'Sidewalk' Is Not Cricket

photo: group, l->r, karen, peg, jim, charles, heather

From left, Karen DeLaney, Peg and Jim Whitehead,
Charles Eitel and Heather.

The Club's First 'Chips of the Week'

Paris:- Thursday, 26. April 2001:- Today's weather is probably the best of the week. It is not freezing - that is, it is not below 10 degrees - and rain is not forecast for repeating itself at 15-minute intervals like yesterday. No sun is forecast either and it is running true to form.

The result is occasional bursts of rain, occasional lightening of the cloud cover and the rest is in the middle of mediocre. I try to get a couple of photos on the way to the club because for tomorrow worse is expected.

At the club's café La Corona, a group of potential terrassians ['terrassians' - people and their pets who inhabit café terraces] are discussing the terrace's Quai du Louvre potential. That nobody else has seen any 'potential' seems to be swaying their decision, or prolonging their indecision.

Inside the café the mood seems to be medium positive. It is medium full of people taking their time to drink andphoto: karen delaney eat late lunches, and people who have done this earlier are coming in for mid-afternoon pick-us-ups.

For once in quite some time there is no 'monde' waiting for me. But I do not get to enter much more than the meeting number in the - starting today - volume two of the members' booklet, before Karen DeLaney pops up to sign it.

Some members say 'no photos.' Karen said, "Take one - no problem!"

I ask her to wait a minute until I write in the date. When she tells me what it is, I also look at the last name in volume one, so that I can put the member number 219 beside her name.

Karen comes from Rochester, New York, on the recommendation of member number 189, Todd Sanders. While I turn to the 'reports' booklet and forget the meeting number, Peg and Jim Whitehead arrive, from Newport Beach, California. While introductions are made, I re-find that this is meeting 81, or the 30th meeting of the club's second year.

Since this secretarial stuff is really boring the new members ignore it and discuss how they don't read the papers, so they don't know - or care! - how their stocks are doing.

They also order refreshments, with Karen asking the 'Waiter of the Week' Patrick for a Leffe. Karen thinks this is one of the lighter beers, 'with a lemon in it?' - but Jim says it isn't.

"Have you had trouble with waiters?" Karen asks.

According to Jim there are hotel managers in Pigalle who are hard of hearing, and tells a tale of an agile pickpocket working the métro's line one.

He is standing in the métro with three big bags in his arms and feels a third hand go for his wallet, and getphoto: peg whitehead it. Just then the train slides to a stop at Châtelet, and Jim gets out of the wagon right behind the thief.

Peg says she is 'ready to go home' after three weeks, not days, in Paris.

"Hey!" he shouts, "He's got my wallet!" Passengers on the platform turn around and the thief drops the wallet and slips into the crowd. A 'pro,' he doesn't want trouble - from passengers, from the watching video, from the métro's own cops.

Then they tell Karen about the wonderful and inexpensive dinner they had in the Rue Yvonne-le-Tac on Montmartre. Karen tells the Whiteheads and me about the great wine bar she had to leave because of all the smokers in it - Karen is the club's first member to really mention the amount of serious smoke in Paris.

This is when another 'first' happens, in the form of the reappearance of the club's very own original member number one - Heather Stimmler! That's right - the first name in the first members' booklet - dated Thursday, 14. October 1999.

Now that I look at it, I see that I forgot to mention three meetings ago that Gary Martin's member number is two. Sorry about that, Gary!

Heather lives in Antibes on the Riviera now, so I decide it should be the 'City of the Week.' I have been worried about Heather because there have been reports of earthquakes andphoto: jim whitehead rockslides, plus a lot of rain down there during the winter.

"It might have been worse in the dark ages," Heather says locals are saying about the weather on the Côte d'Azur.

You see? Even paradise has its blotches. I'm sure Newport Beach will get another chance at being 'City of the Week,' or 'Marina of the Week,' whichever is more appropriate.

Jim is the first person in the living memory of the club to order a plate of potato chips - also known in Brit-speak as 'crisps.'

Charles 'Lower Taxes' Eitel has arrived and ordered his customary medium-big pot of reddish wine. Since we are talking about Mediterranean-type places, he tells us about Napoléon's flop of a campaign in Egypt.

He doesn't specifically mention that the author of this particular Napoléon biography is British, but British-authored biographies of Napoléon always contain a lot of flop stories, like Waterloo - and forget Austerlitz and the names of other train stations in Paris.

While Heather is telling me about her lawn that 'floated away' during the winter that is still happening, I hear Karen say she only talks about 'stocks she doesn't own.'

Despite Napoléon, there are a lot of British people living on the Riviera, Heather tells me. She says they have lots of local papers in English, but there is radio station down there owned by some outfit in Arkansas or somewhere.

Apparently the radio station said the Riviera was the greatest place in the world, except for all the Parisians who go down there and park on the sidewalks - which is a well-known Parisian habit.

What outraged the British community was the radio's use of the word 'sidewalk.' Apparently it isphoto: heather not cricket to use this word in English. I ask Heather what sidewalks are supposed to be called, but she doesn't know.

Somehow the meeting has become over about this time. Patrick and Monsieur Ferrat are happy, I am glad, the world is okay and it is not raining at the moment. I go past the parrots in the window in the Rue Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, and they give me some good stares - but not saying, "Buy me!" exactly.

Heather is not the first to make a phone 'report' of the club meeting, but the first to do it in a long time.

Back at the office I look up the word 'trottoir.' It says the British equivalent is 'footpath' or 'pavement.' I wonder what the British call the surfaces of roads, and whether 'footpaths' are paved.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

'Unofficial' club 'ex-rules' concerning your Café Metropole Paris Club - as opposed a 'crisps' '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 overlook the one here.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting will be held on Thursday, 3. May, which is a week from today, like most other Thursdays have been up until now since the dawn of time.

If you are in Paris or not it will be the double Saints' day of Phil. and Jacq. Luckily, the following Friday will be just another ordinary Saint-Sylvain's day which was on Thursday last year - just like almost for dozens of centuries.

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

What do club 'rules' say about parrots becoming members? Nothing - there are no club 'rules.'

The club's secretary, which is habitually myself usually in person, will be scribbling some 'report' notes during the coming meeting, but there's no need to pay any attention to this because 'Ed' manages to spell most members' names right, if they've written them correctly.

Dream up a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your own new 'City of the Week' - or even invent any other 'Things of the Week,' if you want to share it, them, with other members - and readers of this online magazine with the club for members.

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de 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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