Is Today's Word 'Fluffenutter' or Not?

photo: kathleen, dana, jan, ed

The camera's self-timer accidently takes
today's group photo.

News from the 'Café Metropole Club'

Paris:- Thursday, 2. December 1999:- What happened during today's club meeting of charter members will come back to me in a minute. To avoid any dead air here, I'll just fill you in on today's weather in Paris.

From the time I went out this morning at 8:15, the weather has been 'normal' for early December in Paris and nowhere near as rosy as predicted by last night's TV-weather news broadcast.

If any club members write to me to ask what the weather will be like on Thursday, 23. March 2000, it will be more or less 'normal' for that day, neither less nor more.

On account of what I did this morning, I am wearing an uncustomary tie and one of my two 'sporty' jackets. The lesser of the two - but since nobody has seen the other one, how can you tell?

No matter. The Café Metropole Club is not formal. I shouldn't even be wearing a tie. It is not a great tiephoto: the bag anyway. It is meant to look like a cheap, fake-wool, knitted tie; which it is. It is a broken-down hack journalist's tie.

Before I even get into the café La Corona I meet charter club member Jan Shaw on the street outside. We are both about two minutes early for the meeting; setting a bad precedent. Inside, all hands are shaken, once.

Jan's nifty bag; not showing all its pockets and zippers.

In the back of the 'grande salle' we toss the tables and chairs around until they are in perfect disorder. At the risk of repeating myself; at 15:00 we are correctly installed in the 'club's' area in the 'grande salle' of the café La Corona.

I take out the charter members' booklet and the 'club' reports booklet and the 'club's' new official pen and write in today's date. On Tuesday, I traded the club's old 'official pen' with the shampoo nifty at the barbershop for a slim one.

When Dana Shaw comes in a couple of minutes later, he and Jan tell me about marshmallow fluff, which they have spotted in Paris.

As I am trying to digest this concept, they add the part about making it into a sandwich with peanut butter. The very idea leaves me speechless, and Dana cleverly uses this split-second in time to ask me if Paris' beggars still have to get licenses.

They tell me new beggars replace old beggars once every three or four métro stations. The Shaws are riding the métro much more often than I am; but when I ride it beggars are like other passengers so I don't count them.

Besides, I usually give something to a beggar on the way to my métro station, so I am sort of coveredphoto: kathleen for the rest of the day. Quite often I am sorry about this when an original beggar shows up later and I have to say, 'I've already given today.'

I do this before getting to the métro because it gives me a chance for a bit of chit-chat. It is nearly impossible to hear anything underground in the métro when it is moving, except beggars, who shout. The métro should hire them to shout the special messages about métro doings because they come through more clearly than the RATP's broadcasting system.

This is charter member Kathleen Bouvier.

Kathleen Bouvier comes in and Jan Shaw shows her the leather bag she bought at the Carré u Temple leather-goods market. It is a nifty bag. Kathleen wants to know if they tried to sell her a coat too.


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