Who Could Have Guessed...

photo: l->r, robin, willy, mary, bill, debbie, elizabeth, max, doug

As much as this may look like last week's 'Group Photo of
the Week,' it is this week's 'Group Photo of the Week.'

...That 'Cacolac' Would be the 'Drink of
the Week?'

Paris:- Thursday, 19. July 2001:- Nearly everybody who was talking about the weather that was not especially friendly to Bastille Day party people, has left town in disgust. This has left only the people who are still in town and who are just as disgusted.

Both Le Parisien and the TV-news people are telling Parisian viewers and readers that they almost have reason to be proud that this year's weather is well on its way to setting a new record for rottenness, which was recently set by 2000.

This enlightening news has even reached some people on holidays out west who were hammered by a storm over the weekend. In disgust some of them have decided to brave the elements in their own Paris apartments instead of in flapping tents.

Despite all this, I decide that it is safe enough to walk to the club today. Willy and Max, who are visiting me for a week from an island in the North Atlantic, care not a fig. They think Paris is having a heat wave compared to where they come from.

They try to step on all the pigeons they can while we going through the Luxembourg, until I tell themphoto: frites, food of the week they are the Senat's personal birds. At the Boulevard Saint-Germain they ask, "Are we there yet?"

Featured for the first time - La Corona's 'frites of the week,' with colorful but optional catsup.

The Buci corner looks different so they ask the same question. I tell them we are two-thirds of the way. When we get to the Pont Neuf Max says he remembers it because he was on a boat that went under it once upon a time.

Beside Samaritaine Willy spots the best 'Fiat 500 of the Week' I have ever seen. Because I am on holidays, it is the only 'best' 'Fiat 500 of the Week' that will not appear in Metropole - it will be like the huge fish 'that got away.'

Since it is not pouring buckets when we get to La Corona, there are not many civilians in the 'grande salle.' After such a walk, the two excursionists deserve the 'frites of the week' - which cost three francs extra with two cents' worth of catsup. Salt and pepper are free.

In a fit of wild abandon, Willy even tries mustard on one chip. He decides it is 'disgusting' after eating half of it, but not as disgusting as the liver and onions served on the plane coming over.

Just about the time I am beginning to wish I'd brought some cards so we could have a hand of poker or two, Mary Rudolph shows up from Washington, DC. She says she has been sent by Berta Maginniss.

Roberta Morris, who joined the club last week, arrives 10 minutes later - followed by Doug Fuss, who Mary has come to meet on account of Berta. As the small world of club membership gets bigger, it gets a 'its-a-small- world' feeling through non-present members sending in new members to talk to old members who are present.

"What can I have fast?" Roberta wants to know. She has been up until 02:00 and it has made her powerfully hungry. She also chooses 'Cacolac' as a beverage - at club 'first' - easily qualifying it for 'Drink of the Week.'

photo: mary rudolph Doug Fuss wants to put up Saint-Ouen as the 'Un-city of the Week' because it is not easy to find parts for antique vacuum cleaners there. This is actually 'Part Two' of his personal vacuum cleaner saga - which began in Paris last week.

The club has never had an 'Un-city' before, and since no members actually come from there, the secretary sees no real popular demand for this new distinction, and votes it into oblivion without calling for a vote on it.

"I don't drink cola, not in real life, and not here either," says Mary Rudolph.

After a whole 50 minutes of 'club life' today last week's new members Debbie and Elizabeth Foster breeze in. "We're all shopped out!" Debbie exclaims.

While I am thinking of asking whether they've left anything for other summer sales shoppers, Debbie asks Willy how long he's been here.

"Since the beginning of the meeting," he politely replies - just about when somebody asks about the opening times of the Catacombs.

This, I have heard on radio France-Info - or think I have - is now 9:00. New electricity has been installed in Paris' underground but visitable boneyard, so the opening hours have been lengthened on account of the five months people have been waiting to get in to see it.

While Roberta is grumbling about the canal Saint-Martin's tours going through a part of Paris that has been upgraded, today's final new member arrives at the beginning of the meeting's second hour.

This is Bill Rosenthal, who neglects to inform the members' booklet of his home town because Willy has just handed me Max' first club 'Drawing of the Week' which he has had the good sense to clearly label as 'Official Club Document,' drawn with the 'Official Club Pen.'

Green is not my favoritephoto: bill rosenthal color nor is it 'official.' I explain to Bill that all officialdom ceased some time ago. Bill agrees wholeheartedly with this philosophy, and this is how 'Someplace in Michigan' becomes the 'City of the Week,' and is partly responsible for me forgetting to include the first 'Drawing of the Week' here.

Bill gladly joins one of the few clubs in the world that is about as accidental as everything else in his life.

Bill also tells us a bit about how interesting it is to have a sort of accidental life, which is how he got to Paris to try out the French hand gestures he learned in an advanced language course, and how he ended up owning a fleet of Cadillacs after driving across half the country in a MG-TC. "Things happen," he says, quoting a favorite book title.

Debbie and Elizabeth are not quite 100 percent 'shopped out' so we all pile out on to the Corona's terrace for the 'Group Photo of the Week.' Out of the four photos taken, one is 76 percent okay.

Somehow, with Debbie and Elizabeth going off to up their score to nearer 100 percent 'shopped out,' and Bill saying, "This is like summer in Michigan!" - the meeting ends in a nearly customary manner, when we all leave it.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Much of the expired club 'rules' and other so-called 'information' is now history, but you can still refresh your memory 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 unique item can not 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, 26. July, which is the day known as Saints' Anne's and Joa's Day. This will not interfere with the club's regular meeting even if you have experienced a special day like this one in Paris before.

The day after will be just another ordinary Sainte-Nathalie's day. Other than this, the day will be an unremarkable Friday as well.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is every week containing a Thursday. Your club's meetingphoto: cacolac, drink of the week time will begin at 15:00 and continue until 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'BUTB' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm otherwise.

Despite its appearance, it is doubtful that 'Cacolac' is made with skim-milk - in case you were wondering.

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 be concerned about this because 'Ed' will be unlikely to use the club's new good-luck 'cobra' pen, because nobody remembered to ask to see it today.

Have your new 'Quote of the Week' ready or put your own new 'City of the Week' up for consideration or even invent any other 'Things of the Week' including 'fleets of Cadillacs.' Having these on hand might be enough to get them mentioned in a meeting's club 'report,' like this one.

Your wise words and thoughtful thoughts will be welcomed by the other members present - and all readers of this online magazine with the free Paris club for readers who 'just want to be' members. You can do this too, if you are in Paris.

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.
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