the school kids a certificate for bravery for going to school during the Blitz. Jan knew because she got one. Martine in turn remembered her father holding her up to kiss a Sherman tank driver in 1944. If you ask me those are both true club firsts.

Time had moved on towards five when members Sharon and Elliot Medrich from Oakland, California came in without a care in the world, with Sharon sporting a button that read, "I Voted Obama '08" She said she got it from a political operative from his private stash. She was wearing it in Paris to see if it would get a reaction. Kids here wear Obama t–shirts because they want change too.

There was a flurry of banter about what makes America great and loud guffaws when Dana said he was going to vote in Florida. But Elliot, who started it all, wanted to know if we had heard the Guardians de la Paix band. No one had, and nobody had noticed if the Republican Guards had passed on their horses, on their way to the barn. Nobody noticed – that's a pretty typical club meeting. Jan rolled her knitting into a plastic bag and we got out of there.

photo, button, i voted obama 08 First Obama Button of the Week.

Phooey Weather

Tonight's weather on the TV–news needs to be washed out with soap. It was more awful than usual. As always stuff is sweeping in from the Atlantic. It's the same old story, wave after wave of rot and muck swirling over Ireland and twisting around here. Here are the latest gloomy tidings:

Friday is scheduled to have a morning and an afternoon but you might not be able to tell. At noon on Friday it appears the rain and clouds might be over our heads and it will not become better even after dark. On Saturday the forecast is different with demi–sunny and many occasional clouds, which on Sunday will thicken up without actual rain. High temperatures will be in a state of low. Don't expect more than 19, 19 and 18 degrees maximum just because you don't care for the forecast. Just bear with it. With this prediction maybe a good weekend of movies will suit you better than moist.

About the Café Metropole Club

Trickle your thumbs, stomp the pedals and squeeze your rubber mouse to click up a symphony of club meeting reports buried somewhere deep in these pages. No audio sensations other than hearing actual members' voices during club meetings. No video at all. Real lame with words, just verbs, nouns, and advertisers. Real blurry photos. A clue about what we might have been doing today may help and can be found on the About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Eco–Jungle In the Patazone

As unrehearsed as any day of the week, semi out of control and unusually, like today, a Thursday. Club meetings run from 15:00 to 17:00 on Thursdays. The metric times are equivalent to 3 to 5 pm around other unmetric places, while meetings are held right here. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 11. September in the afternoon. If you feel like saying something, it can be heard by the other members present if there are any and if they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always.* Your other, absolutely true, stories are totally welcome too even if they are true.

Caution – should you have a personal desire to remain unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be 404 – not found by Web search engines before becoming found. All you folks staying lost, all is forgiven.

*The above garble you may have just read was relatively unchanged since the report last week because of today's vast number of true firsts, amazing quotes, Stuff of the Week, and other items typical of average club gatherings. Milk!?!

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday, from 15:00 to 17:00.
Next club meeting on Thursday, 11. Septust.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini