"They Gave Each of Us a Franc!"

photo: the club's area of la corona

The club's area of La Corona after 17:00 today.

And Lots of Unanswered Questions

Paris:- Thursday, 11. January 2001:- The odd-even, nice-bad weather pattern broke apart a while ago, giving way to wetter random weather fronts coming from the southwest out of the Atlantic, to produce rainy days every 12 or 21 hours.

These damp or wet days have little effect on Paris - unlike west France which has suffered from considerable flooding, especially in the Bretagne - where flood levels are dropping, just before the next wet front arrives.

In Paris, floods are more of the shopper type, with the beginning of the six-week long winter sales that started off with a boom yesterday.

The Quai du Louvre's sidewalks are glistening when I come carefully along to the club. Berta and Scoop Maginniss are waiting for me in the club's section of the café Corona, andphoto: berta maginniss they shoot all I've written above to smithereens - except for the flooding in Brittany part.

"Wasn't it nice weather yesterday?" Berta asks. To me it was overcast and I gave up on it when the drizzle started to look like it was getting serious.

Berta had good weather yesterday - but I didn't.

But Berta assures me this was not the case as she and Scoop wandered west on the 7th arrondissement's long Rue de Grenelle for some reason or other on Wednesday.

They were also at the Galeries Lafayette for the beginning of the winter sales, and say they were disappointed not to see any riots - unlike the pre-Christmas shopping chaos they saw there.

Of course, last night's TV-news showed me the opposite - without saying exactly where the 'Soldes d'Hiver' video clips of maddened shoppers were filmed. Berta says there were big lines in Passy, waiting to get into the chic sort of boutiques there.

We are all in the same town and obviously out of synchronization. My last try to get in tune is to ask Scoop if he found any nags worth picking in today's races on the Riviera, at Cagnes-sur-Mer.

'No,' he says, he didn't bet on Waterproof Pellini in the 5th race. He filled in the betting tickets and went downstairs to the PMU to play them, but changed his mind because the odds were so poor there was not much to win against a fair amount to lose.

Obviously in no hurry to be on time, Mark Kritz wanders in before the roll is called, and distributes giftsphoto: scoop maginniss like Santa Claus because he is going back to Santa Cruz.

The Maginniss' are going back too, to Aldie, Virginia. For this reason the club talk is less wild than usual. Mark tells us how to find shipping boxes on garbage heaps, and describes a large heap of garbage he saw on the Champs-Elysées.

Scoop changed his mind about the odds on Waterproof Pellini in the 5th.

In passing he also mentions getting his métro ticket checked by controllers there - which is fairly rare. Scoop then shows us his weekly ticket. He has forgotten to write its vital dates on it and left off its Orange card number. This is a serious double-faute! Scoop is unaware he has been riding around lawlessly for weeks.

Back to shipping boxes - getting them from garbage heaps or the post office is so complex that the great idea bubbles up in the others for me to store all of everybody's Christmas purchases in my cave - until next Christmas. I could charge club members a special rate of a dollar per month or something.

This leads Scoop to almost complain, "We come here with questions and leave with more questions than answers."

If I had the club's non-rules handy, I'm sure I could quickly find the section on unansweredphoto: jennifer russo rogers questions, but they aren't handy so I have to leave this sort of question unanswered too. This kind of leaves my personal score for today at 13 to nothing.

If this sounds kind of mopey I guess it is because club members really like being in Paris and they seem to get kind of sober just before they are about to leave. Just as I feel a bit sober, contemplating the coming period of few new members present, which will likely last until about Valentin's Day.

Jennifer is today's only all-new member - signing in here
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