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 what happened.

If you do take the trouble to read the 'report' please don't write to ask me why Ira Poretsky said "Don't light your thumbs on fire!" I heard it when my right-side audio receptor clicked in for a split second, just before the political discussion started.

The Café Metropole Club Membership Card

Your club in Paris has a color membership card in an otherwise black and white issue this week because it is vitally important for potential members to have some tangible evidence of membership, for the period in which they are 'virtual' members.

Once you have signed the 'members booklet' in person at a weekly meeting of the Café Metropolephoto: virtual membership card Club in the café La Corona, it is no longer vitally necessary to have a membership card, in color or otherwise, but it is recommended in case you get caught up in a routine round-up of 'all the usual suspects.'

Just clip out the club's official membership card and add your own name.

The only tangible thing of any kind about the club is this card, and it almost isn't real. When it was first displayed here, I expected that aspiring members would simply clip it off their screens. Other members, who may have tried this, have told me it is more sensible to print it instead.

You can come to the club meetings without this card. Other members do it all the time. Let me just point out that the possession of the membership card is not at all obligatory or necessary, unless you are affected by the 'all the usual suspects' situation, mentioned above.

If you want to carry the membership card around with you - perhaps to prove that you belong to an exclusive* club in Paris - you will have to make a print of it. I'm afraid this has to be a 'rule.' Carrying the card on your person 'virtually' will not work.

However, 'virtual' membership is not only permitted, but encouraged - no one is excluded from membership by failure to be in Paris. The ritual for becoming a member in the privacy of your own home is simple:- Just repeat "I am a member" three times, while twirling your left hand around in the vicinity of your overhead.

*'Exclusive' in this sense means that it is the only Café Metropole Club in Paris that accepts all sorts of people as members. Any other Café Metropole Clubs in Paris that claim to be real are fakes.

The Whole History of the Café Metropole Club

With its 14th meeting behind it, the 'Whole History' of the Café Metropole Club has ceased to exist. Ancient versions of its 'History' do remain online - written in illegible Gothic script - somewhere in ' All Past Issues,' where they are now covered with mouldy bookworms.

The Café Metropole Club Is Good-Value For You

Your 'Club' is outstanding value for what it costs even though it has no actual real, pretended or 'virtual' benefits, except for being absolutely free.

Its single purpose is to offer an opportunity for the readers of Metropole to meet its 'Ed' and each other at its weekly meetings - or see him wondering whether to go outside and look for his door key, if you decide to just peek in the window of the club's café.

Important PR Information

The will be no regular edition of Metropole Paris next Monday. Club meetings will be held as usual on Thursday, both on this 20. January and the following 27. January. The club 'reports' for these two meetings will be put online as usual at their regular times, which may be Thursday in your time zone.

For some weeks now I have been saying that the reading the club's online magazine, 'Metropole Paris' is not necessary. This really only applies to next Monday's edition, which will not be.

Be darn sure to read every page of Metropole every Monday - new issue or not - and especially the two next Thursdays for the latest news of the club's latest meeting..

photo: location map, la coronaPractical Information

Here are the day, time and location details for you to note:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf
Every Thursday at 15:00, until 17:00.

The club's meetings are held at the far end of the La Corona's big 'salle,' where there is little danger of being run over by the traffic on the Quai du Louvre, which should be somewhat less now that the Seine's flood has receded, but is always heavy around the club's closing time of 17:00.

La Corona also has a small 'salle' beside the bar. There is a small terrace on the Rue de l'Amiral Coligny side, which faces west; and a big terrace on the Quai de Louvre side, which faces south. The Club does not have its meetings in either 'small' part.

If you are unfamiliar with cafés, bars or troquets in Paris, La Corona's has a zinc top and a sleek beer dispensing thingee with six nozzles, not all of which are for beer. Near the cash register, you *may* see a little wire stand holding hard-boiled eggs. Go left past this thing - if it is there - and turn right to find the 'club.'

If this no-fault scheme fails, simply ask anybody standing behind the bar - in any language that suits you - 'Où est le club, s'il vous plaît?' ['Club' is still pronounced 'cloob.']

See you soon - A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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