'No Rules'

photo: mark, michelle, walter, shirley, elizabeth

Club members practising the 'no rules' version of the
'group photo of the week.'

Is the Club's 'Rule of the Week'

Paris:- Thursday, 18. October 2001:- Last night's 'lousy' forecast turns out to be crummy alright. I have listened very carefully to today's radio France-Info forecast, and according to it, Paris and the Ile-de-France will have no weather at all, while the other 82 percent of France will have it all.

Outside I find this is not true. It is not mostly sunny like yesterday, but it is not as crummy as predicted by last night's TV-weather news. It is sort of average Paris weather for October - and about average for any of the other 11 months.

It's finer details escape me once I am convinced there will be no hurricane winds, no torrential downpours and no stunning heatwaves. All in all, it is better weather than inside my apartment.

On the way to today's club meeting I idly wonder if there will be any members present now thatphoto: club sign in the momentous birthday 'gala' meeting is safely past. Between these idle musings I wonder about the métro's odd smells.

For a while I think it might be curry or something exotic from North Africa, until a man with a take-out pizza box sits across the aisle from me. From his pizza box, I smell nothing. I think I should take my nose in for a checkup.

The practical detail part of becoming a club member.

It has rained on the Rue de Rivoli but it is not raining when I reach it. I take my old back-alley route to La Corona, and see that it still hasn't changed much in 500 years, or since the last time I took it.

It is a bit cool for a lot of people to be sitting out on all the terraces along the Quai du Louvre, so nearly no people are doing it. I circle the block, but see no 'Fiat 500s of the Week' either.

At La Corona, Patrick the waiter says there are 'two ladies' waiting for the meeting to begin. It is not quite 15:00 and he is right. There are not many other people in the café's 'grande salle' so even before the meeting starts, club turnout is good.

I explain to Pam Sullivan from San Diego and Pat Bischoff from San Marcos - both in California - how to ignore the questionnaire in the members' booklet. On the question of photos for this report, Pat declines.

While I knash my teeth silently I see a familiar face. What is even odder, I can put a name to it. Walter Pappas doesn't believe I can do this, and I can't figure it out either. Walter's member number is 118, from about exactly a year ago. He says Shirley will be along as soon as shopping is finished.

About the photo, Pat says, "Ask my agent."

About shopping, Walter says, "For some members shopping is more important than clublife."

Let me not be the one to argue about this. How it can compare to clublife I have to wonder - but only until Pam says she used to live in 'Foggy Bottom.'

Before I can get to the bottom of this, Walterphoto: club food says that 'Kir' has a history. His says some guy wanted his name to become well known and he had a lot of idle burgundy - 'Nuits Saint-George' - and a bunch of cassis.

The heavy-duty substitute for a 'croque-monsieur.'

Michelle Royston has arrived with some hunger and we all help her decide not to have a skimpy 'Croque Monsieur' and to have one of the colossal Italian-type things, which are called something like 'Rustichetta.' Walter has the croque-monsieur instead.

The news from Elizabeth and Roy Trew is that the museums are still on strike. They have noticed, however, that this doesn't necessarily mean they are closed. "We heard a very nice organ recital on Sunday night," Elizabeth says, but doesn't say where.

Dotty Joos has arrived from Occidental, California - but she says she is not the ex-mayor of it. She says this because I have just remembered the ex-mayor of some place has emailed a warning of an intention of becoming a club member.

Walter says, "I am not the ex-mayor of Falls Church, Virginia."

Then he adds to club lore by pronouncing that, "The rule of the club is no rules!" As club secretary I know full well this is a difficult concept, but I am proud of Walter for putting it so succinctly.

This is how Occidental becomes the 'City of the Week.' This honor was to have be shared with some other city, but I have forgotten - honest! I have forgotten - to note its name. "How did I get here?" Pam asks.

Walter has a collection of photos he thinks I should see. He has good reason because they were all taken in Paris on one of its 99.5 percent 'blue-sky' days.

When I look at a photo of some street musicians, Walter hauls out a minuscule audio recorder, and plays the music the musicians were playing. Astounding! Multimedia! Too bad I can't include it as 'RealAudio' here.

Doug Fuss arrives, for his last meeting before heading back to his other home in Savannah. He is followed by Mark Kritz, who has not brought any new books by Louis Begley.

