Nearly a 'Louie of the Week'

photo:l->r, charles fremont, nicole martineau

New members, Charles and Nicole, in focus for a change.

Plus Surprise 'Call of the Week'

Paris:- Thursday, 22. June 2000:- Coming out of the métro's hole at Châtelet, I do not find this week's métro paper and when I see the Rue de Rivoli, it is not bathed in bright sunlight. Exactly the same as last week in the same words, in fact.

I'll skip the other things that are the same as last week, except I very cleverly pick up a city booklet called 'Paris In Numbers.' This has eluded me since it was printed in 1996, but with it I am armed with lots of true facts even if they are four years out-of-date.

For example, Paris gets 641 mm of rain a year, which is less than Nice on the Riviera. It rains on fewer days in Nice, but when it rains hard it does it less often in Paris. Paris gets 1156 hours of sunshine less than Nice, but has 50 percent more hotter days over 30 degrees!

Paris' lowest temperature was -23.9 on Wednesday, 10. December 1879 and the maximum amount of rainphoto: club chores in 24 hours fell on Monday, 24. August 1987. Snow was deepest in Paris, at 40 cm, on Saturday, 2. March 1946. Paris' hottest summer was in 1976 with an average temperature of 21.7 C.

I am just learning that half the people in Paris are single when Nicole Martineau and Charles Fremont arrive at about the same time as the 'four-pack' arrived last week.

New members busily filling in their entries in the members' booklet and other activities which look the same.

The first thing I notice is that Charles is not wearing the red shorts he posed in for the Monday, 5. June New Yorker cover. Neither he nor Nicole have yellow t-shirts with "J' 'heart-symbol' Monet" and they don't even look like the couple on the magazine cover.

In fact, they have just come from the Musée d'Orsay, which Charles does not like as much as the old Jeu de Paume which he went through on his last visit, in 1963.

The couple are from Missouri; which makes Webster Groves the 'City of the Week.' For location fans, this is near Saint Louis. Nicole says this is pronounced 'LouiS' and not 'LouiE' like in France, and in the famous rock-and-roll song - not to mention the names of several kings of France.

Nicole, who is not French, says 'Missouri' is pronounced "Missour-aH." by some people there. She also mentions that CBS-TV used Webster Groves as a typical Americanphoto: badger attends by phone suburb in a 1964 documentary and they came back 35 years later to record its changes. There weren't any.

At this point the club's 'Waiter of the Week,' Monsieur Ferrat, breathlessly announces there is a telephone phone call for the club secretary, which is me. This has never happened before.

The phone is saying "Ici Londres; ici Badger calling!"

At the bar I pick up the phone. It is Badger, phoning in his meeting attendance from Maidenhead near London! He can't get 'City of the Week' out of this, but I'll give it 'Phone Call of the Week' without qualms!

However, he cannot sign the members' booklet by phone, so this welcome call is hardly real attendance. Better luck next time, Badger!

Nicole and Charles came to France on the 'Rialto' night train from Venice. They had a whole private suite for themselves that was as big as an upended shoebox, went throug some Alps and arrived at the Gare de Lyon, just like in the old days.

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