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 advisable 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.

But the Spurgeons' most astonishing story is about the naked statue of former président François Mitterrand in Rambouillet. Apparently, it was made to order for Jack Lang when he was Superminister of Culture. It is supposed to be called 'Le Barque du Soleil' but all I can find out about it is that Marie-Antoinette nicknamed the château, 'La Crapaudière.'

In order to distract her, Louis XIV had a dairy built for Marie-Antoinette to play around with, and you can visit this on Sundays and holidays - or look for the statue which is not actually of François Mitterrand.

Trust Cannes to become 'City of the Week,' and the only thing the people who introduced it want tophoto: dinny moyer, cobia talk about is Napoléon's small bathtub in Rambouillet. Afterwards, Louis XVIII had all the 'N's removed from the doorhandles, but he wasn't altogether such a bad egg.

Suddenly, at ten minutes before the meeting's official end, it is deemed wise to remove the canine members to some other place where they can perform their possibly necessary bodily functions in some privacy, because neither of them has the small change necessary for the keeper of the café's waterworks.

What little Cobia has to say he says seldom.

Zip. Just like -that! Forty percent of the members present have to go, so all the members go. There is nobody left to pronounce the meeting's minutes duly read and approved, seconded, and passed by a majority.

So much for the club's 'non-rules.'

Important Alert - Pending Club Meeting Move!

The club's meeting place in the Café La Corona for the past two years will make a temporary move to another café. La Corona is getting its first facelift in 30 years and this is the reason for the change.

Temporary Location, Vital Dates

The last meeting at La Corona before its renovations begin will be next week on Thursday, 1. November. The following meeting, on Thursday, 8. November, will be held nearby at Le Café Lodi.

La Corona's renovation is scheduledphoto: cobia's cocktail to begin on Monday, 5. November and will be completed on Friday, 14. December. The first meeting to be held in the renovated Café La Corona will be on Thursday, 20. December.

This means that club meetings will at the Cafe Lodi, on Thursdays, 8, 15, 22, and 29. November and on 6. and 13. December.

In fact, Cobia doesn't drink much either.

While La Corona's important renovations are in progress, attend club meetings at Le Café Lodi, which is located at 24. Quai du Louvre. It is about 60 metres away from La Corona, towards the Pont Neuf, next to the pet shop. See the map on the other club page in this issue.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can learn lots of other stuff about this club 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, 1. November, which is really on a Thursday again this year. It is also the annual day known as Toussaint, which is sort of a holiday in France.

The previous day will be Halloween and the following day will be an ordinary Friday, called 'Défunts' Day. Assuming you like Fridays, make the most of it - there will only be 9 more of them this year.

The café La Corona meeting place will be open as it is nearly every week with Thursdays, except when it is being renovated. Your club's meeting time will begin at 15:00 and drag out to 17:00photo: leffe beer in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'UTUP' - 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 the coming meeting. It is merely a regular club ritual - not a 'rule!' - even short-time members should recall that all club 'rules' have been abolished.

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.

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
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