Frontal Pratfall

photo: expo, monnaie de paris

Today's solo photo of the cause of the secretary's downfall.

And Greetings from Tranquility, N.J.

Paris:- Thursday, 30. November 2000:- Paris' five-day November heat wave is coming to an end softly, with enough warning to put away our flowered shirts and smoked-glass shades. The sky is grey but it is a warmish grey.

On the way to today's club meeting I am working a little harder than usual. The Christmas program is about to appear in Metropole, and it needs its Christmas photos.

Samaritaine has its Christmas windows - located between the street stalls on the Rue de Rivoli - and others are not finished yet.

Samaritaine's smallish windows require close-up viewing - but always leave enough space for kids to get right in front. I jostle with stall browsers, bigger window fans and Rivoli pedestrians - to get photos to go with the next issue's seasonal program pages.

Yesterday I saw the BHV and it appeared to have removed some of its stalls to open spaces for a few windows, which were in the process of receiving some decoration for the season.

I was in the area to see the giant Christmas tree in front of the Hôtel de Ville. It was not present. Thephoto: more beaujolais nouveau space was being prepared for the skating rink instead. It wasn't in front of Notre Dame either. Where is that tree?

Some of the not-so-rare leftover Beaujolais Nouveau, is the club's 'Drink of the Week.'

In the same order of twirling my head around like a lighthouse beacon, I spot a huge banner-poster hanging across the Seine, from the front of the Hôtel des Monnaies. A quick glance to the west shows all traffic halted at the Amiral Coligny intersection, so I trot across the briefly empty Quai du Louvre roadway.

The white line on the road surface, dividing the bus lane from all other traffic turns out not to be flat, but a hump I trip over - to head for the curb nose-first. Part of my landing-gear stops this dive, but wrecks it somewhat.

I have done a frontal pratfall to myself. It doesn't feel good. Besides hurting, it feels stupid. Felled by a lateral speed-bump for trotting too fast!

Before the buses, taxis, cars, motorcycles and speedy trucks arrive, I stagger up to the quay wall - one leg still works - and shoot the banner-poster across the river even if it is still too far away. This proves the camera still works too.

After hobbling up to the nearest far-away crosswalk and hobbling across it to La Corona, the big news of the week in the café is that a letter has come for the club - from Tranquility, New Jersey.

Also already in attendance - my hobbling has caused some tardiness - are Marilyn Burke and Charles Eitel. At first I think they are going to call an ambulance when they see the faces I make as I try to sit down - but instead, I get tips for miracle creams to wipe on that will make shattered knees whole again in a twinkle.

Charles keeps telling my to go downstairs and wash my hands as I enter today's vital texts into the members' booklet and the reports' booklet.

My hands aren't all that dirty but Charles insists that thousands of dogs have used the place where I went down. I really doubt it, but eventually do go downstairs to see how bad the knee looks. It doesn't look as if it was shattered by the Quai du Louvre, but going back upstairs is another story.

While I was in the depths Monsieur Ferrat has brought a whole bottle of Beaujolais Nouveauphoto: marilyn burke, charles eitel and three glasses for the entertainment of the two club members. Members may be only two today, but they intend to be lively, unlike the club's secretary.

Marilyn Burke shares a three- quarter-litre cocktail with Charles Eitel today.

Marilyn and Charles both live in Paris' 16th arrondissement, so this is the nearest thing we can get to a 'City of the Week.' Charles did a round-trip to Tampa in Florida since his last club meeting three weeks ago, but didn't get into any ballot counting there.

Marilyn moved apartments - since the last meeting she attended? - and says she has been having a lot of fun in the BHV department store's basement hardware heaven.

The two members talk about the wonders of shopping at, as Marilyn says, "Lumberama," which turns out not be in New Jersey, but is our own beloved 'Castorama,' which is named after the busy type of beaver. Charles knows this place well too.

In some of these self-service places the service isn't too good sometimes, they both say. At other times, the cash ladies will stop what they are doing to carefully put cellotape on customer's plastic cards' magnetic strips, in order to make them function.

Actually the two members make many interesting statements but my brain is not running on all cylinders. I hear Charles say he has taught his telephone answering machine to say, "Leave a message in English." He says this deters most 'spam' phone calls.

The club's area this week is the same as last week's. Near the end of today's meeting the people in the booth opposite us have ordered enough Irish Coffees for two booths, and this seems to be correct - one group of people are sitting in two booths.

This kind of weird social behavior probably goes on all the time and is never noticed because the club is slightly removed, in its own wholephoto: by eva lee, photo of ed on 19 oct end-corner of the café.

"I'm going to have Irish Coffee next week," Marilyn says. For myself, I am not opposed to a club member doing this, but to me it looks as if Irish Coffee glasses aren't as big as they used to be.

At some point while not writing these notes very well, I get up to take the week's photos. This isn't a great idea, so I don't overdo it.

Whole weeks before I became a stupidity victim. Photo by Eva Lee©2000

Charles helps out by taking a photo of Marilyn and me while I take one of him and his brave little flash blasting us. This is, of course, nowhere to be seen in my photo. Those flashes are ultra-quick.

But I case I got it, the caption would have been, 'Charles takes photo of stupidity victim.'

Five o'clock hasn't taken as long to come as I feared it might. Getting from the café to go the métro at Châtelet takes as long as it takes and so does the ride, and getting out of the métro at my station is not as sprightly as usual.

In fact, instead of going to my regular café for a bracing shot, I go to the closest one which is about three metres from the métro's exit. I have a nice warm jolt, before setting off to the pharmacy to get some 'wonder' cream.

I almost forgot. The envelope from Tranquility, New Jersey contained a photo shot by Eva Lee, during her attendance at the club's meeting on 19. October. Sigrid from Flensburg is in the photo too, with today's Marilyn, but Sigrid didn't want her photo published.

All you get, therefore, is the club's secretary - looking hungover as usual - back in the days when he wasn't suffering from terminal stupidity.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

True facts about your Café Metropole Paris Club in Paris can be found on the 'About the Café Metropole Club page' rather than vague rumors.

This 'about' page contains certain fuzzy but fundamental facts concerning the free club, which anybody can join. You don't actually need to know any of the club's so-called 'rules', unless you wantphoto: club envelope to know the true details about being a member of the only 'real' Internet club in the world for readers of Metropole Paris which is also free.

Straught from Tranquility, an envelope-shaped map of New Jersey.

By hunting around in the 'All Past Issues' file you can also find out all about this club's history. A bit more than a year's worth of past issues contain 'Updates' of club reports plus hundreds of other unrelated articles and posters and cartoons.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The club's next meeting will be on Thursday, 7. December. If you are in Paris Beaujolais Nouveau Day will be long gone. Instead it will merely be Saint-Ambroise's Day, which will be followed by Friday, also as usual.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open just as it is every Thursday of the year. The time for your club's meeting will continue to be from 15:00 to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - 'CET' for short - which is also known as 3 pm to 5 pm elsewhere.

Come to the next meeting during its official sub-time zone of the day. All of the rest of Thursday 'before the club' meeting remains available for your other important Paris activities concerning shopping or sightseeing and will be followed by 'after the club,' when these vital activities can be continued.

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Pont-Neuf or Châtelet. Important note: the handy métro station Louvre-Rivoli is closed until Wednesday, 13. December.

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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