A Trashy But Worthless Report

photo: l->r, dinny, michele, shawn, jan, craig, dana

Nearly candid photo of today's group shows everyone
nearly saying 'rhubarb' at once.

"Why Is Nobody Drinking?"

Paris:- Thursday, 13. September 2001:- Before getting into the métro for the ride downtown to Châtelet it is not raining and it is still not raining on the Rue de Rivoli when I leave Paris' underground transport system.

There were fewer passengers than usual and on Rivoli there seem to be fewer shoppers than usual - but traffic is its normal self, just as clogged as normal into its reduced space, while the buses whiz along in their wide, new bus lanes, like huge white speeding boxcars.

I drop into the city hall of the 1st arrondissement to pick up any new and likely pamphlets and brochures, and just inside the entry is where I see the first security gents posted since leaving my own street.

Across the way, the tall metal door to the Louvre's Cour Carée is closed, but at the corner of the Quai du Louvre, I see that visitors are entering and leaving by the doorway opposite the Pont des Arts.

I am a bit surprised to be first to arrive at today's club meeting, even though I am five minutes early. There are a fair number of other people in La Corona's 'Grande Salle,' mostly finishing their lunches. I hear a general murmur of English in the air.

It is only 15:05 when Michele Royston arrives. She joined the club on Thursday, 4. January of this year, and has attended several meetings between frequent trips tophoto: michele royston Berkeley, California. I have to wind my memory back through about 100 other new club member names since January, before her name drops into my hat.

One minute later Dana Shaw arrives, followed by Jan Shaw two minutes later. Jan has achieved this near co-incidence even though she has come directly from Samaritaine, and she shows us the gift socks she found there. There are two kinds - one for exceedingly long legs.

Michele is not overly astonished by my memory's 'hat trick.'

These become the 'Stockings of the Week' almost by default. Dana reports that he saw a lot of police at République and Jan says she photographed ten fishermen, sitting along the edge of the Seine, spaced at regular intervals, in competition for the week's World Fishing Championship.

She says they were wearing identical jackets, so they were probably the members of some country's team. I was under the impression that the competition was last weekend, but it seems as if the 180 competitors from 37 countries are still at it - trying to land the biggest of any of the 25 to 30 catchable species believed to inhabit the city's murky waters.

This gives us plenty to discuss until Dinny Moyer arrives about a half-hour later - without Scrumpy, who has returned to the United States - and without Cobia, who she says is under the weather today.

"So, I see it is 15:40 and why is nobody drinking?" she asks.

The plain answer is we forgot. Dinny also answers the unasked question about fishing - why? "It's an exciting sport." Then she thoughtfully adds, "They are famous fishermen - it's the World Championships!"

This sets the stage forphoto: stockings, collat, chantal thomass today's non-fishing new members' arrival. Shawn and Craig Young find us in the club's usual place, shake hands all around and sit down. They give us and the club Westminster in Orange County, California, as the meeting's 'City of the Week.'

As secretary, I am so happy to have one, I forget to ask if it is actually a 'city,' but this is not a really important qualification for this unique award.

One of the packages of socks Jan has found at Samaritaine.

Craig tells us he got to come to Europe the first time in 1981 by winning a contest sponsored by TWA - to anyplace this airline flew. This is how he became familiar with Spiez in Switzerland.

"It complicated things a bit, but this is how I got to Paris," he explains.

Then he takes his portable phone out of the café 'to make a call' and Shawn tells me how they moved from Kansas City, Missouri to Orange County. "He drug me there," she says.

Since I am reading a biography about Will Rogers at the moment, I can appreciate the 'drug' for 'dragged,' but Shawn corrects me about this by explaining, "Will Rogers is younger than Mark Twain."

Then a serious discussion about the geographical location of the Midwest gets underway with it getting moved east and west by about a thousand miles, until Craig comes back and tells us his story about the recycled paper business.

"Your trash is my cash," he says.

After this, the conversation is doomed, especially when we learn from this expert that used paper towels can be recycled - and this leads the members to speculate on the possibilities for French toilet paper.

While some of this must remain unrecorded here, we also learn that paper commonly used forphoto: shan, craig young wrapping cheese in France cannot be recycled because it is lined with something else - and nobody is going to pull it apart by hand. Obviously there's a limit to how much cash some trash is worth.

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