A Steamy Meeting

photo: l->r, linda, alban, bill, doug, dawn, peter

Today's 'group photo' - was taken after the meeting had
been over for three whole minutes.

Was Had By All

Paris:- Thursday, 26. July 2001:- Well folks, guess what the weather has decided to do today! Unlike last week when it was disgusting, it is now so hot that it is sordid. People here are going around in extremely flimsy clothing, more or less dressed for a big day at the campsite.

Neither I nor anyone one else I've spoken to is complaining about this. We, who live in Paris, are owed good weather, and all the other good folks who have dropped in by the jumbo-loads, deserve it too.

All the same, on the way to the club, I take my favorite back alleys - especially the ones with shade. Poking my nose out on the Quai de la Mégisserie is like sticking it in an oven. Betweenphoto: dawn warren the métro entry and an outdoor stall outside of Samaritaine - selling umbrellas - pedestrians have gotten glued together.

The terrace of the café La Corona is well occupied with the thirsty who have found refuge under its awnings. There is a bit of unshaded stretch between the Louvre and the café and it looks like some are barely making it to this oasis.

Dawn Warren says meeting the club's real secretary is 'surreal.'

I have time to set up the members' and the reports' booklets with the meeting number and the estimated temperature - but not enough time to sneak my shoes off - before Dawn Warren and Peter Spotts from the Louvre - no - from Seattle, Washington, come in and quickly take the seats I offer them.

They have been looking at the mummified cats in the Egyptian department over there. Peter says - this is not an exact quote - none of this meetings' will be either - that it is a big place. It may even be bigger than Seattle, even if it hasn't got a 'Space Needle.'

For readers unfamiliar with Seattle, its 'Space Needle' is a bit like an upsidedown Tour Eiffel, with a revolving restaurant at the top, instead of one on the second floor. From its top, on a clear day, you can see the Olympic mountains or the Oly brewery - I'm not sure which.

Since I too have been 'sleepless in Seattle' we trade a few stories about all the bars we know. Actually this is only one - the Red Robin - and I am amazed to hear that it actually still has an outside terrace, overlooking some body of water - which I never clearly noticed on account of the rain, or fog.

Dawn startles me by saying, "It's a surreal experience to look at Metropole for two years," taking a pause for a cool sip of Sancerre, "And then meet its main character."

If it wasn't about me, and I'm not sure about the 'surreal' and 'character' business, this could have been the 'Quote of the Week' but it won't be because a new club 'rule' I've just invented doesn't permit quotes with philosophical words like 'surreal' in them.

We have a darn good conversation about nearly everything else, including Peter's story aboutphoto: peter spotts the fixer of electric chairs who gets promoted to doing gas chambers.

This goes on a lot further, with some of this and that until the punch line. "Just because you've read Proust doesn't mean that you should try fixing electric chairs," Peter says.

Peter - is just about to 'fix' a beer into being an empty glass.

Bill Rosenthal saunters in at 16:20. Anybody who wears suspenders like his has a right to saunter in any old time they want - and when the introductions are done I learn that last week's 'City of the Week' was not 'Someplace in Michigan,' but was in fact East Lansing, so I declare it to be the 'City of the Week' this week - partly because Seattle has already had a turn once or twice.

Just as Bill is starting to grumble about the absence of the server-lady, Linda Thalman staggers in - she isn't wearing weather-proof suspenders - with a Parisian guy named Alban in tow.

It's like a slow motion musical show, with everybody staging their cues at 10-minute intervals, when Doug Fuss floats in exactly ten minutes later - ten minutes after Linda and Alban, who are ten minutes after Bill.

For some reason, the café has decided not to appoint a 'Waiter of the Week' and no drink at all has appeared until just before all of these appearances on stage. Much of this liquid evaporates before any of it can become the 'Drink of the Week.'

Alban is somewhat uncertain about what is going on here and is really confused when I ask everybody to rise for the 'Group Photo of the Week' which is the only real 'Thing of the Week' this week, in addition to East Lansing.

Doug Fuss complains about always being in the front line, so he hides with Alban in the back line - while all the peoplephoto: no food, just drinks who are either wearing suspenders or wish they were, hog the front line.

I don't even ask today's members to keep their eyes open like I usually do, so they all do it without being asked.

Today's 'Treats of the Week' - no food, just wet drinks.

When seated again, to count out money for the tabs, Bill tells Peter about the 'Trumpets of Versailles' he heard at Sainte-Chapelle, and mentions that they were tiny trumpets.

"Were they," Peter asks, "Trumpettes?"

My report notes are not up to this meeting, partly because it only has gotten a quorum 20 minutes before it is over. This is much better than meetings with no quorum at all, but it has left a couple of orphaned members' comments.

Bill's - "Paris nicest cinéma is the multiplex at Bercy - it even has carpets under the seats."

Peter's - "Inside the walled ramparts of Seattle..." finishes the thing off for good, even if it is nonsensical. What has there been about this meeting that has not been?

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

photo: albanMuch of the expired club 'rules' and other so-called 'information' is nearly ancient 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.

Alban takes the club's nonsense good- naturedly, without quite figuring out that it is all nonsense except for the 'real' part.

If you have committed this to memory already, it might still be a good idea to look at this page, even though you can probably pass the test with ease. It also contains a virtual replica of the club's original membership card. This unique item can not be found on other Web sites.

The Usual Boring Details

The next Café Metropole Club meeting in Paris will be held on Thursday, 2. August, which is the annual day known as Saint-Julien's Day. This will not interfere with the club's regular meeting even if you have never experienced a special day like this one in Paris before.

The day after will be just another ordinary Sainte-Lydie's Day. Other than this, the day will be an unremarkable Friday as well, except it will be the first one in August.

The café La Corona meeting place will be wide open as it is every week containing weekdays and weekends. Yourphoto: bill rosenthal club's meeting 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 'ATBUT' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm unmetrically.

Bill's leopard-spotted suspenders allow him to saunter around Paris as he pleases.

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, again.

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 'Seattle's ramparts.' 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 and real Paris club for readers who 'just want to be' members. Do this, if you want to become 'surreal' too.

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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