...Continued from page 1

I mean, if this wasn't done, both men would be getting about 115 percent in the polls now. As impossible as it sounds, this is probably their true score, with Mr. Jospin consistently trailing President Chirac by about eight points.

This is so good that I don't think it is necessary for him to prove he's a solid guy, not even by going around sockless on his holidays.

The Battle for Paris

For those readers who may be keeping score of the RPR party candidates who would like to run for election for mayor of Paris, including the current mayor, there have been some drop-outs.

As of tonight there may be only two members of the RPR party left in the race for nomination as the RPR's official candidate, one of whom is the current mayor.

While the ultimate RPR candidate remains to be chosen or selected or elected, all other political parties seem to have decided on their candidates and these are busily going around shaking hands.

Sports News

I can honestly say I am not aware of any Sports News that was news that happened during the week.

When it comes to winners and losers, only the Cannes Film Festival seemed to have emerged from its usual swamp of dissatisfaction, by choosing what were generally considered to be the best movies for the grand prizes. I know this was not 'Sports,' but there were clear-cut 'winners.'

The server-lady, Linda Thalman, has threatened to act as Metropole's 'special correspondent' for sports results from the Roland Garros tennis thing.

As we say around here, 'Anything for Linda' - so if she can actually send 'in person' reports from the Cadillac Ranch concerning this vital activity, I will consider running her reports here without fiddling them around too much.

French Web Life: Another Week's Short Version

With the discovery of the commercial possibilities of the Web, new-site spotters seem to have lost all interest in many of the interesting less-than-commercial Web sites that used to make the Web a fascinating place to browse.

Meanwhile France has experienced its first boom-to-bust IPO startup-shutdown crash-and-burn. I learned this from TV-news the other night when good old Claude looked seriously into the camera and said 'BooHoo SA' had just folded its tent after blowing 100 million francs into outer cyberspace.

Apparently this was done without the e-Commerce Web site's customers help. They ordered goods from it and they paid for them - just as forecast.

The site's management in turn decided to use the cash flow to buy first-class airline seats and send eachphoto: bikini war bus other messages via Fed-Ex rather than email. Another loss centre was reported to be the darn bother of wrapping the goods and paying La Poste to deliver them.

Even Paris' popular transit authority was dragged into the bikini war.

I assume the entire deal was dreamed up by highly esteemed B-school grads who had started off with a non-fiction B-plan, which they let drift into the pulp fiction area as a result of being overcome by the sight of all the cash rolling in.

If these had been 'little guys' this huge blunder would have tattooed them for life, making them ineligible for jobs plucking chickens in France. But now that we have our 'new economy' too, who knows? Did they have golden parachutes?

This is only worth mentioning because of the glee with which it was reported by the 'old' media, as in " That other new media thing did a whopper of a belly-flop! Ha ha."

A late flash has just landed on the newsdesk here. It claims the 'crash-and-burn' item above concerned a British firm, which is now a former firm. My apologies to any French firms that are in a similar situation, because I did not mean you. This means all references above to 'francs' should be changed to 'quids.'

Paris' Peace Wall, Still

This leaves the URL for Paris' Peace Wall which is still on the Champ de Mars. This 'Mur Pour la Paix' - which is a Dot-Com and not a Dot-Org - continues to survive. I assume this is so because nobody has sent me any dreaded '404' alerts about it. Peace lives on! You can also learn how to read the word 'peace' in 31 languages.

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