...Continued from page 1

This brings us to the vital 'city of the week' portion of the club's meeting. Only Linda, the server-lady, has yet to give us one and thus we have Eugene, Oregon.

But before this can be voted on, David Leslie arrives unexpectedly from Glasgow, Scotland, and it becomes the 'city of the week' by acclamation. Bravo Glasgow! Linda takes this rather well, and we all agree that Eugene, Oregon will get its chance sooner or later.

David, who is a medical practitioner in Glasgow and who knowsphoto: dr david leslie about things, says his wife is in Samaritaine buying the place and orders a dark beer of some sort. Other members decide to have 'hot' wine and Monsieur Ferrat arranges for this.

To pep herself up, Linda orders a 'hot dog.' We unanimously vote this delicacy as 'food of the week' - because, next to croque-monsieurs and onion soup, hot dogs are a staple of Paris' café fare, although you seldom see people eating them.

Taken from under the table, this photo of David Leslie is not over-lit, but fuzzy.

When it comes we all see why not. Although sliced, white-bread is not so rare in Paris anymore, hot dog buns are not found on every street corner.

Every other café's, and La Corona's fallback too, is to slice half a baguette lengthwise. This results in the world's longest hot dog 'bun' so the only thing to do is put a 30-centimetre - on the metric scale - Frankfurter in it.

La Corona being La Corona, as well as host to the Café Metropole Club, outdoes most other cafés by putting two of these monster sausages in its hot dogs, plus it adds a half-kilo of cheese. All of this is grilled, just like a croque-monsieur.

This is too big to eat with ordinary-sized hands, so it is served on a big plate with a stout knife and fork, accompanied by napkins. Linda eats nearly the whole thing.

While doing so, Dana explains the meaning of 's'more' - which is so complicated I can'tphoto: m ferrat & linda remember the details. David, who seems to know quite a bit about medicine, tells us about a Glasgow delicacy - deep-fried Mars bars. He adds that Glasgow is the heart-attack capital of Europe.

M. Ferrat is proud of Linda for nearly eating the whole hot dog.

Then he looks at his watch, thinks about his credit rating for two seconds, and races off to the Samaritaine before his wife can buy the neat Christmas window displays on its Rue de Rivoli side.

The abruptness of David's departure causes Linda to wonder how many parking tickets she may have gotten and I look and see the time is 17:15. Today's club meeting is into overtime.

For members and readers who were concerned, the new 'club' pen from last week is still okay for light writing. I really do miss the old one, because it was really good for putting exclamation marks on the page.

Thanks for all the cards, letters and 'virtual' membership applications you have been sending. These last are not obligatory for joining the club.

All you need do is wave your hand - any one will do - in some area over your head three times, and repeat 'I am a virtual member of the Café Metropole Club in Paris.' One time is enough.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

Next Thursday, 16. December, is a perfectly ordinary Thursday - except for possible late-night shopping - in France. The café La Corona meeting place will be as open as usual, so the time for your club's meeting still is from 15:00 to 17:00. If you like hot dogs, bring a big appetite with you next week. The place is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

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