The members from California mention that there was a low-price 'window' for air fares fromphoto: walter's foto with music there to Paris - for $345. Apparently this 'window' was only open for five days - so if you are looking for 'open windows,' being alert is the key to success.

The tiny device on the left plays the musical version of Walter's photo.

Marie Teixeira and Steven Kimbrough arrive from Berkeley, California, after a stint in Norway. Marie says, "It was raining hamsters and gerbils there." The other thing I am supposed to know is that Berkeley is a 'nuclear-free zone.'

Apparently this town has substituted all of its 'city limits' signs with ones saying 'nuclear-free zone.' I reject this as a proper name for a 'City of the Week,' especially since Occidental has this safely in the bag.

I stand up to arrange the 'group photo of the week' with some doubt because two members have declined to be in it, the other members are all yakking at each other, and some other members have left already.

It is not a 'rule' that members are not allowed to leave before meetings are finished, but they can if they want to, 'rule' or no rule.

Steven tells me he makes money do tricks with software but keeps claiming he can only count to one. "Zero, one," he says.

Since he is in the software business, he and Doug join up to tell me that the purpose of the proposed Hewlett-Packard purchase of Compaq computers, is to corner the ink cartridge market for printers.

Mark then shows me some photos he has,photo: marie and steven which were all printed with an ink-jet printer. He has these because a painter friend of his is using them to paint Paris bridges - and wants Mark to find out which ones they are.

Steven is in no danger of drowning in his 'formidable' because Marie has the life-ring ready.

We have been lolling around the club's area long after 17:00 with these non-club conversational subjects. After goodbyes to Marie and Steven, Mark and I go over to the Pont des Arts to make sure one of the photos isn't of the Pont Neuf.

it does not seem likely. We both think it is probably the Pont Marie - the view seen by looking upstream from the Pont Louis-Philippe, with the Ile Saint-Louis on the right.

In the Rue de Seine Mark remembers his 'Just say oui' button and puts it on. He explains this oversight with a complicated narrative about how the airlines in California have changed their departure times for Paris.

Between having to get to the airport three or four hours early, the exhaustive baggage checks, and the delayed take-offs - there is no way to get to Paris without getting jet-lagged while still over the Atlantic, he tells me.

I must remember this next time somebody asks me why I came to Paris 25 years ago and am still here.

Special Alert - Club Meeting Warning!

photo: button just say ouiLate during today's meeting, Patrick - this week's 'Waiter of the Week' - asked me if I was aware that the café La Corona will be closed for five weeks for renovations.

The actual date will be confirmed for inclusion in the next issue of 'Metropole Paris.' It is also hoped that a substitute café will be willing to host the club, on the Quai du Louvre, within one block of La Corona.

Next week's meeting will be at the regular location, mentioned below.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can learn some other stuff concerning what this is about if you really feel you need to - by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club' - which also explains exactly where to find the club in Paris and the day and time of the meetings.

You will also be able to find out that you can become a member of this online magazine's cozy club in Paris, by simply coming to a meeting, while ignoring all of its expired 'rules,' which have been abolished. When other 'new rules' pop up, they are abolished because 'no rules' is the club 'rule' now.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The next Café Metropole Club meeting will be held on Thursday, 25. October, which is really on a Thursday again this year. It is also the annual day known as Saint-Crépin's Day.

The following day will be an ordinary Friday. Assuming you like Fridays, make the most of it - there will only be 10 more of them this year.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is nearly every week with Thursdays and Fridays. Your club's meeting time will begin at 15:00 and drag out to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'FUTO' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without squared metrical 24-hour time.

The club's secretary, now sometimes known as 'Ed,' will be making some 'report' notes during thephoto: doug fuss, roy trew coming meeting. It is merely a regular club ritual - not a 'rule' - like ignoring the 'green man' crosswalk signs and looking both ways first.

Doug and Roy compare the humidity levels of Savannah and Brisbane.

Bring a new 'Quote of the Week' or come with your own 'City of the Week' or even concoct any other 'Things of the Week.' New 'rules' will not be unacceptable. Any other darn thing is eligible. Having something else on hand may be significant enough to get it mentioned in a meeting's club 'report.'

Your comments, thoughtful or not, will be warmly received by the other members present, if they overhear them - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they read them.

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