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has eluded me since it was printed in 1996, but with it I am armed with lots of true facts even if they are four years out-of-date.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 through some Alps and arrived at the Gare de Lyon, just like in the old days.

Charles really likes Paris, so he doesn't visit it often. With 37 years since his last visit - which was three times in one year - all he wants to do is sit in a café.

Both of the new members like the food, but think it is expensive. Evidently they have anticipated this by assembling a 'war-chest' full of francs, and have carefully made their reservations in advance. Imagine - pouring over guide books for 37 years. It must build up an appetite.

I think they are both a bit stunned to be in Paris, or maybe they had a big lunch. Charles shows mephoto: tartes tatin chaudes his fat Pelikan 800-model pen, which is full of French Waterman ink. When I try it and immediately blot the meeting reports' booklet, he tells me its color is 'Havana.'

'Tartes Tatin Chaudes' are not the 'Food of the Week,' but the sign's color is nearly 'Havana.'

It is darker in color than the café blot I made in the reports booklet during the 11. May session of the Café Metropole Club. A fair amount of time has passed since then without a similar incident, so it becomes this week's 'Blot of the Week.'

Because of the late start and all the 'facts' I found before, the meeting ends some time after its unofficial end. We all go out on La Corona's Quai du Louvre terrace and practice taking photos of each other.

I shoot some 'from the hip' and these later turn out to be on 40-degree angles, but Charles aims carefully and I see his camera's red-dot catch me right on the forehead. Then the new members wander off towards the Pont-Neuf, probably discussing menus.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The date for the club's next meeting is Thursday, 29. June. This will be the twinned Saints-Pierre and Paul's Day in Paris. If you sense it is Thursday and you seem to be at a total loss with what to do with yourself, come to the meeting without fail.

The server-lady Linda Thalman will be acting secretary because I think I will be somewhere over Greenland during the meeting. Linda hasphoto: quai du louvre, leaving meeting all the unofficial 'rules' and the unofficial new members' questionnaire, but I seriously doubt that there will be any meeting report put online on the same day.

Charles says, "One more shot!" But Nicole thinks I already have enough red dots on my forehead.

If you do have the bon chance - 'good luck!' in English - to be in some other paradise, but you do remember it is the day for your club's meeting - wherever you are you can say "It is Café Metropole Club day in Paris again!"

The café La Corona meeting place will again be open on both outside terraces like today - plus all of its inside places - so the time for your club's meeting remains from 15:00 to 17:00 - which is also known as 3 pm to 5 pm, depending on what sort of egg-timer you may have - provided its sand hasn't run out.

Come as you are - especially if you can. If you do not expect to be present you can read the regular - this week's - Monday page for this week's general club's news, which is about nothing I can remember. I might read it again myself.

Monday's 'club news' will be available next week in Metropole's regular edition, pretty much as usual. Then for a couple of weeks afterwards, you will get a holiday from it.

The café's location is still:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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Waldo Bini