'No Ice In Paris' Is Not True

photo: club group on corona terrace

New members at today's meeting brave Paris' climate
for their 'Portrait of the Week.'

If You Can't Find Any, Use Cola Instead

Paris:- Thursday, 3. May 2001:- I couldn't figure out what the noise was when I woke up. It went on for a time and I finally figured out it was thunder. I was certain about this on the second big roll of it. It sounded loud and close. It went on for a long time. It wasn't just a hit-and-run Kaboom.

From my kitchen I finally heard the rain too. It sounded like somebody was shooting metal pellets from the roof into the courtyard - bigger ones than the usual frozen-peas. Later the radio news said - I don't remember exactly, but I wonder if big arks are hard to build.

By the time to set out for the club arrives the sun is making a serious effort to pierce the clouds. I don'tphoto: ed hawco trust it and take my 'Belmondo' cap anyway. On the avenue the sidewalk is mostly dry and it is the same on Rivoli.

The Seine has risen again so the traffic is flowing erratically along its alternate route on the Quai du Louvre. The club's café, La Corona, isn't washed away. Customers are avoiding its terrace just in case, though.

Ed Hawco brings welcome and rare 'news' from Montréal in Canada.

I find I have to try to get to the club before 15:00 so that I can set up the members' and the 'reports' booklets with their meeting numbers and date. This is not complete at 14:57 when Ed Hawco shows up, half-fresh from a nap in his hotel and arriving at Roissy this morning after a flight from Montréal.

Not all jet-lagged members get to take naps before coming to the club. Since Ed has been clever enough to do this I think Montréal should be the 'City of the Week,' without even waiting to find out if somebody isn't going to show up from Havana.

Ed says, "I even slept on the plane and I've never done this before."

He also says it was pretty full and it had babies too - so his sleeping on it must have had something tophoto: karen morrow do with it being an Air France flight. I forget to ask him if the in-flight movie had subtitles.

Actually I don't get a chance to ask this because Charles Eitel comes in and tells us about the morning's wonderfully loud and very wet storm. The thunder went on and on he says, and his coat is still soaked.

Karen Morrow says Paris is a great place for 'not working.'

To keep track of things, I often note the arrival time of members, but I see I've neglected to do this. Thus I think it is Bonnie Blythe - who did not come next - who says, apropos of 'jet-lag,' "I went straight to the Café de la Flore right off the plane. The café was good. Nobody noticed I was right out of it."

While I'm being mixed up here, I'll just mention that Monsieur Ferrat is 'Waiter of the Week' again. Mary and Charlie Copeland have arrived from University Park in Maryland, which is close to Washington. They have traded their house there for an apartment in Levallois. This is their first visit to Paris.

Meanwhile Karen and Bill Morrow have been sitting at another table - in the club's area of La Corona - having a bite to eat. When they finish it they drop their civilian identities and join the club. They are from Middleburg, Vermont.

I think this is everybody. What have I forgotten? Oh yes - Bonnie is fromphoto: bill morrow Portland, Maine, which is near Vermont I think. It is up north somewhere without being in Canada exactly.

Oh golly! I see I've forgotten to mention that last week's new members, Peg and Jim Whitehead, wrote in the member's booklet that their favorite activity in Paris was 'shopping at Tati.' Overlooking an item like this amounts to a serious 'faute grave.'

On his first trip to Paris, Bill Morrow finds it a good place 'not to work' too.

Charles orders a big pot of red wine after he tells me his wife is mutating him to New Jersey, after I suggest he order a big pot of red wine to help being brave about it.

He is the club's 'Mr. Sunny' and when he's had a few big restorative gulps he remembers that he can 'eat meat again and have barbecues.' "Even in Jersey," he adds thoughtfully.

As today's unofficial weatherman he also knows 'Paris has 162 days of rain a year,' but since he doesn't listen to Radio France-Info he doesn't know that we've already had 50 of them since the beginning of March.

I'll just skip the parts about 'Mad Cow Disease' in France because Ed Hawco has 'news' of Canada, which none of us get to hear often because CNN canceled its contract to cover Canada because nothing much exciting happens there.

This doesn't mean Ed is a rah-rah Canadian. We have to ask him what is 'going on up there.' Apparently, while Charlesphoto: mary copeland was sending in his mail-in vote to Florida for 'lower taxes,' Canadians quietly re-elected Jean Chrétien. Ed writes the name on a beer-mat and I write it down wrong, twice - so it may not be exactly correct here.

Next time she sprains her ankle, Mary Copeland will ask for a pastis.
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