The Life of Plants

photo: bistro, au bois d'acacia

Saturday or long weekend? Nearly everthing off the
Rue de Rome was closed.

Bonus Exciting Hog Dog News

Paris:- Sunday, 29. October 2000:- With the sub-features 'Sports News Update' and 'Web Life' already written - somewhere below - I find that there is space left for only 500 words of 'real news.'

But first a word about French news: one of the most obnoxious sources is radio France-Info's all news station which I leave permanently tuned-in because it also acts as my clock-radio, and this function is not at all hindered by my cheap radio's lousy reception.

Lately this national state broadcaster has reduced its credibility by beaming commercials at me. This is a practice which I thought was illegal, and I should have brought up the matter with France's Minister of Culture - and Communications! - when I had the opportunity last week.

However, by getting up early enough to assist with the inauguration of the new pieces of modern sculpture in thephoto: violin 1741 Tuileries last Wednesday, I chanced to hear one of my favorite radio France-Info features, which I had assumed had been suppressed to make airtime available for the commercials.

Seen in a shop in the Rue de Rome; this '1741' violin.

Some of these commercials are, by the way, France-Info's own - advertising that if a listener wants the 'complete' information, it can be had from their Minitel service - only 1.29 francs per minute! - or from their Web site.

Back to France-Info last Wednesday - the reports I thought were suppressed were or are called the 'Life of Plants' and these are very exciting.

While France-Info's other reporters mumble off reams of numbers from the Paris Bourse, "Matra, up 0.07; Printemps; down 0.55; Thompson, down 0.02," for about five minutes without taking a breath, followed by the Web URL for France-Info for slow listeners, the fellow who does the 'Life of Plants' report, does it as if it were a horse race.

To paraphrase: "Your average Bluebell prefers really mucky dirt and the flat light of winter unlike its cousin the Redbell which prefers the first heatwaves of spring which as we all know are not found anywhere in France except southeastern Corsica even though the Redbell is not native to the Ile de Beauté, which does not really concern the vastly hardier Bluebell that is such a pleasure to see in the winter pushing its way up from beneath a cover of crusted snow and of course your heart will leap at this sight and make all the care and tender feeding of it worthwhile."

But the main problem with radio France-Info is that it has very little Paris news. In fact, three-quarters of its so-called news are lists of place-names that are not Paris. I wish their plant guy would do Paris like he does the plants.

Traffic Jam of the Week

Last week's periodic event was nipped in the bud early Wednesday when 200 heavily armed riot police captured five carloads of strikers, preventing 48 of them from interfering with the Minister of Employment, Elizabeth Guigou, who was the Minister of Justice the previous week.

Another 40 cars, attempting to reach Paris from the Hauts-de-Seine department were also stopped. The captured 48 strikers were released after four hours of detention, and they decided to cease their actions in favor of cutting off the industrial heat they produce.

Road Security

Last week, traffic safety authorities launched a campaign to alert drivers to the dangers of driving during the week-long weekend of Toussaint this week by announcing that drivers' licenses would be suspended on the spot for all speeders caught exceeding the speed limits by 40 kph.

TV-news showed non-plused drivers scratching their heads in wonderment at the strangephoto: rue rocher notion of ridiculously low speed limits - that police insisted applied to their very fast cars.

The Rue de Rocher crossing two stories above the Rue de Madrid is one of Europe's stranger intersections.

The news reports also showed an unusual amount of coordination between police helicopters equipped with radios, and police on the ground also equipped with radios - which enabled the non-flying police to flag down speeders without actually seeing them speeding.

In France an action of this type is called 'repression' and is used only reluctantly by the police. On autoroutes, moving police patrols are seldom seen because the idea of dissuasion is a concept only used outside major public buildings such as the Elysée Palace.

Sports News Update: The 'Subway' Series Sob

Today's totally unbiased report is from a Metropole reader, Café Metropole Club member, and nearly-ex Mets fan from Queens:

'Crying in Queens' reports: "Your efforts greatly appreciated but alas did not turn the tide as the Mets were bested by the Yankees and lost the World Series 4 games to 1.

"Simply put, the Mets did not play great baseball. Their pitching was decent but offensively they were weak and their fielding was less than stellar.

"In truth the Yankees were no phenoms themselves but at least they outperformed the Mets.

"Even though the Series wasn't spectacular the spirited atmosphere throughout NYC was big fun while it lasted. Wait until next year!"

Ed's Note - The 'efforts' referred to above 'on my part' consisted of attempting to illegally influence the Mets' chances by means of voodoo. However, the practitioner I contacted declined the job on account of the distance involved, a total lack of knowledge about baseball and ignorance of hot dogs - the game fans' food of choice.

Since the hot dogs offeredin the Café Metropole Club's café La Corona are unlike anything to be offered in New York City, I took the trouble to enquire about the current level of quality at Nathan's. Actually, I asked if Nathan's made 'plain' hot dogs. The reply:

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