The 'Big Yawn of the Week'

photo: la corona, terrace quai du louvre

Of all the people in the photo, only Patrick the waiter
is a club member.

News About the 'Café Metropole Club'

Paris:- Saturday, 3. June 2000:- Judging from the emails I have received concerning last week's proposal by Jay Barrios to simply call all club members simply 'Members,' I second the motion because the general comment would have been 'no comment' if anybody had bothered to write.

By this, I guess many members were getting very high and wild with dreams of ever more elaborate forms of memberships and outlandish titles, and simply being 'members' has gotten you all in a snit.

Being in a snit is a personal affair, but I don't think being in one is any reason to boycott a club meeting - if this is what happened last Thursday.

For me, it was hard to tell if there was a boycott going on - or by some freak of nature, no Café Metropole Club members happened to be in town.

A belated email did arrive, from a member who was in Paris on Thursday. In it he wrote that he was so confused - is the club's meeting day Thursday or Friday? - it is Thursday!

Actually, the club member didn't know the day of the week he was in town was Thursday; he said, "It didn't feel like Thursday, it felt like Ascension."

I will accept this. It did feel like Ascension on Thursday. All the department stores were open, butphoto: louvre terrace from interior a lot of other things were closed. After the loyal member's gaff, he felt so bad about it that he spent the whole weekend reading all of Metropole's past issues.

Some more non-members on La Corona's terrace on Thursday.

While welcome, I wouldn't suggest doing this because it would be like too much of a 'good thing' - like an all-day lolly-pop. It looks great when you start out but after several hours of it, all you want to do is hope the unlicked part falls off the stick. Any sort of accident causing this will do.

As club secretary I don't want present and future members to worry that your club in Paris is going down the chute. These Ascension Day absence-of-members meetings happen - just as there were meetings in January and March without any members being present - to stir things up with far-fetched 'Things of the Week.'

This week, for this 'Club News' I am facing an empty pot full of ideas too, so without further blah-blah, here is the regular 'boiler-plate' stuff and nonsense:

Background Info About the Club

The Café Metropole Club, is a club for the weekly online Metropole Paris magazine's readers who happen to be in Paris on a Thursday and are in the vicinity of the club's café meeting place at the right time of day.

Readers of the online magazine who have not yet attended a club meeting, can become 'members of the club by taking the trouble to induct themselves into it in the privacy of their own homes.

After readers - with or without being 'members' - have managed to arrive in Paris and arrive at the club at the right time of day on the right day of the week, they can sign the unofficial members' booklet. Generally, this has no effect on your universal rights as human beings.

The club has a long and illustrious history and a great number of 'real' members after 34 whole meetings. As of recently, the club has dispensed with overburdened complicated procedures and overly-bombastic titles. There is no 'club song' for you to learn, for example.

Simplification, I feel, should be the club's goal. Take its 'dress-code' for example. The club's unwritten and unofficial rules state quite clearly that the club has none.

Nevertheless, and despite dozens of photos of members at club meetings, some prospective members have wondered about the informality of the club's café waiters. Let me assure all who are reading this that the café La Corona'sphoto: club tools, booklets waiters are correctly turned out and do not wear jeans while on duty.

Members of course are not waiters - while they are attending club meetings - so it is certainly not necessary to wear formal white jackets with black trousers and bow-ties. In fact, I cannot unrecommend doing this strongly enough!

It says, "A Nous P@ris" and this means you too - illustrious members!

Club meetings are complicated enough with their 'Things of the Week' without members being called away to serve other tables.

In the name of the Révolution, in the spirit of republicanism, and with respect towards constitutional monarchies, I now propose to dispense with all notions of excessive grandeur. Welcome to the club, members, even if your are wearing grease-stiff stand-alone jeans!

The First Annoying Sub-Clause

With last week's abolition of all highfalutin titles, medals, decorations and all the other baggage of whatnots, I suggested we also ban semi-official forms of address such as 'garçon,' 'sir,' 'madame,' 'comrade' and last-but-not-least, 'groupie.'

Nobody has objected, so this proposal is assumed to have everybody's agreement.

The club's secretary is often occupied with bullying and cajoling new members into putting their inscriptions into the members' booklet or making notes of a meeting in progress. Members therefore often simply introduce themselves to each other. There is no 'rule' against doing this.

The 'Thing-of-the-Week' Thing

At Café Metropole Club meetings all members are invited to propose their 'Thing-of-the-Week.' If all present actually hear one of these being uttered, they can propose their own - so we can have multiple choices.

