"I Didn't Come Here to Not Have
a Good Time!"

photo: l->r, stephan,nelly, dan, marion, antoine

From left: Stephan, Nelly, Dan, Marion and Antoine.

The 'Report' of the 46th Weekly Meeting

Paris:- Thursday, 17. August 2000:- The sky is half blue and the other half is cloudy; the air is 'normal' room temperature, so the day for the club meeting is nearer half full than empty - weatherwise.

I think this calls for one of my louder shirts, one with more primary colors and less gold than last week's 'African' shirt; the one I ended up wearing the rest of the week.

The métro ride to Châtelet is unremarkable. There is no accordionist or other musicians at all and nobody is selling the 'welfare' newspapers. There are no strange or unusual passengers. It's a routine ride because most of the posters are last week's, still unchanged.

On the Rue de Rivoli I remember to look for the 'art squat' building. I don't see it, but when I see thephoto: dan rupert goofy 'art' doorway I've been passing for months, I have the wit to look up. No wonder I didn't see it before - I was too close to it. From across the street there's a fine view of it - the whole building front looks cobwebbed.

Just about everything else on Rivoli and the quays is the same as last week. But when I get to La Corona, a harried Patrick tells me two new members are waiting - before 15:00!

Sporting his Walmart 'Boonie' hat, Dan Rupert joins the club.

Waiting is only one; just offset from the club's central tables. Dan Rupert is waiting for today's club meeting to start and he's already started his waiting with a great big glass of beer.

Almost at once Dan tells me he is retired and that trout fishing takes too much time. "I've got things to do in my life," he says.

He is annoyed about salmon. His wife had some good salmon in Paris, and when they got home she attempted to make it the same way - 20 times. He adds that he is 'working hard' being retired.

He also says his feet are shot. This happened by not walking, before he got to Paris. Here, he is determinedly walking, and he starts right after he gets up at 7:30 and goes out to check the nearest marché to get some fruit and have a café.

"I haven't walked more than a 100 yards - here I walk kilometres every day." Then he shows me his custom-built 1.5-metre-long walking-staff, made out of heavyphoto: beer, vodka Chinese Red Oak, with a hand-loop and an indestructible tip at one end.

He says, "Métro - the best I've ever seen! I haven't had to fight anybody yet. What you do in Paris," he continues, "We see one thing a day. Paris is for loafing around."

The flask - only slightly taller than the half-litre beer glass.

At this point Marion and Stephan Nowak show up with Antoine Browaeys in tow. Antoine is another guy learning how to be in the physics business.

This is something Dan Rupert dropped out of; because he thought it had no future. Okay, this was 30 years ago and he did chemistry instead, which also didn't have a future at the time either.

But before the others arrived, Dan not only showed me his quarter-staff, but showed me his custom, unbreakable vodka flask too. "Sweet red wine with a double shot of Absolut - makes a 'Blue Monday.'"

Even though I have no idea if you can even get 'sweet' red wine in France, 'Blue Monday' becomes the 'Drink of the Week' because Dan recommends it so highly. He can't stand ouzo though, he says.

"I'm bad, okay? But I wouldn't even drink with them ouzo crazies!" We tell him about pastis, but he is convinced this has something illegal in it.

Before the others can order anything, Dan is giving everybody a whiff from the flask, and telling them to order something they can put vodka in. Marion doesn't like the smell - and I presume she knows her schnapps - it smells a bit flowery to me.

At some point, Dan's wife Nelly comes in with about 30 postcards, and sits a bit away from us so she can write messages. Nelly and Dan live some of the time in San Pedrosula in Honduras, so this becomes the 'City of the Week' even if they live in the middle of Ohio sometimes too.

When all our drinks come - my 'orange juice' has ice cubes in it - it's not a regular 'Waiter of the Week' - Dan switches to a small beer, a 'demi.' He tosses a ton of coins on the ticket, decides these aren't enough, and covers the note with a new-looking twenty-dollar bill.

The club's waiter - who is not officially the 'Waiter of the Week' - takes it off to the bar and comes back twenty minutes later, to say the bar will trade 120 francs for it.

Back to fishing. "Canadians have a fault with fishing - they eat them all up." Dan is especially alarmed about how Indians fish in Canada. I saw some of this recently without seeing any fish, so I'm not alarmed. The fish marché isphoto: stephan, quarter staff where to get fish, if you want to eat them, I think.

Dan decides to tell us about the worst drink in the world. He says, "In Belize there were two billboards and one of them said 'Drink Tudor's Milk Stout.'" Two bottles, he says, are more than enough. We are left in the dark about the other billboard.

"In Belize, the mosquitos fly in a zone about 20 metres off the ground, so the bars are above this on the 2nd floor."

The impressive walking-staff is Stephan's shoulder-height.

After the two bottles, when he 'couldn't walk,' he needed to ride his motorcycle up the outside stairs. The local American consul afterwards said that 'he was an example of a bad American.'

The ice cubes have melted in my orange juice. Nelly asks about stamps for her postcards and I tell she can get them from the bar, and the letter-box is right outside the café. She disappears for 45 minutes. I suspect she has been casing Samaritaine.

When Dan says, "I have only three things to say," I get ready to write them down. The first two are unprintable, so here is the third; "I can't put up with hillbillies who sing off-key."

"Maybe some Parisians are hillbillies?" he wonders, adding cryptically, "Don't get up until evening!"

Dan, who was in the army in Asia for a couple of tours before going to chemistry school, is very proud of the his' and hers' boonie hats he and Nelly have. I put on his while Nelly takes a photo of us all.

"I got them at America's department store, Walmart. They are the North Vietnam model, even if they are made in China." I see they are really well-made as well as authentic.

Dan is very certain why he came to Paris. "I didn't come here to not have a good time!" All the same, hephoto: nelly, postcards and Nelly are going to try out Switzerland and Germany too, before coming back to go out to Mont Saint-Michel and the Normandy beaches.

The meeting has run an hour into overtime. Out on the street I catch up to Nelly and Dan as they are going down the stairs of the métro Pont-Neuf entry. Dan shows me the wood-grain of his quarter-staff, again.

Nelly Rupert has dozens of postcards to do. But she listens too.

This has only been the barest outline of what happened and was said at today's meeting. I've had to leave out what Dan said about the other 47 countries he's been in and several of the professions he's had.

When he ran a pharmacy, he mentioned, he preferred having a Glock to an Uzi; and he didn't know which way he was going when he carried cigarettes over the Pyrenees with some Basque folks. He also left the club with the same amount Absolut in his flask as he'd had when he arrived.

All in all, not a bad club meeting, with three new members chalked up. About the 'Quote of the Week' - take your choice.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

For those who may have forgotten what the above may be about, details about the Café Metropole Club in Paris have been moved onto a permanent page which is accessible from each week's main 'contents' page.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page - also accessible here - contains the details of membership, the members' card and the other unofficial non-rules concerning the club and how it operates. If you think you need to know more about the club, please look at this page.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The date for the club's next meeting is Thursday, 24. August. This is Saint-Barthélemy's Day, and it is a historical day in Paris. The café La Corona meeting place will again be open like today - and the time for your club's meeting remains from 15:00 to 17:00 - which is also known as 3 pm to 5 pm.

Come to the next meeting just as you are - especially if you happen to be in Paris.

The café's location remains:

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

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini