"Look for Our Photos!"

photo: l->r, cindy, rob, jeanne, gayle, scott, pablo

From left: Cindy, Rob, Jeanne, Gayle, Scott and Pablo - to name but a few.

"Approximately Real Beer"

Paris:- Thursday, 28. December 2000:- For some reason, a good-weather club day follows a crummy-weather ordinary Wednesday - just like last week. If the club had a weatherman inclined to statistics, it might be interesting to learn if club days in Paris have better weather than other days.

If they did, I'd sell Paris the concession for having club days on all the other week days. But the newspapers are saying that 2000 has been the hottest year on record, so Paris might want to skip the offer.

When I arrive at the club's café La Corona, I am surprised to see it is jam-packed with civilians, who probably got rained on enough yesterday. Even the club's section of the 'grande salle' is nearly full and I only manage to occupy two tables right in front of the 'non fumeurs' sign.

Within five minutes of the meeting's begin, there are more new club members present than will fit this tiny bit of real estate, but two more adjoining tables are quickly cleared for club action.

The club welcomes Gayle and Scott Moseley from Washington, DC; who have just got off a jetliner from a wintry New York together with Jeannephoto: jet lag cure glasses and Pablo Perez, also from DC, where it is also sort of wintry. Most of the members of this group have no idea of what sort of club they're joining.

Some of the 'approximately' real beers.

As they are fighting off their extreme jetlag with beers and putting their particulars in the members' booklet, two more new members arrive ten minutes later and occupy half of the secretary's space. The newcomers are Cindy and Rob Walsh, who live in Wales, Massachusetts.

I begin to get the idea there are a couple of dozen other new members waiting in the wings somewhere to make their entrances at ten-minute intervals when the third group of one arrives - non-stop after a 22-hour series of flights from Sterling, Alaska.

Gol-darn! This surely makes Sterling the 'City of the Week,' if for no other reason than Chad Wagner claiming it to be less wintry - other than some thick ice - than the lower 48 - except Hawaii of course.

Chad trumps the first quartet of new members by claiming to have first read Metropole 'a couple of days ago.' Chad has also brought a CD-ROM with some Alaska photos, showing 45 or 68 of very big Wolverine Peak mountains with little snowphoto: chad wagner on them - and some of pipe-laying machines in traffic jams.

"How do you get to the Champs-Elysées?" Pablo wants to know. I tell him to go in the direction of the Corona's bar and keep going until reaching the Arc de Triomphe.

Chad Wagner doesn't mind the lack of ice in Paris.

New members take a pause in arriving while Cindy tells me the reason for the club's popularity. "I told everybody to look for our photos - to see if we arrived okay," she says.

Meanwhile, about the time that Scott and Pablo notice that their rounds of beers cost 16.60 euros, long-time member Stephen Nowak arrives. This week he is a lot happier because he's figured out his DM-Franc problems - which were not caused by Marion, who shows up a long time afterwards.

Almost everybody has decided to drink beer to combat jet-lag or last night's wine-lag. As the only Bavarian beer expert present, Stephen offers his expert opinion of the French beer littering several of the club's tables.

"As a physicist, I'd say it's a good approximation of a real beer," he says. After hearing this good news, everybody orders some more of it - except for some who are switching to café so that they can keep going for the rest of the day, and night.

Either Scott or Pablo are a bit confused with Paris' street layout. "DC is better designed, with its grid and its diagonals," Scott claims.

Apparently the streets there don't have names; they have letters or numbers. When they tell mephoto: greg holt, phyllis rembert there is no 'J Street' between 'I Street' and 'K Street,' then I think Paris is fie with its 5000-odd different street names, some of which change occasionally.

True Manhattanites Phyllis and Greg are looking for Paris dark-to-dawn 'action.'
Continued on page 2...
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