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photo: club food and drink

Club food without flames and totally ordinary club drinks.

Stretching the Club's So-Called Rules

Paris:- Thursday, 20. April 2000:- Passing out of the pastoral airs of the 14th arrondissement, the city centre seems to be jittery. Easter pilgrims are trying to jam themselves into all of Paris' available space.

Given the coming long weekend - and longer weekends in general due to the 35-hour work week - motorists add to the jitter by all trying to squeeze out of town together - against the tide of tour buses pouring in.

Despite the nervy air, I remember to look for the Hôtel de Ville of the 1st. This has remained longphoto: r c cofer undiscovered, on the same short street as the club's café; but sitting on a previously unknown 'Place du Louvre.' Oh, wonder of a surprise! It is indeed here. I thought it was a church.

I pick up a few local-event brochures and then ritually photograph all the Fiat 500's I can see between the Maire and the café.

Paris enthusiast, R. C. Cofer can't get enough of it.

There are more people than usual outside and inside the café La Corona when I arrive; but no club members. I can't believe there will be no new club members today. I didn't bring anything to read, so I read the menu.

You know the croque-monsieurs the café has? There are actually a variety of them, and one is a 'Le Croque Special.' It is made up of 'two toasts, jambon, fromage' - so far, nothing unusual - but also has 'oeuf and two Frankforts!' This jumbo costs a measly 50 francs.

With the people the café has in it, it smells like everybody is having either a croque-monsieur orphoto: will towler a hot-dog. Is this Easter's smell? Before I can decide, a monsieur is asking the waiter if this is the right place for the club. I forget the smells and try to look alert; like 'Ed.'

This works, and leather-jacketed R. C. Cofer is introducing himself and two close friends he met 10 minutes before; Mr. and Mrs Towler, otherwise known as Anne and Will.

About Metropole? "Don't know yet" is what Will Towler is writing.

Since the café has more customers than usual, the club's tables have to be pushed together, sacks and bags stashed, and R. C. Cofer started in on signing the 'real' members booklet - while I explain to the Towlers what is supposed to be happening here.

About this point, last week's Carmel McKenzie and Alan Savage show up; to interrupt R. C. Cofer explaining where Tampa, Florida is - but he was born in Melbourne, Florida, and this makes a link with the newcomers' other Melbourne in Australia.

Luckily, Anne and Will are passing through Paris on their way to Seattle, WA - from several years' residence in Shanghai, which is in the People's Republic of China.

I consult with Carmel and we decide that this calls for 'elastic' rules, which makes Shanghai the club's 'City of the Week.'

The rules - such as they are - require elasticity because Annephoto: anne towler and Will are not even 'virtual' club members by virtue of reading Metropole; the very first they've heard of it was 10 minutes ago. Thank you, R. C. Cofer!

Then R. C. Cofer, who is the fastest talker south of Brooklyn, who has also just had a 'great lunch' Chez Max, wants to order 'something on fire.' What with the usual orders for three different kinds of café, one sort of beer and one of wine, the poor waiter becomes completely boggled.

Anne Towle wrote the same thing in the Metropole members' booklet.
Continued on page 2...
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