A Rare 'Calm' Meeting

photo: cobia returns to club

Member Cobia requests a club cocktail.

Approved, Seconded, and Passed

Paris:- Thursday, 25. October 2001:- Today has the best forecast of the week and it is not a stunner. On the TV-weather news it looks like it will be a day of bad sledding as opposed to being stuck in a muddy bog.

But, of course, I exaggerate. Yesterday I had a 'feeling' that heat was returning to my apartment in the normally 'sunny' 14th arrondissement, but I think it was only my imagination hinting that the cold cast-iron radiators were less frigid. I patted each of them gently and then couldn't make up my mind.

This morning they were definitely as dead and cold as coffin-nails two metres down in Antarctic permafrost. But wishful thinking must help, because by noon they were radiating heat again. Welcome back, paradise!

The same cannot be said for the forecast for the rest of the week outdoors, so I leave for the club early in order to get the 'sunny' photos for next week's issue. I hope nobody will mind these uncharacteristic shots of Paris 'in the fall' - showing people lolling around in the sunshine in the Tuileries.

In the Louvre's Cour Napoléon, the CGT's red banner is flying, with a companion black banner - signifying that the museum's strike is still going on.

This is after a fair-sized demonstration yesterday at France's cultural headquarters at the Palais-Royal - which was announced as a 'success' of some sort on TV-news last night.

The strikes are about the introduction of the 35-hour week to the national culture establishment. Thisphoto: michelle royston labor action does not apply to national outdoor places like the Tuileries gardens, so if you find that you can't get into the Louvre - the gardens are open for your inspection and use.

If any members know where club member Michelle can get sunflower seeds in Paris, drop 'Ed' a note.

At La Corona, club member Michelle Royston is waiting for me. My 'report' notes do not say why she is at the meeting before it begins, but I'm sure she has a good enough reason. La Corona is a pretty calm place - before club meetings, at least.

Michelle is in a good mood because she is going to move out of her rented studio and into a larger flat. It will not be that much larger, but it will have twice as many rooms - and is equipped with heating that she can turn off and on at will.

To celebrate this, she is planning on having a Thanksgiving dinner in it. The only blot on her horizon is her failure to find any yams at any of the Paris markets she's been to.

But this is nowhere near as serious as her lack of sunflower seeds. One of her uncles brought her two bags of them, and even though they were supposed to last three months, she finished them off in four days. "They were small bags," she says.

This leaves her happy with Paris' supply of Pepsi, but unhappy with Colonel Sandbags' 'Kentucky Fried Chicken,' which does not have any mashed potatoes and gravy. "All they have is frites," she laments.

For people like me who do not know the date of Thanksgiving, it is on Thursday, 22. November this year, which is on Sainte-Cécile's Day, of course. It is also the date of a meeting of this here club, the Café Metropole Club - which will be held at Le Café Lodi. (See below for details.)

Somewhere about here - not on this page, but in time, at the club - Helen and Chester Spurgeonphoto: empty cafe arrive with two dogs. I immediately recognize one of them because it is club member, Cobia.

The other one is named Scuffy. I fail to note Scuffy's type, other than the word 'unwashed,' but catch Michelle saying she used to have a 'Jack Russel Chihuahua.'

Scuffy lives half the year in Cannes with the Spurgeons because they live there too. Although Cannes has its shortcomings, it becomes the 'City of the Week' because the other six months belong to - oh no - I forget to note it. Someplace in Virginia, that has had the club honor before.

About Paris, Chester remembers that he 'loved it' in 1955, because, he says, "There was no traffic."

"Because there were no cars," Helen remembers.

This starts off some minor complaints about Cannes' minor shortcomings - such as at film festival time, when the metre-monitors are writing tickets non-stop, for resident's cars are well as visiting limos.

Now that her car is safely parked in the underground garage near the café, Dinny Moyer joins the meeting, much to the appreciation of Cobia, who was getting pretty anxious.

Dinny arranges with the 'Waiter of the Week' for a used ice cream container-full cocktailphoto: spurgeons with scuffy for Cobia, which also helps to sooth anxiety. It is good to see that the club's members who happen to be dogs value their memberships enough to return.

Scuffy is the club's first canine member to reside in Cannes.

This is also a rare club meeting when none of the members present happen to be residents of the United States. Talking a bit about events there, I am relieved to hear that getting Lyme's Disease is very unlikely in France on account of there being few deer ticks in Paris.

From Chester I learn that walking in fields around Chartres is not advisabe in the winter because of the clay in the soil there. From the way he describes it, it is far worse than Paris' own 'ugly dirt,' which the city is valiantly combatting with asphalt and concrete and even stone blocks.

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