Since the chance possibility of all members actually hearing a 'Thing-of-the-Week' all together at the same time is very remote, anyone who thinks they may have heard one - even if they said it themselves - should bring it to the secretary's attention, if they can get it for a split-second.

If the club's secretary hears one of these and manages to record it - it is seldom put to a vote because members are usually in agreement in advance anyway - unless the secretary hasn't heard it. This opens the door more multiple submissions, and may the best one win!

The Secretary's Impending 'Holiday'

For more than a dozen years I have gone on holidays by slinging some baggage into a car and simply driving away from Paris for a period of time. This year is an exception.

I have to take an airplane to another continent. I have forgotten how complicated - needlessly! - this can be, compared to jumping into a car or getting on a train.

The most complicated part involves travelling to outlandish timezone areas. It seems as if professionals in the travel industry are only vaguely aware of the implications of these. To make matters worse, I must transit through London in the UK, and nobody seems to know where its airports are in relation to Paris.

I have also learned that airlines have only vague notions of 'running on time.' I have been informed that aircraft arriving at airports do not necessarily land immediately, but may fly around in circles for hours to give passengers their proper money's worth of flightime.

Taking all of this into account, it now appears as if my presence at the club meeting on Thursday, 13. July is somewhat more than doubtful. Here then are some meeting dates for you to note:

  • Thursday, 29. June - this meeting's secretary will be the server-lady and club member Linda Thalman.
  • Thursday, 6. July - this meeting's secretary will be the server-lady and club member Linda Thalman again.
  • Thursday,13. July - this meeting's secretary will be Linda Thalman. If I am not present at this meeting, I will be circling lazily over some part of the UK in a long-haul Ford Tri-Motor with no landing priority.

This last date coincides - this is not fiction - with the eve of Bastille Day, and will be the occasion for a lot of party-like activities in Paris - which may be more extreme this year on account of its '2000' character. If you intend to participate be sure to wear sturdy dancing shoes.

I do not want to miss this club meeting nor this evening in Paris, but the matter seems to be completely out of my control. Nor do I wish to miss the biggest picnic in the entire history of the whole world on Friday, 14. July.

Next - Thursday's - club meeting will be held as usual in the same place at the same time, rain or shine.

The Original 'Report' of the Last Meeting

I don't recommend that you read it - there are no new stunning 'Firsts of the Week' - but any particular club meeting only happens once, even if nothing happens at it. See the unofficial original report of last Thursday's weekly Club meeting, here.

The Boilerplate Is Suspended This Week

The club's usual 'boilerplate cop-out' can still be found on the three weeks before last's 'Club News' page.photo: virtual membership card Prospective new members may want to give this a glance before jumping in without looking.

The Café Metropole Club Membership Card

Here is the Café Metropole Club's membership card. This rest of the blah-blah concerning this can still be found on the three weeks before last's 'Club News' page. I can tell you right now that having this card in your possession is not officially necessary.

How To Contact a Club Member

This is how it works: Write to me with the name of the reader or club member you wish to contact. I then write to this reader or club member and ask her or him if they are in agreement or not. On reply, I pass the response back to you. This makes inter-reader or member contacts your decision.

Both reader and member name-and-email lists exist, but are not for any sort of distribution to anybody not involved with Metropole Paris or the Café Metropole Club.

Trivial 'Update' Information

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 8. June, in Paris. This is Saint-Médard Day in Paris but it is not a public holiday. If you are intending to celebrate this day all the same, remember that after subtracting club time, there are still 22 hours left on this day for other celebrations.

For all people who do not celebrate Saint-Médard's Day, the 8th of June is known as the '8th of June Day' and you should do whatever it is that you are required by law or belief to do on this day.

The club's 'report' about the next meeting will be put online as usual at its regular time. This may still be Thursday in your timezone but most likely it will be Friday unless I speed-write. Lacking a license for this, I seldom do it.

What, Where, When, How? What?

photo: location map, la coronaHere are the day, time and location details for you to note:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre, Paris 1.
Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf. Every Thursday at 15:00, until 17:00. In non-continental terms, even in Paris, the times are from 3 pm to 5 pm.

The usual blah-blah about the café La Corona usually found here can still be found on the three weeks before last's 'Club News' page. For those too overstressed to hit the link, the information missing here describes the club's location within the café La Corona. Condensed info: ask at the bar or go to the rear of the large dining room.

See you soon - A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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