The Club's 'First' Ladies Day

photo: part group, patricia, terrie, linda

Of four 'in focus' group photos, this fifth one
suits today's meeting best.

"Hah Hah, Heh Heh, HA HAR HAR!"

Paris:- Thursday, 24. January 2002:- Since it is a Thursday teachers are gathered at Châtelet for a march to the Opéra. On the kids' half day off yesterday, teachers were in their classes - because doctors has taken over the streets to celebrate the 'Journée Sans Toubib.'

It is fairly breezy today and the low clouds will drop some rain soon. It is a perfect day for letting parents look after their kids, while their regular minders lark about Paris with a 'militant' parade to the Opéra.

Before I leave this colorful scene I manage to buy 1euro 3 sign-worth of Léon Trotsky's thoughts on the subject, containing 'Toute la Vérité' no less, from a guy retired from La Poste, who is here in solidarity with the teachers.

This gathering of 'protesting workers' is causing a traffic shambles on the Boulevard Sébasto, in the Rue de Rivoli and on the Seine quays and drivers are behaving like New York drivers, by leaning on their hooters, hard and steadily.

I escape this by taking my usual back streets to the club just as rain makes its first attempts tophoto: purple nails glisten the sidewalks. At the Pont Neuf corner, helpless cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and scooters are in a hopeless tangle, all criss-crossed.

A truely purple club meeting, with dress and accessories to match.

In the café La Corona I find last week's new member, Terrie Blazek, just finishing up a tureen of onion soup. This is in a non- clubland part of the café's 'Grand Salle,' so we scoot over to the club's home banquettes before some civilians can install themselves.

We barely have our coats arranged when the server-lady, Linda Thalman, arrives draped in a shawl she picked up at a flea market in Oman. She also has fingernails to match, and this makes her exceedingly chipper.

Chipper enough to drop a kilo of keys on a table with a crash, almost into her balloon of rouge. "Guess where I'm having a holiday," she teases. "These keys are for a three-day holiday in Paris!"

Then she adds, "Don't put this in," while she also drops her latest book find on the table. It is 'La Chute' by Albert Camus. "I just bopped in," she adds, somewhat needlessly.

I am not sure what it is I'm 'not supposed to put in,' so here is all of it. Linda meets Terrie whophoto: sancerre has been thinking Linda works as a waitress in La Corona - the 'server-lady' title - and they both find out they are 'cat ladies.'

Terrie says she has a French-speaking Siamese. Linda asks her if she looks at 'Cat of the Day' too. This reminds Linda that Berta Maginniss also has a thing with cats.

They compare cat numbers and Terrie has three to Linda's two, plus a horse and 'hundreds of geese.' Linda does things with her Omani scarf, which she says cost her 20 'old francs.' We admire her colored nails.

At one point Linda is shocked when Terrie tells her that there are people who 'do not like Paris.' Linda cannot believe this. She intends to 'go on vacation' in Paris real soon - the Cadillac Ranch is kind of dreary in winter I guess, but this may be another thing I'm 'not supposed to put in.'

Terrie tells us about the adventure she had in a taxi that helped make her decide to move into the hotel where shephoto: lindas paris keys usually stays in the 7th arrondissement. It is a good thing she used to be a nurse she thinks, but the taxi driver didn't reduce her fare by one new 'cent' after she fixed him up.

The kilo of keys to the server-lady's 'holiday' in Paris.

It is an interesting meeting - between cats, geese, 'open spaces' in architecture, and taxi stories - until 16:30 when Patricia Philbin arrives - which Linda thinks is a co-incidence because she's brought the book by Camus, which Patricia suggested.

Patricia joined the club in Paris during the dual meetings in New York and Paris on Thursday, 27. December, so I ask her to sign the members' booklet, rectificationly.

After some discussion of the Seine's postal services during France's 1871 disagreement with Germany, Linda suggests holding a club meeting at the racetrack at Longchamp. I am all for this if races featuring horses happen to be on a Thursday.

