"Nothing Better To Do"

photo: eveline aron, jan and dana shaw

Eveline, Jan and Dana - today's 'group' - minus
'missing' Anita.

Is Rejected as the 'Quote of the Week'

Paris:- Thursday, 16. August 2001:- Last week's brown leaves that were rustling around the gutters - the ones that had fallen off trees that are still very green - got blown around corners last night by lightening, thunder, some huge gusts of wind and a great gushing fall of rain.

This morning, the skies struggled to return to the state of good weather that has prevailed since last week, and by club time today they were being mostly blue and the temperatures were beyond the predicted highs - but not as elevated as the recent extra-summery levels.

Frankly, for yesterday's mid-summer day, 33 was quite enough and visitors and Parisians rewarded it by thronging the Seine-side speedway for its last closed weekday of the year - which was also a public holiday anyway.

Coming to the club today does not seem much different from a holiday either. When I get close to the Seine, there are many people ambling along the quays - which are quieter than they have been now that the motor-folks have their lower-level scenic speedway back.

Although the Hôtel de Ville's management is officially 'out of town,' it has left word that 'many lessons' have been learned about shutting the right bank's riverside expressphoto: anita niser roadway. You can expect it to be freed of motors again for for a month, beginning on Monday, 15. July 2002 - plus on most Sundays between now and then.

At the café La Corona there are a few more people on its terraces than last week when I arrive, but its 'grande salle' is just as deserted. As it is only 15:00 I am not worried yet.

Anita Niser wraps up the coveted 'City of the Week' award, but only gets a 'honorable mention' for 'Quote of the Week.'

This proves to be the proper attitude when today's new member arrives five minutes later, and turns out to be Anita Niser from Detroit, Michigan.

However, since the founding date of Detroit nearly became a subject for a 'Café' column 'count-up' recently, I question Anita closely until she admits that she comes from the Southfield part of it - which I need to know just in case it may need to be pressganged into becoming the 'City of the Week.'

I notice that this bit of wonderful club-type news is puzzling Anita. After interrogation she admits that she is attending the club meeting because she has 'nothing better to do.'

When I explain the lack of need to do anything about the sign-in questionnaire, she freely agrees to do it because all of the rules have been 'suspended' and besides, she has 'nothing better to do.'

Twice obviously means that it must be the 'Quote of the Week' but when I announce this, Anita says, "Don't quote me."

A few more questions reveal that Anita is attending the meeting at the suggestion on the server-lady, Linda Thalman, and has never heard of the online magazine 'Metropole Paris' or its free club for readers who are in Paris on a Thursday with nothing better to do.

Dear members - you who now number 266! - I am beginning to think that even if you have 'nothing better to do' in Paris on Thursdays in August, I am definitely going to consider being somewhere else next August - especially after last week's incident of a prospective new member finding 'something better to do' after only five minutes at a meeting, and promptly doing it somewhere else.

However, Anita warms to the concept of the club and manages to arrange for today's 'Waiter of the Week' - Patrick still - to bring her a 'citron pressé,' which is known in other parts of the world as lemonade, but is France's favorite cocktail 'au natural.'

And, at about this point, Jan and Dana Shaw arrive with Eveline Aron, who is Jan's mother - and all three are original club members who joined back in its early days during meetingsphoto: eveline aron three and four at the end of October, 1999.

This calls for larger drinks and food of course and much more work for Patrick, who arranges it all in a quick jiffy.

Eveline Aron has been at more club meeting than I can count - because they were mostly a long time ago.

Aside from the magazine's feeble efforts, Dana has been running his own personal 'count-down' which has consisted of emailing the club secretary - myself, in fact - the number of weeks remaining until his arrival at today's club meeting.

I think I can safely say his 'count-down' is now at an end.

But there is better news than this. The Shaws have rented another club member's Paris apartment for their current Paris stay and the lady who runs the nearest corner grocery to it sensed they were coming and thoughtfully took her vacation in July so she could be open for trade in August.

