'Firsts' Overload

photo: group foto of the week minus one

One member 'missing' from the week's group photo is
not a 'first' nor a 'faute-grave.'

'Jake' Who?

Paris:- Thursday, 6. September 2001:- Since today's weather will be over by the time you read today's 'report' after it goes online all around the world it is of next to no consequence whatsoever.

It may not even be worth nothing that its relationship to last night's TV-weather news forecast has been hardly co-incidental, with both the 'matin' and 'aprés-midi' prévisions being off the mark by 95 percent.

That people actually do pay attention to these forecasts has been obvious by the numbers of TV-weather news fans that I've seen carrying umbrellas, almost universally folded. Good scouts they are, every one of them 'being prepared!'

For a change, once I have taken my place in the club's area of the café La Corona, I have time to ready the membership booklet and the 'reports' booklet, with today's date and meeting number.

This is how, without any members actually being present, today's first major 'first' comes to light. I note the number of the meeting, in the club's second year of existence, and the number of meetings since the first one on Thursday, 14. October 1999.

This number is 100. This is a major 'first' of some sort unless my name is Jake.

Also, without going into dubious statistics or higher mathematics, I can calculate the number of new members per meeting as something like 2.71 - and this is not even including the 'disappeared' member - who, if included, could have only changed the outcome by .01 persons.

Luckily Dana Shaw arrives before I can begin to imagine myself getting a Nobel for these obtuse calculations. He isphoto: club food of the week followed by Jan Shaw, who says, "I got lost all over Paris," before she orders a big slab of an open-faced sandwich called a 'funghi' version of 'La Rustichette.'

This otto, covered with a heap of 'funghi' and cheese, is the club's 'Food of the Week.'

These are like the cave-lady version of a croque-monsieur, and are perfect for today's type of fall weather if one doesn't feel like having the utmost - in the form of an onion soup. No one has had one of these for a long time in fact.

At around the quarter-time mark the meeting's first new members turn up. These are Jeanine and Ron Frank, from Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. I am told this is about 30 miles - about 48 kilometres, for metric folks - north of San Diego, which is nearly in Mexico.

But the reason that Cardiff-by-the-Sea becomes the 'City of the Week' is not for this, but because it is named after Cardiff-in-Wales, which is considerably closer to Paris, while possibly being non-metric too.

Five minutes later we are joined by Susan and Michael Peskura from Seattle, Washington. While Susan joins the club as a normal person, Michael has come prepared to be a sort of 'hyper'-member - and, believe me, this is not contrary to any 'rules' either.

First, Michael has brought a Seattle postcard showing lightning attacking the Space-Needle. It is called, 'Lightning strikes over the Emerald City.' Second, he confirms another member's report that Boeing has moved to Chicago.

If I may interrupt here, Boeing moving to Chicago it a bit like the Brooklyn Dodgers moving to Los Angeles.photo: drink of the week, 1 Brooklyn has never recovered from this blow, and now it looks like the Left Coast is going down the tubes too.

What would the 'Funghi of the Week' be without the 'Drinks of the Week?' What, indeed?

Back to Michael - he also re-confirms the continued existence of the Red Robin Tavern, just across some bridge from the U-district. Fifthly, his 'piéce de résistance' is a two-or-three-times-sized 'Charter Member' Café Metropole Club member's card - which he fills in, in Paris, and the secretary signs and dates it, also in Paris.

It is not the first member's card seen at a club meeting, but it is the 'first' two-or-three-times-sized one anybody in the club's history has ever seen at a meeting. And to be seen at the club's 100th meeting is truly significant, if not an absolute benchmark.

You'd think this would be more than enough, but Michael also - my esteem for the club's members is proved to deserve being skyhigh - he also poses the 'Question of the Week.'

"What is Europe going to do with all of its old coins?" he wants to know.

He is referring to Europe's 300 zillion tons of coins that will become useless after next New Years. This is obviously going to be some big problem needing to be solved, somewhat on the same order of how the French are going to trade-in their 300 billion-worth of francs of stashed cash for euros - all within a couple of weeks.

This should be renamed as the '64-Dollar Question of the Week.'

While all of this has been going on, Connie Fleming, from Costa Mesa, California, has arrived with her daughter, Tally Guttmann, from Austin, Texas.

By 'arrived,' I mean their trans-Atlantic flight landed at noon at Roissy, they dumped their bags at their hotel, and here they are - joining the club. But wait - there's more!

Tomorrow they leave Paris to take the TGV to Bordeaux, where they plan to compete in the world's 'longest marathon,' the Marathon de Médoc.

Although it is only the international regulation distance of 42.195 kilometres, it is long because its competitors are offered wine as well as water to drink. Everybody who doesn't finish the entire course, standing up, within 48 hours is disqualified.

This all started on Saturday, 14. September 1985 in Pauillac, when 500 runners took part in thephoto: michael fills in member card first race - inspired by four local fellows who had gotten 'high' on New York's marathon in 1983, came home and took at look at Médoc, and said, 'why not?'

Here you see it first - the biggest club membership card in the entire history of the club!

This seems to be what new club members Connie and Tally have thought too - so I want all club members to get behind them to heartily cheer their effort. Win, place or show - this will be another stunning 'first' for the club and all of its members who have yet another fine excuse being members.

Connie and Tally definitely have to get in training to take the TGV tomorrow, so after most of today's members line up on La Corona's terrace for the week's group photo, all members filter off in various directions - for an evening in Paris, unlikely to need their umbrellas.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can find out quite a bit of other stuff concerning what this is about - only if you feel like it! - by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club' - which will also tell you exactly where to find the club in Paris and the day and time of the meetings.

You will also be able to learn that you can become a member of this online magazine's club in Paris, by simply coming to a meeting, while ignoring all of its expired 'rules,' which have been discontinued for some time now anyway. Other 'new rules' have also been discontinued, because of disuse

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting will be held on Thursday, 13. September, which is not on Friday this month. It is also the annual day known as Saint-Aimé's Day, in Paris at least.

The following day will be a La Sainte-Croix's Day, which will be perfectly ordinary, except for its spelling. Other than this, the day will be Friday as well, except it will not be the on the 13th. Make the most of it - there will only be one other Thursday the 13th this year.

The café La Corona meeting place will have its doors open wide as it has on all other weeks with Thursdays or Fridays. Yourphoto: rest of drinks of the week 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 'DTRA' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without metrical time.

The club's secretary, temporarily known as 'Ed,' will be making some 'report' notes during the next meeting but this is entirely harmless. It is just a club ritual that he can't give up, like doodling.

The 'Funghi of the Week' is over, and so are the week's drinks - nearly.

Have your new 'Quote of the Week' ready or come with your own 'City of the Week' for consideration or even invent any other 'Things of the Week.' Everything is eligible. Having these 'bon-mots' on hand may be significant enough to get them mentioned in a meeting's club 'report,' similar to this one.

Your thoughtful comments; jet-lagged or not, 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, and don't mind 'reports' full of lesser or greater 'firsts' 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.
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