'Unmentionable of the Week'

photo: l->r, larry, denise, catharine, cauleen

Meetings are cheerier with members. From left; Larry, Denise, Catharine and Cauleen.

Two More Non-Readers Become Members

Paris:- Thursday, 8. June 2000:- The sun must be doing pretty well in Spain because it has pushed warm air and sunshine all the way up to Paris. Instead of an alarm waking me up this morning, it sounds like the street is being ripped apart with a thousand poorly-oiled claw hammers.

But it is only a city crew removing graffiti from my walls; using a lot of compressed high pressure - which is turning a layer of the stone into fine grit - so it's better that I keep the shutters shut. Otherwise it is a nice day.

At the club's café La Corona, it is even a nicer day. People are laid out like Mayan sun worshipers on the Seine's banks, while the street's trees make La Corona's parasols redundant. A little brightness makes a big change; it almost looks like down south.

I have hardly time to write the meeting number and date into the members' and the club-reports' bookletsphoto: larry, denise when Denise and Larry Wechsler arrive from DC on what Larry says is a 'red-eye.' Two in fact, because they started out from Seattle.

Larry and Denise are jet-lagged and goofy - about becoming parents.

They are hungry and jet-lagged. Denise orders something - which I don't ever find out what it is, so it doesn't become 'Food of the Week.' Larry has a 'croque provençal' which has been 'Food of the Week' before, twice I think - and because I recognize it, it makes it for a third time. This is a good demonstration of how elastic your club's 'rules' can be.

Denise and I ask for orange juice and Larry orders a 'moyen' beer. This was offered by the club's waiter, as a choice between 'petit' and 'moyen.'

In Paris, 'moyen' beers do not exist, officially. There are 'bocks' - which are often served to little old ladies in balloon wine glasses - 'demis' and 'formidables.' When asked, our waiter says there is a 'superior' too - which must be a whole litre.

Denise and Larry apologize for having had a nap before coming to the club. To show that this needs no apology, it becomes the 'Nap of the Week.'

Larry asks me how I got into this racket and I am interrupted halfway through chapter 23 when club member 71 arrives. I think she looks like somebody I've seen before - and I have because it is Catharine Saxberg, who became a member at the club's meeting on 25. May. I am embarrassed.

Catharine is the lady who is already sore at me because I thought she worked for 'Radio Cabs' in Toronto. For this incredible gaff, I callphoto: catharine it the 'Faux-pas of the Week.' Nobody disagrees with this.

For Larry's benefit, if he reads this, the second half of chapter 23 concludes with, 'And then I got online and became the Internet Reporter for Paris.'

Catharine is looking cool, despite having an insane neighbor - who has never met her.

Catharine has a story about a neighbor who was pounding on her door at 01:30 this morning, yelling that she should quit opening and shutting doors, and talking. We all think this is a loony-neighbor story and offer all sorts of silly and ineffective solutions for it.

Denise has already told me she has never read Metropole. When Catharine's friend Cauleen Viscoff arrives, she admits that she has never read Metropole either. Both are now members of the club, and I think this brings the non-reader membership up to about five. A huge number, considering.

Cauleen wants a beer after some serious shopping at Samaritaine a couple of doors away. Without listening too closely to the very extensive list of beers available in La Corona, she orders a 'Corona.'

And, heck! this is what she gets! Nobody has ever had a Corona in La Corona before at a club meeting, so of course it becomes the 'Beer of the Week,' if not of all time.

It is even served in a 'Desperado' glass with a slice of lemon. Somebody says it is a slice of lime. This is not possible because limes do not exist in France - they are 'citron verts' here - greenphoto: croque provencal lemons. The French have no expanation for why they taste like limes. Maybe nobody has noticed.

Continued on page 2...
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