A Very Quiet Meeting

photo: patrick and kathleen

Patrick talks Kathleen out of plain Suze into
Suze with Cassis.

Follows Last Week's Uproar

Paris:- Thursday, 20. January 2000:- The grey has lifted a bit, to reveal both patches of blue and weak solar rays, which prompts a bus ride to today's club meeting. I do not get a seat on it and wonder whether the métro would have been better. No, weak sun is better than weak underground lights.

The bus is fast too, so I arrive on the Rue de Rivoli with a lot of time to spare - about 20 minutes. I am not taking any 'utility' photos today. The winters sales are on, so this is what I decide to do - get a new coat.

Thousands of others have the same idea; making advances along Rivoli haphazard. Once at the department store, progress is rapid. I zip up to the second floor and start looking for bargains. I can't afford these, so I look for cheap.

I need pockets. I have to look halfway tidy too. I find cheap, pockets, and tidy and then it comes down to color. Five choices take a bit of time. I've got blue on, so it's out. Green in the city is for lost hunters. Dither, dither; choose, pay and go.

This makes me late at the club, but I don't need any 'utility' photos of it either. This is my week 'off.' Inphoto: kathleen bouvier the door, shake the hands; Patrick says members are waiting. Think up excuses.

'Members waiting' are Kathleen Bouvier. She accepts the excuses. I get to admire her hair. She admires mine. We were both at the clip shops yesterday. The latest news from my salon is, not all Claudio's customers are happy.

According the Kathleen, at her hair salon, she is one of the unhappy ones too.

For once, Kathleen in focus, eyes open and unmoving.

For the record, I write 'Kathleen Bouvier' in the charter members' booklet without mentioning 'hair.' For the record, I decide to make the 'City of the Week' Hamburg, but I do not tell present members this because Kathleen has about five other cities in reserve.

I'll tell you right now there is no 'Food of the Week' because nobody has any. I'm pretty sure we've had wine as 'Drink of the Week' before, so it is out. My double-express café is out too, because there's been so much of it, and besides, I've - perhaps contrary to 'rules' - picked the 'City of the Week' unilaterally.

This leaves us with nothing to do but chat. There are very few other people with us in the 'grande salle.' So few, that the Corona's manager tries to become a new charter member. No, I'm just kidding.

But he does come over to ask about the Internet. He has no idea his café has become known around the world on account of the Café Metropole Club. But does it matter? La Corona is on the Quai du Louvre in Paris after all.

Oops. One alert member has pointed out it is 'Le' Corona. Maybe its signs say this; but my French dictionary does not contain the word as a noun or a name.

My Spanish dictionary does though: "corona f. Cerco de ramas, flores o metal - Tonsura de los eclesiásticos, Halo - Porció de plano comprendida entre dosphoto: club group photo today circumferencias concéntricas - Parte de un diente que sobresale de las encias", not to mention the "Corona austral" etc. In short: 'La Corona.'

For once, there is nobody with eyes closed, backs turned or jiggling. Today's club area without its member and 'Ed' the secretary.

Granted - when a new foreign word comes into French usage, it is usually written with the masculine article 'le' - as in 'le weekend' - but as far as I can tell, 'corona' is not a word in French usage - except on the front of the club's café.

As secretary of the club, I therefore declare that if you are in front of a café on the Quai du Louvre which has 'Corona' as part of its name, then it is where the Café Metropole Club holds its meetings, regardless of its 'le' or 'la.'

In club reports like this one, the café will remain named as 'La Corona' - because this is the club's 15th report and it is too late to change my old habits. Caramba!

I will now confess that today's meeting is the club's first without one single new 'real' charter member signing up. The caé's manager doesn't count even if he is getting curious - and I don't know what he'd say if he knew members were being signed up willy-nilly in his 'grande salle.'


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