Membership Category Shambles

photo: la corona, rain

Your club's 'Café of the Week' is always La Corona.

News About the 'Café Metropole Club'

Paris:- Saturday, 20. May 2000:- If I wasn't the secretary of the Café Metropole Club already I might really want to join it.

A great many of the two existing categories of club members have expressed their well-considered thoughts on the thorny problem of an additional category for long-time 'virtual' reader-members who are not actual 'real' members - merely because they have been unable to attend a weekly club meeting in Paris.

The following comments were received during the week - presented here in their order of arrival, for no particular reason.

Michael McKinnon wrote:

"To complicate the 'membership' issue further, where do those - like myself - who have not only written to you but been published in your fine magazine belong? Perhaps 'Scribe-member?' Just another nit to pick. Anyway, I'm still planning to be back in Paris in November this year and will become 'real' at that time."

Bonnie wrote:

"Please add my name to your 'Virtual Real Member' or whatever category. I've been reading it for more than a year, and maybe less than two years. I don't have a great memory. "

Paul Babbitt wrote:

"I understand that 'virtual' members are in fact members, often more dedicated than real members - like Janet, a 'real' member, who only reads Metropole Paris if she's in it. But the system you've proposed just seems much too complicated and time consuming.

"Consider this proposal - those 'virtual' members who want some recognition or verification of their status can fill out one of those forms so common on the web. You can even have questions to answer, or not, like in the members' notebook. Everyone who completes and submits this form can get a number, and to avoid the hierarchy problem, the thousands who submit such forms can have their member number randomly assigned.

"In order to increase simplicity, eliminate the 'virtual' andphoto: lum©jeff the 'real' member distinctions - we're all just members, some of whom happened to have attended a meeting. Think about it - what other club reserves a high status for people who've shown up once, had some onion soup, and never returned?

"Perhaps this is all because the club is in Paris; but for a club with no rules, there sure are lots of procedures.

Jeff Thompson added the second item of real artwork to the members' booklet yesterday. His character is called 'Lum the Insatiable!' - Jeff©2000

"I do appreciate having knowing my member number, but I certainly don't think being in Paris on a Thursday should entitle me to any privileges - after all, I was in Paris. Isn't that privilege enough?"

Dana Shaw wrote:

"Regarding Bill Hunter's comments and your attempts to resolve the dilemma - I vote for 'virtually-real.' That seems sufficiently official sounding without being ostentatious or overblown. Besides 'real-virtuality' doesn't make sense."

Jerry Stopher wrote:

"Well, annnnnnywayyy - I don't think I've been a 'virtual' member of the Café Metropole Club for long enough to request one of the new, prestigious, 'Virtual Chief Justice' memberships. But I can suggest that as a name, or perhaps even a name like 'Virtual Commodore.'

"But lo! and behold! I do indeed qualify for a whole 'nother level of virtual membership, that of 'Virtual Contributing Editor!' I think this should be the membership category for those of us who have contributed our wisdom to the magazine - which, by the way - is still not available in my doctor's waiting room.

"So this is my request for the new category of membership that I have now proposed - please list me on the rolls as a 'VCE.'"

Bill Martin wrote:

"What a hoot to have Sayre - population 2900 or less - as city of the week! While the world is getting 'smaller' and more accessible, Sayre is even more of a backwater than it was when I grew up there. However, there is a quiet peacefulness there that is being lost many other places."

The club's secretary sums it up:

Taking last first, I propose to leave Sayre, Oklahoma as a confirmed 'City of the Week' even though it is associated with my mistaken Sweetwater, Oklahoma - which should have been Stillwater, Oklahoma.

At yesterday's club meeting, vigilant reader and 'real' club member Kay Thompson - from Stillwater, Oklahoma - immediately pointed out my gaffe - in a nice way, of course.

To show she wasn't sore, she asked her husband Jeff to draw his 'Lum the Insatiable!' character right in the members' booklet. For artwork signatures, this new addition joins Jerry from Brooklyn's map of Far Rockaway.

While Jeff was doing his drawing, I noticed the café blot that I forgot to mention as 'Blot of the Week' for the club's meeting on Thursday, 11. May. This blot, which stains four pages, was caused by myself - or rather caused by Charter member Mark Kritz' 'Quote of the Week' "The Bucolic Plague" which I may have also forgotten to mention.

Somewhat like Bonnie has written above, "I don't have a great memory." Unlike her, I do have both the Charter members' booklet and the unofficial 'reports' booklet, and I should study them more closely before writing these things.

Now, concerning the membership categories - here is what I have to put on the table for your consideration:

  • 1. 'Virtual Member' - or 'VM' for short
  • 2. 'Virtual Member Real Reader' - or 'VMRR' for short
  • 3. 'Real Member' - or 'RM' for short

Whether readers and/or members wish to add these initials to complete their personal names, is optional.

The issue raised by Michael McKinnon and Jerry Stopher about an additional category for contributors to Metropole Paris falls into an editorial area of the magazine and isphoto: corona beer not related to Café Metropole Club affairs, unofficial rules, optional regulations and tiresome procedures.

'VM's, 'VMRR's and 'RM's may jave forgotten that the club's caf&eacte; has drinks other than café or orange juice - such as French beer.
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