'No One At the Club'

photo: remember la corona!

In case you've forgotten, here is what the club's café
still looks like.

Does Not Last Long

Paris:- Thursday, 19. October 2000:- To look at the sky today, you wouldn't think it was pouring buckets yesterday. Last night it poured little stones. At least, this is what it sounded like was falling into my courtyard around midnight.

It is a perfectly natural reason then, for it to clear up; just when club members would prefer to walk around a dry Paris rather than sit for a couple of hours in the club's café.

Regardless of this common sense, I am in the right place at the right time; writing in the right meeting number and the right date into the member's booklet even if I think members should be in the Jardin des Plantes this afternoon - because the life and habits of plants are so much more interesting when no downpour is happening.

I have just time to take out my confidential 'notes' booklet when the first new member shows up, causing me to put it away again without even seeing what it was that I was writing in it the last time I was writing 'confidential' things in it.

Sally Dilgart seems to be a bit worried that 'no one is at the club;' until I tell her she is at it, and poke the members' booklet under her nose. "Somebody besides the club secretary has to come first," I assure her.

Before I can explain that the second new member to show up is today's 'potential new member number two,' Evaphoto: sally dilgart, eva lee Lee does in fact show up, making this explanation unnecessary.

By reading names upsidedown, I manage to introduce Ms. Dilgart to Ms. Lee, and myself to both; and this is when we find out everybody except me is a lawyer.

The club's brand-new lawyer members; Sally, and Eva on the right.

And this is not just any old kind of lawyer - which is not to infer that other club members who are lawyers are the 'any old kinds' - whoever they are; but real-life coincidence has our new club members be - Sally for the Illinois' Cook County public prosecutor and Eva as the public defender for a county in New Jersey.

Instead of sitting on opposite sides of a courtroom, they sit side by side in the club's café room. We've nearly had Chicago as the 'City of the Week' before, so this week's nomination by Eva for New Jersey's Tranquility gets the majority vote for the award.

"Northwestern New Jersey is a well-kept secret," Eva says, adding "Ten years ago, black and white cows outnumbered people."

Both Sally and Eva - who I swear have never met before this meeting - are Paris' food fans. Eva likes winter for its 'wild game; ducks and rabbits,' and "Low air fares."

Eva has 'discovered' Chartier in the Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, "With real waiters!" - but - they both pronounce the Rue de Rivoli's 'Angélina' in the same breath, and nearly also pronounce the 'Pastry of the Day.'

Betty and Jerry Blizin arrive and it is Jerry who interrupts the 'pastry' with the names of his favorite restaurants until Sally and Eva toss up Orangina for the club's 'Drink of All Time,' and thisphoto: pin, la loba is followed by a verbal orgy over the delights of 'Gargantua' - "The Bombé!" and Jerry recaptures the fumble with "The other half is 'garbled!'" - which everybody has heard of except me - so this may not be how it's spelled.

Restaurant names are still being sputtered out - "Have you had enough to eat?" - I wonder if the portions are enough.

Eva's 'La Loba' pin does not represent a typical New Jersey species.

Some comment is made about Halloween's invasion of Paris; which is evident in the club's café. Eva didn't know before that club members exchanged information - and email addresses - which Eva is scribbling on little scraps of yellow paper.

Sally says that her daughter thinks "My mother is an avocado," - which is not actually Spanish for lawyer - or even avocados.

Jerry confirms this is the case in France too, with 'avocats' - which are the same as lawyers. In German, of course, they aren't the same at all.

Somebody starts up the club's 'Animal of the Week' - Sally, I think - which is a feature we've not had before but is long overdue.

'Lizard' immediately springs to mind - mine - but others mention alligators, crocodiles, and Jerry knows of a third kind that has a long snout - or is it a wide one?

Betty, ever practical, says club members can wear Lacoste shirts because they have their little crocodiles. Imagine it - the métro's tunnels full of alligators and crocodiles like the New York sewers - andphoto: halloween decor, corona they are a Paris club's symbol on top of it.

By now Eva is transferring all of her little notes on scraps of yellow paper onto the back of several whole pages of a wad of Metropole Paris print-outs. It is obvious this is a good reason to bring print-outs to Paris with you.

The soothing colors of Halloween afixed to some of La Corona's neo-classical decor.

Jerry has been praising Victor Hugo's house and panning something in the Panthéon, but he isn't all negative and says, "There's some great tombs in it!" Which leads him to mention Picpus, where Lafayette is buried with 'a bunch of royalists.'

Again, I have only managed to capture unrelated snatches of important club conversation today, giving readers and non-present club members only a vague impression of the rarified quality of the club's conversation.

I have also failed to mention that Susan and Doug Fuss arrived some while back. Although they are returning to Savannah for a bit, Doug says he has given up mulling over an offer to inspect oil wells in Lebanon or someplace that is not close to Poland's salt mines.

As usual, during the meeting's overtime half-hour, my notes have pretty well fizzled out. I am not sure, but I think it is Sally who utters the 'Quote of the Week:'

"Why should I care how I look on vacation? None of the people on the street here are going to see me again."

Outside La Corona, the pastry shop 20 metres away is pointed out, and this is where I last see Sally and Eva - standing in its doorway; primed for another Paris food adventure.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Find out about the club's more than year-long history since its historic beginning by consulting the 'All Past Issues' file, which provides links to all past issues with 'Club Reports' plus all other 'past issues.'

Actual real historical details about your Café Metropole Parisphoto: betty, jerry, blizin Club - as opposed to plain nonsense - in Paris, can be found on the 'About the Café Metropole Club page,' which is about your club and is accessible here, and from each issue's 'home' page.

Betty and Jerry Blizin get overtired from an overdose of Orangina.

This 'about' page contains a vague notion about 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 actually need to know, unless you want to impress other Paris travellers who have never heard of it.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The date for the club's next meeting is Thursday, 26. October. In Paris this is Saint-Dimitri's Day - which is unrelated to my Louis XIV frame-restoring neighbor.

All of Thursday 'before the club' remains free for your other vital Paris activities and will be followed by 'after the club,' when you can continue these important tasks.

The café La Corona meeting place will again be open like it is every Thursday - 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 has only about 12 numbers showing on it.

Come to the next meeting during its official hours. If you come at some other time the club's café will still be in operation, but will not feature the unforgettable 'Quotes of the Week' and 'Animals of the Week' that are important features of some club meetings like today's.

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