'Indian Summer'

photo: cafes at edgar quinet, sunday

Crowded café terraces at Edgar Quinet on Sunday.

Is Still Here

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 29. October 2001:- Headlining whatever was here last week as the 'Hello, Goodbye - Indian Summer' was a bit premature. I tend to be pessimistic about the weather anyway.

By this I mean that 'normal' Paris weather is mainly neither this nor that - it is a sort of boring kind of muddled average. For weeks when there was no heat in the apartment - it was far below average inside, in other words - it was tending to make me see the gloomy side of things.

Now that working heat has been restored I can analyze the weather situation like a regular human being. The truth is, as the month draws to an end, Paris has had 10 hours of sunshine above the norm 'for this time of year' and the average temperatures have been three big degrees above normal too.

Along with this two temperature records were set in Paris - on Tuesday, 2. October and on Friday, 12. October. On these days the thermometre showed 25 and 24 degrees - or about 75 F.

Gardeners are having mixed feelings about this weather. All sorts of plants that were supposed to be going into winter sleep are doing exactly the opposite. A couple living in Le Pecq are a bit miffed that they cannot see the Seine on account of all the leaves on the trees.

On the other hand they are getting apples that weigh more than a pound each, and their lemon trees are doing very well. It is also a good season for bugs of all kinds, and for escargots.

'Café Life'

'Administration' is not a word that rhymes with 'Café Life' and dealing with it - them! - is not something done voluntarily. Last week, after leaving me alone for a month, it - they! - caught up with me again and I was plunged into a triple-play, with an agile shortstop acting as a wild-card.

Someday I may write more about this even if it seems to be an East- European novel of some sort, in the sense that much of it is incomprehensible.

The latest object - the fourth - popped up from an unexpected quarter this morning, in the form of a fine on a fine, for not paying one of the government's taxes quickly enough. To get rid of it - the tax itself was paid in full months ago - I paid the fine and the fine on the fine. 'They' won. Basta!

Although the form said I could contest the fine, within four months of the original tax being due, itphoto: fiat 500 of the week also said 'they' would do dire things to me if I didn't pay it within eight days. It took the letter, posted in France, 14 days to reach me.

No 'administration' would like this car - but it's our 'Fiat 500 of the Week.'

I won't say this administrative stuff is dominating my mind, but enough of it has landed all at once so that I'm having a hard time trying to co-ordinate it with the days ahead - and finding it impossible to remember what Dennis said about the Marx brothers last Wednesday.

This is a shame, because I think I their wise counsel could come in handy right about now.

Sexy Advertising II

No sooner do I tell you - last week - about how everybody in France is objecting to 'sexy advertising,' than the Bolero underwear people buy half of Paris' poster spaces, and plaster them with a message suggesting that they manufacture underwear 'worth sharing.'

Normally this sort of thing can be easily taken in stride - but when it is plastered on half the spaces available, it cannot be overlooked. In case you would like to overlook this, do not look at this week's Poster page II.

By scanning the papers carefully, I have not managed to find any traffic safety accounts forphoto: halloween window of the week the week - that could have left one thinking that there is a connection between this kind of message, and the image with it, and the rate of rear-end collisions.

It must mean then, that there is some level of over-exposure at work here. Automobile drivers simply saw the poster too many times for it to be a distraction - and knowing full well that if they missed a good look once, another would be quickly available.

Halloween - what does it really mean?

The one spokesperson for women's groups I could question about this poster, gave it one short glance, shrugged her shoulders, and hurried off on her way towards the underwear department of Samaritaine.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

Metropole's ability to get itself and its weekly club 'report' online in a timely fashion is expected to improve because everybody involved has decided to quit fooling around and use old-fashioned methods that may be slow, but are sure.

You can catch up with last week's usual club subjects - especially if you can read better than either of the two dog members - by reading this meeting's digest of a 'report,' which also contains some important information that I'm going to repeat endlessly here.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 1. November at La Corona. This day will be another ordinary Thursday-type day called 'Toussaint' because it is the day after Halloween, which is called 'Saint-Quentin' in France.
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