Terrie discovers she has a cigarette lighter the same color as Linda's fingernails, so they make a trade. Linda's looks it was designed by a ladybug in a bad mood, but Terrie's is kid-proof. It's also perfect for non-smokers, because it requires rocket-science to operate.

At the stroke of 17:00 Dinny Moyer arrives. The group photo has already been taken, and when I try to get the four ladies on their feet again, there is overt rebellion which amounts to outright refusal.

"HAH HAH!" the server-lady says when Dinny points out that the kid-proof lighter needs a high-tech service engineer to go along with it.

This is followed by, "HEH HEH" and then, "HA HAR HAR!"

I guess the server-lady is really looking forward to her coming holiday in Paris.

But no! Linda is matching her scarf to her nails and the lighter. "I'm going to be the club's fashion pate," she says.

"Pate?" Dinny is dubious. "Don't you mean fashion tureen?"

Then Dinny has a 'euro' story for us. Her parents were in Paris for a visit and they found it was economical to not put any euros in the parking metres, because getting two parking tickets a day is cheaper.

She adds, "But the parking metres are free at lunchtime!"

Terrie offers the opinion that this is possiblyphoto: cruel shoes because of the 'Code Napoléon' - which readers should know will be having its 200th anniversary soon, slightly more than two years from now.

Fashionable footwear is compared at today's meeting, which is more relaxed than usual.

'Waiter of the Week' Patrick absentmindedly brings Linda a 'quart' of wine instead of a balloon, but the other members present are willing to help her get rid of it. To keep pace, Dinny gets herself an extra beer.

Since it is somewhat after club-over time, and everybody claims they intended to leave before it ended, Linda decides to find out if the ladies' waterworks in the café's underground section are still free.

On her return we learn they have become 'payant' again. Since my notes end here, after a discussion with Dinny about whether the euro 3 sign-sign comes before or after the number, I should mention that Pittsburgh PA is the 'City of the Week' because Patricia came from there, once upon a time.

After everybody has left the club's area I check the floor to make sure no scarves, gloves or kid-proof cigarette lighters are left behind. It doesn't occur to me to check the table, my bag and pockets, for the missing 'official' club pen though.

The Next Meeting - At La Corona

The coming meeting of the Café Metropolephoto: dinny Club will be on Thursday, 31. January - because it is a good old Thursday again - and it definitely will be held at the Café-Tabac La Corona.

Next Thursday will be just another absolutely ordinary fifth Thursday in the first month of 2002 kind of day called Sainte-Marcelle. This saint is not known as the patron saint of all winter sales shoppers and is therefore not any reason for any kind of holiday in France.

Dinny says, "No group photo - no, not me, not now, forget it!"

See the address for this meeting at the bottom of this page, proceeded or followed by all the date and time and multiple métro-stop names, which must be known by nearly all readers and members already.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Learn more than most club members need to know about this club if you think this could improve your comprehension of a meeting - by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club.' This explains exactly where to find the club in Paris and the day and time of the meetings.

You will also be cheered to learn that you can easily become a member of this online magazine's free and real club in Paris, by simply coming to a meeting if you don't forget the address métro station names, time and other stuff.

Date, Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Your club's meeting time in Paris will begin at 15:00 and cruise along to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'PMOP' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in zones without 24-hour 'Eurotime.'

The club's secretary will be making somephoto: tickets, tips 'report' notes during the meeting. This will require no effort on your part, unless you have difficulty remembering your name, hometown and email address. Getting two out of three of these right will be really great.

The customary mess that is left for Patrick to clean up - as usual.

Be sure to have a new 'Quote of the Week' ready or come with your own 'City of the Week'- if you remember it - or even bring along any other 'Things of the Week.' New 'rules' are still 'non grata,' as usual.

Your comments, casual or completely out-of-your-mouth, will be highly appreciated by the other members present, if they chance to overhear them - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they happen to read them, if they manage to be written here.

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.
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