"Sunburned in Seattle"

photo: 10 person group

This is what a full-member meeting looks like. The audio portion has been rejected by the FCC.

Florida Makes 'Sticky Spot of the Week'

Paris:- Thursday, 12. October 2000:- In case you missed the club's last meeting, you missed the club's first annual birthday. About 16 new and existing members didn't and they didn't eat all of the cake either but I didn't let it go to waste.

Now we move ahead to the club's second year of existence without any regrets about the past, and especially not about abolishing all the rules, both official and unofficial. I bet there are few members alive today who even remember what they were.

The weather in Paris is varied. In my street, when I leave for the club, it is pouring. At the end of the block on the avenue, it is not pouring or even raining. This turns out to be the case on the Rue de Rivoli after the métro ride downtown.

A substitute 'Fiat 500 of the Week' is almost parked in the usual 'Fiat 500 of the Week' parking spot. By 'almost,' it is not parked in the 'no stopping' tow-away zone, but in a totally wild-cat 'no parking anytime-ever' zone. Obviously a graphic demonstration of survival of the fittest!

I arrive in La Corona, which is still the club's café, at five minutes to the hour and nobody is ahead of me. Today's 'Waiter of the Week' Patrick is hurriedly clearing away thephoto: robin, jane hutcheson mess and debris left by famished luncheoners. Crumbs, I sweep onto the floor with the members' booklet.

By the time I have written three-quarters of a universal scheme for local time, members Betty and Jerry Blizin arrive and they assure me they are not the Pappas' by pointing out I am confused because they do live in last week's 'City of the Week,' Tarpon Springs, Florida, with the ex-Greek sponge divers.

Robin and Jane Hutcheson are unaware of Seattle's potential for sunburn.

Next, totally new members arrive from Seattle and turn out to be Jane and Robin Hutcheson. Betty and Jerry say it is hard to change from southern France's climate to Paris' so-called climate, and since the subject is Seattle's weather, Jerry says, "Sunburned in Seattle."

This is in reference to a visit they made there on a day of rare southern France-type weather. Betty is thinking of moving to a new and small town in the midwest that has no weather at all. Nobody has any suggestions, because Betty says it has to have a good international airport.

The Hutchesons have not brought their kids, because they are in their late teens and in school. "How did your kids get so old?" Betty wants to know.

Later, when the Hutchesons say they are having their 25th wedding anniversary in Paris, Betty and I figure out they had their kids when they were about five.

Before Betty can completely hide under her scarf, we are saved from all these 'faux-pas' - is this plural? - by the arrival of 'in good standing' members, Shirley and Walter Pappas.photo: betty blizin

Shirley says, "I don't want to face packing." This is what visitors normally do when leaving Paris, but Betty has a solution for this. "We bring throwaway clothes," she says.

Is Betty hiding behind her disposable scarf, or is it one that can be eaten?

This faultless plan has become unglued, she adds, because of all the food spilled so far, and she has only the throwaway garment she's wearing left. She points out various meals still on it.

After tips about earplugs if you stay in one-star hotels near the TGV tracks in Avignon, and the disadvantage of sitting in row two at the opéra - "We could see the ceiling and the edges of the boards" - and - "The midnight museum shows have fewer heads in front of the pictures!"

Walter interrupts his story about the Canadian coast guard not being willing to give up its only radio frequency so the American coast guard could use it, by saying, "Florida is sticky and hot."

This is what it really says in my notes. Everybody has an opinion about Florida weather, and for once, everybody agrees it is like it is. I can't say because I know nothing about it.

On the radio frequencies, Walter says, "The Canadians weaseled out of it." This gives the club's secretary the chance to correct a member. "Canadians don't weasel, they otter." This is disqualified from being the 'Quote of the Week.'

By now Doug Fuss has arrived. He has just come from watching the World's Jeu de Paume Championships. This is a pre-tennis form of tennis, played with fat squash racquets, and the world championships are in Paris because Paris is the only place left in the world with working Jeu de Paume courts.

There is no doubt about it - Jeu de Paume becomes the 'Game of the Week!' No other game comes anywhere close; none, in fact, are even proposed.

Another of last week's newly signed-up members, Jack Lampert, from Saint-Louis Missouri, arrives. Since he didn't even know about the questionnaire that is not necessary to answer, I ask him to supply some answers for it, and like a proper club member he refuses. "Name, email and serial-number," he says, "Are the club's rules, even if they have been abolished."

He is perfectly right of course, so I tell him not to do it; and he does it - in true club tradition.

About this time, whatever time it is, Peggy Welborn and Marie Corso arrive from Lake Wales, which is also in Florida - which must make Florida the 'State of the Week' by default.

But, some civilians - two ladies and two little boys - have mistakenly parked themselves in the club's area, but out of Patrick's sight-line. They have never seen a menu in French before and the two boys are rapidlyphoto: walt, shirley pappas fading from 'frites'-famine.

With all the La Corona's menus together, there no frites on any of them, and the pizza advertised on the café's windows are such an unorthodox Paris-variety, that I tell them how to get to the nearest McDo's, which is on the Rue de Rivoli.

Walter and Shirley Pappas signed the members' booklet this week too, because they didn't last week.

This is how I neglect to match faces to names for Peggy Welborn and Marie Corso, because I can't remember which of them I accuse of not signing in - only to be told by Marie that Peggy's name had been put on the preceding page, where it proves to be.

I have made so many faux-pas today that it is impossible to decide which one would be suitable for the 'Faux-Pas of the Week' award; but this one only misses 'Faux-Pas of the Year' by a whisker.

In shame all I can do is offer this wonderful quote by Jack; "It's easy to pass as an American." It is 17:30 - 5:30 pm if you are 'passing as an American' - and Jack says he has got to get a chicken, before doing something really important.

Today, your club has had 10 members, all nearly accounted for and present. La Corona's patron came over to see what all the noise was about, plus two other civilians, and he went away with a sore hand from all the handshakes.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

To find out about the club's more than year-long history since its historic beginning, you should consult the 'All Past Issues' file, which provides links to all past issues with 'Club Reports.'

For actual real historical details about your Café Metropole Paris Club - as opposed to plain nonsense - in Paris, please read 'About the Café Metropole Club,' which is about your club and is accessible here, and from each issue's 'contents' page.

This 'about' page contains all the details of the free membership, the free members' card and the other free unofficial non-rules concerning the club and other free but needless information - none of which you really need to know, unless you have the intention of recruiting friends and relatives as fellow members.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The date for the club's next meeting is Thursday, 19. October. In Paris this is Saint-René's Day - which should totally end the confusion I caused by putting in Saint-Wilifried'sphoto: jack lampert, jerry blizin name a week too early, and then having to repeat it last week.

The whole 'before' of the day remains free for other vital Paris activities and will be followed by 'after,' when you can continue these important tasks.

Jack lampert and Jerry Blizin are plotting being club members.

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 if your clock or timepiece has less than 24 hours showing on it.

Come to the next meeting during its official hours. I doubt if you will get a fairer free offer to be elsewhere, but if you do, take it and you'll be sorry you missed the club's next meeting.

The café's location is:

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