The Club's Café May be Haunted

photo: jeff, kay, linda, semi group

More members today, but less together. A semi-group with Jeff and Kay Thompson and Linda Thalman.

By Sophie Marceau, Wearing a Big Band-Aid

Paris:- Friday, 19. May 2000:- Since last week's monsoon Paris has had an unseasonable heat wave. Parisians were going around gasping and tearing off their clothes - or if they had the sense to wear flimsily correct attire they were really wearing next to no clothes at all.

But alas, it is club day again, so Paris skies do their best to give us all a reminder of last week's spectacular monsoon. This has been prefaced by bitter winds from the northwest, so the club's café is chock-full of sensible civilians - each and every one of them consuming onion soup - except for their kids and pets who are wailing for frites.

The first 'real' Charter member to arrive is last week's Kay Thompson. She has brought her husband Jeff, who survived the software mountain-climbing course somewhere near Toulon and he immediately becomes a 'real' Chartered member in his own right.

One of the club's 'virtual' members has sent the Thompsons a 'Howdy' from Texas - I think - writing, "If youphoto: croque provencal remember, at the next club meeting please tell Kay Thompson that a 'virtual' member not only knows Sweetwater, Oklahoma, but he grew up in the nearby metropolis of Sayre and used to date a girl from Sweetwater."

On a day like today, a croque provençal will cheer up the gloomiest soul.

When I pass this on this glad news, Kay says it is Stillwater, Oklahoma - not Sweetwater - adding, "I think Sweetwater is in Texas somewhere."

I don't have to admit this mistake is my fault but I don't see how I can get out of it when I see that Kay has written 'Stillwater' perfectly correctly in the Charter members' booklet. I guess this leaves Sayre, Oklahoma out on a limb, unless it is in Texas.

And I thought New York was complicated! Anyhow, this is good enough to make 'Flub of the Week,' but it's a bit annoying how quickly everybody 'firsts' and 'seconds' the motion.

The server-lady Linda Thompson drags Bill Dunlap over from where they've been plotting behind some of La Corona's ferns. Both are already signed-up Charter members, so I don't lend either of them the club's official Bic pen.

Kay decides she needs something to eat, something like a croque provençal, whichphoto: doug, jeff, kay, semi group 2 we've - she has, in fact - had as 'Food of the Week' before - or at least that is what it is going to be this week - possibly again.

Susan and Doug Fuss show up, also both Charter members; and then a guy is coming over with a hat I've seen before. Yes! It was 11 months ago on the Champs-Elysées when I was competing in the 'art contest' - so it must be Don Smith from Seattle, Washington.

Here are Doug, Jeff and Kay again; without four other present members.

To sign the Charter members' booklet he wants to borrow the club's only 'euro' pen, but makes do with the Bic after I find it under the croque provençal. All Don writes in the booklet is his name and VisitParis.com. Kay knows all about this.

Meanwhile Linda has decided to have a Gin and Tonic cocktail - on such a miserable day - without the gin. While I am putting down this unusual cocktail as 'Drink of the Week,' the club's waiter, Patrick, is telling us about yesterday's movie business in the café .

"Michel Serrault," he says. Everybody says, 'Who?' "And Sophie Marceau," and everybody goes 'Ah!' "In Belfegore." and I go, 'What? How's it spelled?'

Patrick writes it down in the club's 'report' booklet and I still don't get it; but nearly everybody else does. Apparently this was the name of an egyptian lady mummy who lived across the street in the Louvre, who got tired of it and haunts the place and has her café breaks in La Corona.

Now get this: 'Belfegore' is a re-make of a movie by the same name that had its café scenesphoto: bill, don in La Corona about the time the Romans were still running Paris. Wow! And Patrick says he was in the movie too; this new one - not the original.

Bill Dunlap and Don Smith over on the right, under the hat.

While I am struck dumb by the club's near brush with fame, Kay and Linda are enjoying 'tales of cats' and trading their names around with abandon. This is how cats become the club's 'Animals of the Week,' a singular distinction the club has never bothered to have before.

Linda says her cats have tatoos and passports to the hereafter. This reminds me of Le Parisien's story of the day about mice infesting the Madeleine; especially the two delicatessens there whose names are known to all but I'd rather not mention in case Le Parisien has got it wrong.

There have been some showers inside Kay and Jeff's hotel room and they are wondering if anybody would notice them leaving the café with one of the parasols stacked in a corner in the club's area.

About here, but apropos of what I don't know, Kay inadvertently utters the 'Quote of the Week' by saying "I know everything but I can't remember most of it."

Susan wants to know if we think she can smuggle a 'Smart' convertible into the United States in her carry-on baggage. For readers unfamiliar with European cars, a 'Smart' is an ultra-tiny car made out of Lego parts by the Swatch watch company.

"It's like a street-version of a golf cart," she says, and she has a good point because there are getting to be a lot of them around because two of them easily fit into one parking place.

This is a handy size in Paris, but the problem is thatphoto: susan fuss there aren't so many 'Smarts' around that going around the block less than several times will turn up a free half-parking place in a jiffy - but the day will come. The convertible idea is clever, because it allows large people to exit easily by just stepping out of one through the roof.

Susan Fuss gets a photo all to herself even though she was together with everybody else, when everybody else was together, briefly.

It is suddenly 20 minutes past the unofficial end of the club's time. This means there is no space left for cats' names or Oklahoma tornado tales, nor any for contemplating the likelihood of finding a Perrier parasol at the flea market.

It is only while writing this that I realize that the usual 'City of the Week' has been forgotten. Even though Stillwater was muffed by me, and I have no pet cats here to second the motion, I put up Sayre, Oklahoma for the award.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The date for the club's next 'real' meeting is Thursday, 25. May. If it seems to be Thursday and you are definitely in Paris, come to the meeting because a film crew will not be using the club's café as a location.

But if you don't happen to be in Paris and youphoto: gin tonic sans gin happen to remember it is your club's day - wherever you are you can say "It is Café Metropole Club day in Paris again!"

The café La Corona meeting place will be open on both outsides as usual, plus inside, next Thursday, so the time for your club's meeting remains from 15:00 to 17:00 - which is also known as 3 pm to 5 pm, depending on which sort of digital watch you may have.

However much you may prefer your gin tonics with gin, in Paris they are cheaper without any.

Come however you are, especially if you can. If you do not expect to be present you can read the regular - this week's - Monday page for this week's general club's news. If you can wait a couple of days you can read next week's instead. Or both.

The café's location is still:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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