'Bump' of the Week

photo: l->r, doug, linda, christina, elizabeth, roberta, debbie, michel, billy

Today's under-cover, everybody-showing, 'Group Photo
of the Week.'

"What Would You Know?"

Paris:- Thursday, 12. July 2001:- You would think the weather would know it is the day before the eve of Bastille Day and would be getting itself ready to be fine for France's grand and annual 'Fête Nationale,' but it is doing no such thing.

On the way to the métro for the ride down to Châtelet I get through local drizzle without a scratch. But riders getting on at later stops have to sluice the water off their glasses before they can see the métro tunnel's colorful billboards.

Rain is falling steadily on the Rue de Rivoli and it is just as serious near Pont Neuf and the Quai du Louvre sidewalk glistens with puddles and ripples with the wavy, dark reflections following strollers who are carrying the rainy day versions of parasols.

The reason the sidewalk has been almost deserted becomes apparent inside the club's café, La Corona. Except for one table and its two chairs, the club's whole area is filled with civilians - many of whom are eating great, steaming bowls of onion soup or have heaping plates of frites.

Actually, it looks like each of the twenty people nearby have ordered twenty different things from La Corona's menu. I cannot remember the last time I saw so much being eaten by so many here.

New member Roberta Morris from Dallas, Texas squishes to a stop in front of me; but she is closely following byphoto: rain, quai du louvre Michael McKinnon and Billy Chan from Pomona, California - meaning we have to switch to a salt-strewn table for four, just vacated by well-fed but un-member visitors.

The weather seems to be unaware that tomorrow is the eve of Bastille Day - as well as being in July.

It is only about five minutes later when Patrick - this week's 'Waiter of the Week' - signals that four tables are now ready for club use, and we all pick ourselves and everything else up, and move back to the club's traditional tables, which have had the salt and bread crumbs swept from them.

While Michael it is telling me it is Billy's birthday today - the club's first 'Birthday of the Week,' if I remember the statistics correctly - Roberta says, "This place reminds me of a diner. They should call it 'Le Diner La Corona.'"

Then she tells me how long she has been in Paris - 29 1/2 years - but this is because she is trying to guess Billy's age, and she says, "Those sandwiches look good. Where's a menu?"

Michael, who has been reading Metropole since at least 1997, tells me he saw a vacant parking spot, for 'two minutes.' "It was in the 13th," he adds.

Roberta has a reason for not wanting an all-day onion soup. She has a refrigerator where she's living and she says 'things go bad in it fast,' because 'there's no preservatives.'

While my attention is elsewhere, she chooses the simplest sandwich on the menu - out of 37 choices - and has the French café staple of ham and cheese 'in a baguette.' This reminds somebody else of 'Adam and Eve On a Raft' and this delicacy is explained to me so that my wealth of knowledge will grow a bit bigger.

'Elsewhere' is focused on the arrival of new members Debbie and Elizabeth Foster from El Dorado Hills, California. Elizabethphoto: sandwich of the week, roberta says she likes sandwiches in Paris but her mother thinks Paris' 'cops on skates' are more interesting.

This meeting is turning out not to be like the last two and my reporting pen is travelling across the page at a furious pace, when near-regular member Doug Fuss arrives in coincidence with the server-lady, Linda Thalman, who is not dry.

Roberta shows the proper way to eat the French staple of a ham-and-cheese sandwich. Teeth are handier than a knife and fork.

Savannah's weather was hot and humid, Doug says, so he decided to try Paris' cool and humid version for a while. He also notes that one can tell it is serious rain because drivers in Paris have their windshield wipers set to 'on' instead of 'occasionally on.'

While I am taking an out-of-focus photo of Michael's Café Metropole Club membership card, Patrick the waiter returns to tell us somebody will have to go to the next-door church - Saint-Germain L'Auxerrois - to get a candle for Billy, because the café has none.

It is either about this time, or earlier, that Christina Witberger arrives from Takoma Park, Maryland. Christina is in Paris for everything remotely connected with Frédéric Chopin and thinks Paris is selling Chopin short by not having a museum for him.

The lack-of-candle oversight is overwhelmed by Linda hauling out the mini-toothpaste tube and the travelling toothbrush her dentist has given her. Normally, the only thing one gets from dentists in France is huge bills and invitations to 'come back sooner than last time.'

These items are lined up for their 'Toothpaste of the Week' photo - in focus - and their 'Toothbrush of the Week On Top of a Glass of Vin Rouge' photo - out-of-focus. With Billy's birthday, these items are solid club 'firsts,' but the out-of-focus photos do not qualify.

This reminds me it is 'Group Photo of the Week' time and out on the café's terrace we go, with all of the members standing under the awning, while I take up a shooters' position in the pouring rain.

One of these 'positions' on the sidewalk causes a passing scooter driver to hit an obstacle - me - causing yet another weird photo. The scamp didn't even ding his warning bell! To be safe - and dryer - I getphoto: toothpaste, brush of the week under the awning for a back-up photo, and this is the one at the top of this page.

Back in the dry, several members try to think up likely locations where Chopin may indeed be found. "You live here - what would you know?" is Christina's estimation of my feeble efforts. This is so just, it becomes the 'Quote of the Week,' along with El Dorado Hills as the 'City of the Week.'

Linda is set - with a balloon of rouge. The mini-toothbrush and toothpaste are not strictly necessary.

It turns out that Christina will be satisfied with seeing the cinema museum. She is somewhat surprised to learn that it features museum-grade movies more than museum-grade anything else.

With the club's final clink of glass, we are out in the street with the rain again, which seems to have continued by itself while we were inside. Paris is acting like a wet rush-hour, suitable for early March.

Tonight's TV-weather forecast holds only a slight ray of hope for tomorrow night's open-air 'Bals' - but hope it will clear up a bit.

I nearly forgot - here is a member's 'Tip of the Week.' If your cats want to visit Paris with you, Roberta Morris says their air fare is $60 each. If you bring more than one, you might have to ask fellow passengers if they mind flying with a cat under their seat.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Some of the expired club 'rules' and other so-called 'information' is now history, but you can still catch up on some of it by reading the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page - which will also tell you where to find the club in Paris - and the day and time of the meetings.

If you have committed this to memory already, it could still a good idea to look at this page. It also contains a virtual replica of the club's membership card. This is an item not to be found on other Web sites.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting in Paris will be held on Thursday, 17. July, which is the day known as Saint-Arsène's Day. This will not interfere with the club's regular meeting even if you've never experienced a special day like this one in Paris before.

The day after will be just another ordinary Sainte-Marina's day, and has nothing to do with the several marinas in the Paris area.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is seven days a week as well as every Thursday. Your club's meeting time will begin at 15:00 and continue until 17:00 inphoto: group foto 2, bumped Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'TUBT' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm otherwise.

From left to right - Debbie, Elizabeth, Doug, Christina, Linda, Roberta, Billy and Michael - in the infamous 'bump' photo.

The club's secretary, also known as 'Ed,' will be making a few 'report' notes during the coming meeting but there's no need to worry about this because 'Ed' may be using the club's new good-luck 'cobra' pen, because he forgot to show it to today's assembled membership.

Prepare to have your new 'Quote of the Week' ready or put your own new 'City of the Week' forward or even invent any other 'Things of the Week.' Having these on hand might be enough yo get them mentioned in a meeting's club 'report,' like this one.

Share your wise words and thoughtful thoughts with the other members present - and all readers of this online magazine with the free Paris club for readers who 'just want to be' members - if you are in Paris, and I hope you are.

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.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini