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: shawn, 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.

While toilet paper is still getting a good run for the money I hear Jan say, "I'm talking about serious butter!"

Shawn and Craig financed their Paris trip with waste paper.

Jan grew up in Britain during the war with food rationing and when her family moved to the United States and discovered butter, they couldn't eat enough of it - until they found out eating too much makes you ill - and in America, there's more where it came from, without ration tickets.

The non-flying transatlantic fights are also briefly discussed. "Americans are getting 'stacked up' in Paris," - Jan, I think, says - referring to all the passengers of flights canceled on account of the disaster in the United States on Tuesday.

By now it is after 17:00 and although we have plenty of raw material for the 'Quote of the Week,' it is Dinny who poses the 'Question of the Week.'

"Why is a 'demi' only 25 cl?" she asks. In case we don't understand she turns it around, with, "Why is a quarter-litre called a 'demi?'"

She is referring to the common name and uncommon measure of draft beer served in cafés, bars and restaurants in France. The way she has put it, I'm not sure if it isn't 'Two Questions of the Week.'

Either way, I don't know the answer. For 15 years before, and for ten years after I had my last 'demi,' I have wondered what the answer is too.

If not knowing the answer to this vital question bothers you, it is equally valid to order a 'pression.' This is because beer in France is full of bubbles, unless it is something fizzless, dark and foreign like Leffe or Guinness.

Club Report Delayed Again?

Last week's malicious technical gremlin is well known to both myself and the server-lady by now, but while I can do little more than curse it, the server-lady hasn't been entirely able to beat it into obeying her orders.

This is a round-about way of saying this club 'report' might not be online as early as used to be the case. We are confident this situation will last less than forever, even though tying the culprit's shoelaces together last week proved to be ineffective.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can find out quite a bit of other stuff concerning what this is about - if you really feel like it - byphoto: making l'addition 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.

Members playing four-ticket poker in order to make up the 'addition.'

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 they are covered in cobwebs.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting will be held on Thursday, 20. September, which is not on Friday this month or any other month. It is also the annual day known as Saint-Davy's Day, in France at least.

The following day will be some other Saint's day, which will be perfectly normal because there 365 of them. Other than this, the day will be Friday as well. Make the most of it - there will only be 15 more Fridays this year.

The café La Corona meeting place will have its doors unlocked as they are on all other weeksphoto: tables, la corona terrace with Thursdays or Fridays. Your 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 'RTIF' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without metrical 24-hour time.

Shawn asked for more photos. Here is the 'Bonus Photo of the Week.'

The club's secretary, occasionally known as 'Ed' - which is me, usually in person - will be making some 'report' notes during the next meeting and most of the others to come. It is merely a club ritual, like doodling.

Bring a new 'Quote of the Week' or come with your own 'City of the Week' for consideration or even fabricate any other 'Things of the Week.' Anything is eligible. Having these 'keywords' on hand may be significant enough to get them mentioned in a meeting's club 'report,' or make you famous.

Your thoughtful comments, invented or not, will be warmly received by the other members present - and all readers of this online magazine with the real and free Paris club for readers who 'just want to be' members of some club in the only city in the world known as Paris, France.

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.
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Waldo Bini