Some Live 'Urban Legends'

photo: group, todd, marion, tim

Todd Sanders, Marion Nowak and Tim Cissell - all
living 'Urban Legends' and in Paris.

Such As 'Marion's Moving Day'

Paris:- Thursday, 15. March 2001:- Yesterday I received an interesting letter from the electricity and gas people, who are known in France as the EDF-GDF, which sounds like a political duo but isn't.

This message insisted that I get up today at 8:00 so that their metre-reader could check out my numbers, to find out how late at night I stay up fooling around. The interesting part was the claim that this has not been done since September 1999.

As it happened, this monsieur - who looked like a hit-man for the meat-packers mafia - didn't show up until 10:30. Telling him I never have to get up in the middle of the night for the water-metre reader, ran off his canvasback like oil off a duck.

"We ain't the same outfit," he said, adding, "Try running your lightbulbs on H20!" I hope I can think up a snappy answer to this before 2003.

This will explain, if an explanation is necessary, why I am so droopy when I get to the club. Slices of sunlight in the café hurt my eyes and I don't want to think about what they will do to today's photos.

Officially, today's meeting is the 24th one of the club's second year. It is the club's 75th meeting too. Thephoto: hat of the week, todd sanders calender says it is the 'Ides of March,' which was explained by a member last week. I don't see any senators with knives around, so I'm not expecting trouble.

The club's first 'Hat of the Week' has Todd Sanders under it.

Tim Cissell, who left early last week, arrives first this week - much more wide-awake than I am. Almost on his heels is Todd Sanders and his hat, from Rochester in New York. Before I forget, this is the 'Hat of the Week' and this is official!

When I tell Todd about the official club pens - and mention I don't want them boosted - Tim says I should let members steal them for 25 cents each. I shouldn't have mentioned it because so few club pens go missing that the total take might amount to $1.25 a year.

For no particular reason, Tim and Todd launch their tales of 'Urban Legends.' One of Tim's is the story about his uncle who sends out 100 emails a day because he's supposed to get a nickel for each of them. This sounds much better that the 25-cent club pen scam.

I am so droopy that I ask if 'Urban Legends' have rural counterparts. Todd says, "'Urban Legends' are custom-made by a 'guy named Kosinski who lives in a remote cabin in the Dakotas." Todd really does say this.

But he has no precise details, such as pinpointing South or North Dakota - so it must be true, like the nickel-per-email thing.

While I am trying to remember if any of the Dakotas can be considered to be 'urban,' Matt Duket arrives from Seattle, with freshly minted 'Urban Legends' about earthquakes.

Apparently several thousand of them were spontaneously created there, in an urban place, within about 4.38 seconds a couple of weeks ago.

Besides having seen, with his very own eyes, brick walls jiggling like jelly, Matt says that a bunch of buildings with brick false-fronts had them fall off. "Billions of dollars in damage," he says.

This just goes to prove that the far west is still true to its heritage, with buildings with movie-set-like false-fronts - but modern, because they are made with bricks instead of cheapo shiplap.

In a brief lull in the conversation long-time member Marion Nowak makes a surprise entrance, endingphoto: blurred laugh of the week, tim cissell all further lulls in conversation.

She's come to town to oversee some burly German movers with rounding up her stuff to truck it home to Cologne where she lives now with Stephen Nowak, who is working today to pay for the movers.

The light-slices have stopped, I shoot, Tim laughs, blurs occur - but see how sharp the background is!

Her 'Urban Legend' is about the mover who ignored the warning not to take the refrigerator down in the flimsy French elevator, and what he said about it later after being stuck in it for 25 minutes.

It took longer than expected to get all the stuff on the road and when Marion had time to think, she remembered it is Thursday, and this means it is 'club day' in Paris, so here she is tucking into a huge salad and telling the rest of us about some other moves she's made.

In one of these she ended up with 40 jars of pre-WWII homemade jam, and in another she got a complete living-room set of '50's furniture. Before you think of contacting her about these valuable antiques - forget it. Germany is full of this stuff, and Marion refuses to consider that it may be a goldmine.

This news - or is it another 'Urban Legend?' - overpowers Matt entirely and he leaves the meeting to get some more of what he calls 'Paris Chaos,' after neatly polishing off a 'Beer of the Week,' which might not have been his first, today.

For being droopy, Todd, who has been up since 07:00, since landing after being awake all night on a transatlantic flight, Todd seems pretty perky.

This is after marching across town for a bateaux-mouches ride because they are every half-hour, to find out the next one would be in ninety minutes.

Tim has a train story too. When coming back from Mont Saint-Michel he and his family had to make a transfer from a fast local train to an even faster TGV, and there was only five minutes to switch from one to the other.

photo: beer of the week, matt duketThe fast local train arrived five and a half minutes late and the mainline TGV - always on time! - was gone, of course.

This blurred-beer 'candid' shot of Matt Duket topped the 'posed' photo of him with his eyes shut.

The other French passengers ganged up on the SNCF station personnel, with the argument that they knew perfectly well the local train was to meet the TGV and it should have waited.

Against this impeccable logic, and to Tim's amazement, the station personnel issued them all first class tickets and put them on the next fast train to get rid of them.

Being droopy myself, I forget all about having my café until 17:00. We natter some more about Tim's experience with doing the music for the 'Wishbone' series on TV - its still running somewhere in the world - and Todd says he'll be back next week, to spread around a few 'Urban Legends' from Lyon.

This is the first time that I've ever had a hint that Lyon may be somewhat like one or the other of the Dakotas.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Historical but no longer 'official' former club 'rules' concerning your Café Metropole Paris Club - as opposed a frankly droopy 'report' like this one - can be found on the 'About the Café Metropole Club page,' which is about your club and has a link on each issue's 'home' page, in case you forget to click on the one here.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

Skip the 'about the club' stuff if you must, but you should read the following about the next Café Metropole Club meeting - it will be held on Thursday, 22. March, which is one week from now, just like every other Thursday.

Regardless of whether you are in Paris or not it will be Sainte-Léa's Day. The following Fridayphoto: salad, food of the week will be just another ordinary Saint-Victorien's day like it was last year even if it wasn't on a Friday.

Marion Nowak's 'Food of the Week' is not a 'mess of potage' but a La Corona salad.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is all the time well as every Thursday. Your club's meeting time will be from 15:00 to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - 'CET' for short and not 'MOPLOT' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm otherwise.

The club's secretary, which is normally myself in person, will be scribbling some 'report' notes during the coming meeting, but pay no attention to this because it is pretty harmless. Speak a 'Quote of the Week' or bring a new 'City of the Week,' or even any other 'Thing of the Week,' if you want to share it, them, with other members - and readers.

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.

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
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Waldo Bini