Jan also seems pleased to be at a club meeting again after a longish absence. For this occasion she announces the formation of a 'strong underground movement' to begin a semi-exclusive club for all couples who have been married for at least 25 years.

There are a barrage of questions about this. Obviously, getting divorced before 25 years have passed is a ground for expulsion - but then so is getting divorced after 25 years and getting remarried, because then you have to stay married for another 25 years before requalifying.

More discussion follows, leading to a provisional name for the new club. For better or worse F.B.O.W. is proposed. It stands for, 'For Better Or Worse.'

Eveline, who has taken part in this discussion, takes the opportunity of a lull in it to tell us about her own personal 'club day' which is always the last day in February, regardless of whether it is a leap year or not.

She calls it 'Kindness and Joy Day.' On this day every year she extends wishes to everybody she encounters - "Happy Kindness and Joy!"

Unlike the proposed FBOW club, this is about as easy to join as the club that is holding the meeting we are presently at, so try not to forget next 28 or 29. February so you can join this club by wishing everybody you see, "Happy Kindness and Joy!"

Well, this has certainly amounted to more 'club' news than I expected, so I will just wrap this up with some random quotes and tips on 'how to visit Paris for a laugh or two.'

"I'm going to play bridge on Friday," Anita tells us, adding, "Other people go on hundred dollar tours, but I prefer to play bridge."

I have to skip the bridge jargon that suddenly erupts between Jan and Anita because it is all completely 'Greek' to me, even though Dana tries to explain it with yet more bridge jargon, even though he claims he doesn't know anything about it.

The short part of it is - if you would rather play bridge in Paris than go on 'hundred dollar' tours, you can do it. As I often say, Paris isn't fussy about what you do here.

Finally, when you are here and are using a photoautomat to get photos to put on your Orange Card ID card, bephoto: club drink sure to pick the option for four photos on a single sheet. The one- photo-option photo cannot be compressed to fit the tiny space available on the ID card.

A fraction of today's 'Drinks of the Week.' The other fractions were gone before before they could be photographed.

The other option is for a Paris-souvenir photo, which apparently shows your head superimposed on top of the Tour Eiffel, which everybody should know is too big to fit in a postage-stamp-sized space.

One of these is perfect for proving that you were photographed by a Paris photoautomat but is equally useless for the Orange Card ID card. Eveline says she ripped her personal copy of this one to shreds.

Eveline has little patience for nonsense produced by photoautomats. I think the sacrifices some club members make in order to be members of this club are amazing.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

As equally amazing as it may seem, you can find out quite a bit of other nonsense concerning what this is about 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 read the whole 'About' page you will also learn that you can become a member of this online magazine's club in Paris, by simply coming to a meeting in order to ignore all of its expired 'rules,' which have been discontinued for quite some time now anyway.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting in Paris will be held on Thursday, 23. August, which is the annual day known as Sainte-Rose's Day, now here at last.

The following day will be another Saint-Barthélemy's Day, which everybody hopes will be perfectly ordinary. Other than this, the day will be Friday as well, except it will be the fourth one in August, which will have one more before it ends.

The café La Corona meeting place will have its doors open wide as it has on all weeks with Thursdays. Your club'sphoto: cafe terrace, quai 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 'LKAX' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without metrics.

The club's secretary, sometimes known as 'Ed,' will be making a few 'report' notes during the coming meeting but this is not worth one millimetre of your attention.

Outside the café, Paris' sunlife continues on the Quai du Louvre.

Make sure to 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 new and highly popular 'clubs,' if they are not competitive. Having these on hand might be enough to get them mentioned in a meeting's club 'report,' like this one.

Your carefully chosen words will be welcomed by the other members present - and all readers of this online magazine with the free and real Paris club deal for readers who 'just want to be' members, and don't mind 'reports' about its meetings.

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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there is no such thing
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Waldo Bini