"Walked 'Miles' To the Club"

photo: l->dana, jerry, jan, ed, kim, doug, sue, linda

Today's group, on the terrace of the club's café,
pretending not to be miffed.

Perpetual Summer Becomes Temporary

Paris:- Thursday, 30. August 2001:- The return of Paris' weather to normal has already been mentioned in this issue, so there's no reason to beat this poor horse to death. The temperatures today are some degrees below 'normal' - no matter what you may read, see or hear.

This is not the case underground in the métro. The métro has a 'memory' for surface weather, and it lingers on down here in the depths - slightly humid, slightly used, more than a bit warm.

On the Rue de Rivoli it seems as if the summer sales only ended yesterday, and the back-to-school shoppers are here already. I hate to say this, but places that are showing 'cheap chic' are showing black threads again.

This started out several years ago as grey-flannel-with-pin-strips, then it got all grey, then the grey got darker. I don't think this year's degree of black can be surpassed. It is blackest-black.

If this fades one dot, whoever wears it will be instantly out-of-date. I fear that cleaners will do a poor business between now and next year.

This funeral fashion observation is not apt forphoto: pedometre the beginning of a club meeting, so forget I mentioned it - unless you want to be at the height of under-25s fashion in Paris this fall.

To be perfectly accurate and aboveboard about it, Kim's pedometer indicates 1.84 miles.

Member Dana Shaw has beaten me to the club's area of the café La Corona by about two minutes, he says. He is 'du monde' as Patrick, who is not the 'Waiter of the Week,' has put it during my passage through the café's bar area.

Two minutes later it is the turn of new members Kim and Ed Hurwitz to turn up and announce their willingness to walk 'miles' to join this club. They started out in Sanibel, Florida some months ago, but today they have only walked from Saint-Mandé, out at the eastern edge of the 12th arrondissement.

In fact they have walked 1.8 miles according to Kim's portable pedometer. According to my 'Norma' circular calculator, this amounts to 2.9 kilometres in Europe.

But according to my map, its scale and my ruler, the distance is something closer to 5.4 kilometres, as birds such as pigeons fly - if they fly in straight lines. Paris streets are not even this straight. Alors, voilà - this pedometer is the 'Thing of the Week!'

Before I can voice my suspicion that the pedometer is short-counting its 'miles,' Sue and Jerry Bump arrive from Lago Vista, Texas.

Sue says, "We just walked five miles!"

"More like one and a half," Jerry says.

That's right, members and all readers - without ever having met each other before this meeting, all of today's new members are fiends for walking lots of miles!

This is even though I see from the notes I've made that Kim and Ed's 1.8 miles has been modified to - "Since lunch." Not all the way from Saint-Mandé in other words.

Even Sue and Jerry scale back their walking fever to, "We don't really want to walk all the way from Saint-Ouen to the Porte d'Orléans." They'll settle for just getting as far as the Seine, which is about halfway.

About five minutes before Sue and Jerry arrived, Kim went to the waterworks department of La Corona. When she returns she says, "The waterworks are an experience."

Without saying exactly what this 'experience' consisted of she says, "I have a rating system for toilets - from one to six stars."

Everyone agrees that 'one-star' toilets in Paris are not as common as they once were. Her 'six-star' rating goes to washroom facilities that have everything plus something for drying hands.

I think there are levels beyond this, and if each one is worth a 'star,' then some establishmentsphoto: teapot of the week in Paris must be worth about ten stars, because they have shoeshine chairs too, as well as Thai music.

The 'Very Hot Teapot of the Week.' Believe me, I touched it and it fried my fingers!

Ed - not me - but Ed Hurwitz, tells me about the Hitchcock exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, which he also says is air-conditioned. This is normal in most museums, but it doesn't matter this week, because the air outside is air-conditioned too.

He says it is 'terrible.' Not the air-conditioning, but the exhibition. According to the theory of it, Hitchcock snitched all of his ideas from other films, other sources - and these are on show.

Well, the truth is, artists do not work in a vacuum. The first cave painters copied each other. Imagine, being down there in the dark, with really lousy candles - does anyone think Jack ran all the way up to the surface just to get an idea of what a deer looked like - or didn't he just copy Fred's, which was right there on the cave's wall?

Doug Fuss's excuse for arriving late at today's meeting is that he has spent the day with a locksmith, getting a new lock for his door because the one he had, locked him out for no reason at all. It worked fine from one side but not the other.

With this, everybody compares heir weird European keys - but this is not worth mentioning.


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