Kathleen's Modest Proposal

photo: the egg presentoir

This is La Corona's doodad, after which you turn right.

News About the 'Café Metropole Club'

Paris:- Saturday, 15. January 2000:- I am beginning to think that all you 'virtual' members must have seriously over-eaten during the past festive season. Your fingers have become too thick to write.

Week after week I have been asking for new ideas in this space, and week after week I all I get are new requests to expertise new 'fake' Utrillo paintings.

Honestly, this has nothing to do with the club. It must be January itself, or the flu epidemic; you seem to be right out of it. I will write to the fellow who wants to know where in Paris to get plaster casts of feet and elbows, but my heart will not be in it because it doesn't seem to be club business.

Meanwhile, new and real charter club members turned up in strength for last Thursday's real club meeting in the real Paris café La Corona. I had mis-matched audio input, leaving mephoto: cafe la corona in a space of 'white' sound, which led me to seriously consider getting a tape-recorder for about eight seconds.

The reason I won't do it is editorial. Like everything else in Paris and in the club's host magazine, Metropole Paris, the club reports are 'impressionistic.'

Inside is a warm club on a gloomy day in Paris.

Sometimes I'm inclined to think the meetings are surrealistic, but this is a disputed movement, and I don't want members breaking into squabbling factions. There could be Dada members and Surrealist members, and we would never get anywhere.

Not that we 'get anywhere' as it is. At least, I don't. Lucky club members obviously get to 'be in' Paris - where I am all the time anyway - so club members are 'getting somewhere.'

I may have neglected to mention that in addition to the club's 'report' booklet, there is also a 'sign-in' booklet for members who make the transition from 'virtual' to real.

In a fit of over-zealous secretary-mentality, I added a questionnaire to the member's booklet. This contains six questions about Paris and three questions about Metropole Paris.

I point this out to each new 'real' member, and then suggest it is unnecessary to answer the questions - according to the ancient traditions of the club - which is opposed to infringements of personal secrecy.

Some new members have taken advantage of this, and have not answered any of the questions. I think you know who you are. Other new members write whole short stories, instead of merely writing 'yes' and 'no.'

Sometimes, members who join up as couples, let one partner answer the questions. This lends an air of mystery to the other partner, whoever it is.

I have just remembered - my memory checks in and out without warning - that charter clubphoto: corona, club decor member Kathleen Bouvier did make a suggestion, in writing, in December. Last Thursday she had the good sense to repeat it, verbally, at the club meeting.

Kathleen's modest proposal is that I make up a list of all club members who have attended at least one meeting at La Corona. The list should contain members' email addresses, so members could keep in touch with each other. She also thinks the club should charge a fee in return for this list.

If you focus on details, some of the club's decor is - pure kitsch.

Frankly, I do not know if this is a good idea or not. For one thing I have told all members who sign the 'members booklet' that their email addresses are confidential.

In order to modify this, I need the permission of all signed-up club members - to permit me to send the list with your names and email addresses to all of the other signed-up members.

I don't need any permission to charge money for this list. But since the club is free even if it has little benefit - other than being free - I don't see how I can justify charging members a fee for a list of members. It would be anti-Café Metropole Club!

But, just for the sake of your consideration, this is what I would put in an individual listing:

Ric Erickson - erickso@worldnet.fr - Paris, France - attended the Café Metropole Club meeting on Thursday, 14. October 1999.

The listing would contain nothing about what you ate or drank - or how much - during a club meeting. It wouldn't mention anything like, "Don't light your thumbs on fire!" or other odd comments members seem prone to make. No ages, no colors of eyes, no distinguishing marks or tatoos. No ranks and no serial numbers.

Examine your heart or hearts and let me know what you think about this proposal. Answers are eagerly awaited - especially from 'real' club members who neglected to include their email addresses with their sign-in.

I swear this is not a ruse to collect these missing email addresses. Club members will receive no spam as a result of being members of the Café Metropole Club in Paris.

What Happened During the Club's Last Meeting?

If you want to know how Bloomfield, New Jersey, got to be 'City of the Week' - wherever it is - last Thursday, you should read the unofficial account of last Thursday's weekly Club meeting - even if you have already read it. Hit the hyperlink lightly to see hat happened.

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