Real Farmers Become Real Members

photo: judging ring, salon de l'agriculture

Another meeting; going on at Paris-Expo yesterday.

Theme of the Week: 'Lots of Good Food!'

Paris:- Thursday, 2. March 2000:- The other day, while eating breakfast and not listening to radio France-Info's report about the 'life of plants' - which is reported like the crucial stage of a horse race - I got a brilliant idea for a new feature to add to Metropole.

That was the other day. Today I remember I've forgotten it when is too late to do it. Darn! I am preoccupied with Paris' current beautiful cow and good food show.

Your club has a relationship to this because some 'virtual' members are farmers, and they are likely to turn up at the club meeting today. Paris is full of farmers and good food fans and their groupies.

A 'real' charter club member has suggested I think up an agenda - ofphoto: chantal about 10 Paris topics - before each meeting. But just getting to the weekly meeting and being the club's half-baked secretary has already got me beyond my level of competence.

All the same, I have three topics for the farmers - because 'good food' is on everybody's minds these days. This is how I forget the other idea.

New charter member Chantal Leygonie says she likes walking in Paris.

Allan has arrived before me. He tells me about how to be a club member - of other clubs - without actually attending any meetings. After 58 minutes, I note but do not write down that we are the only members present. This doesn't look good.

At 59 minutes into today's meeting the situation changes radically with the arrival of Kathleen and Chantal Leygonie. This is also when Patrick the club's waiter remembers he's forgotten to bring Allan a Bière de Mars - which is another grand feature of Paris that pops up around the time of the Salon de l'Agriculture.

Chantal is a Parisian. She was mentioned in Metropole before the club started - on the night when the statue of Liberty was re-illuminated after returning to Paris following a long holiday in Tokyo Bay. Chantal's husband did the laser light work on that job, and Kathleen is a laser-lady too.

We are getting cozy with all the drinks in place when there is a bit of an uproar in the café, caused by the arrival of the farmers.

They have been by the café before today, so the patron is pretty excited that these guys - thesephoto: edgar farmers from Canada! - have come back - to the Café Metropole Club, which is having its meeting in the rear of his café. They must have made a big impression the first time they came through.

Actually, Edgar Ladouceur, is a long-time Metropole reader and frequent correspondent, who lives in Spencerville, Ontario - and he's been warning me about becoming a 'real' charter member for some time.

Edgar Ladouceur switched from 'virtual' to 'real' at today's club meeting.

With him are Robert Passmore, a real 'bio' farmer from St. Marys, also in Ontario; and Edgar's brother-in-law, Guillaume 'Bill' Richardson, who is also a farmer, from someplace in Miami, Florida, instead of Canada.

They had pâté for lunch, which went into overtime, and before that, they had cassoulet. For the uninitiated, cassoulet is a dish from the south of France, of which Heinz' 57 varieties of wieners and beans is a ghost of a replica.

Cassoulet is often distributed in large cans or sealed glass pots, but since it contains mutton, pork, goose and other heavy-duty ingredients, it makes the Heinz' version seem like tasteless diet wafers.

Why, I want to know, do farmers fly across the Atlantic to Paris for the Salon de l'Agriculture?

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