No 'Sausage of the Week'

photo: group of 9 of the week

The authentic 'Group of 9' photo of the week, with
nearly no carnival effects.

But Patrick Gets 'Bisous' from Chicago

Paris:- Thursday, 28. February 2002:- On my 'week off' getting up to go to the club meeting is no problem because Dennis - who I thought was in Prague or Berlin or Kiev - phones to invite me to lunch. I decide to have breakfast first - and Dennis says he'll tell me how it all comes out in Mitteleuropa in three weeks.

Outside in the open air, once I get out of the canyon of my street, I see that Paris is enjoying one of the rare troughs between waves of rain clouds marching relentlessly across northern France.

There are even bits of blue sky scattered around. These are meant to lure people out of their hotel rooms into lines waiting to get into museums. Do not be fooled - these blue bits are very transitory. And when it rains, sometimes it is real rain.

I do not waste time while scooting along the Rue de Rivoli to get to the club's café. But my first call is at the lucky Loto office, to collect my zillions of euros-worth of winnings.

At the doorway my entry is barred by a young ladyphoto: anita bennett who says I cannot enter to become rich today because a film crew has taken over the place to make a fiction movie called 'Ah! Si J'étais Riche!' I'll add that this is being directed by Messieurs Munz and Bitton. I assume they are 'Messieurs.'

Anita Bennett is looking forward to a month at the Alliance Française.

'Munz' is good, 'Munz' is lucky - in German it means coin - but I cannot gain entry. This is the only Loto office in Paris where my Loto tickets are truly lucky.

Another sign of it being lucky is the poster for the new film 'Monsieur Batignolles' that is overlooking the scene. Part of this was filmed last summer around the corner from my place in the 14th.

Even with all these visible 'lucky' signs, I can see it is no use forcing an entry because a film crew fills the entire Loto office. Drats!

I am so off-balance from having a pocket as light as it was before I didn't get my winnings, that I pass up the illegally-parked 'Fiat 500 of the Week' that has already been featured more than once - in different weeks, of course.

At the Café La Corona last week's 'Waiter of the Week' tells me his name is Vincent. I must remember this next time he is 'Waiter of the Week.' I write his name in the club report booklet to make sure of this. Meanwhile, this week's 'Waiter of the Week' is Patrick, and he does not say the 'whole world' is waiting impatiently to join the club.

But before I can write the week's meeting number and date and so on in the members' booklet and the reports' booklet, the week's first new member is in front of me and we are shaking hands, and this is Anita Bennett from Boston.

But before I can register this properly, member Edgar Ladouceur arrives with new member Annalee Ladouceur. Edgar comes every year - 'since about 1980' - and Annalee has been before too, but not to this club.

But before I can register this properly, other club members and new club members who have been waiting somewhere just out of sight, all decide more or less at once to join the meeting too.

For members, these include Dinny Moyer - number one of the notorious 'Band of Moyers' - and Fred Faure, who joined last week. For new members, there is Monica O'Neill Shay from Washington, DC, and Kathy Bridges with Kevin McMahon from Denver, Colorado, are close behind.

To round things off, and to get everybody registered properly, long-time and multiple-meeting member Doug Fuss arrives just before 16:00.

But before this, Anita says, "It seems like euros go faster than francs." Edgar adds, "When the money was francs, it seemed like confetti." For 28 seconds in my life, I am glad we are not talking about former Italian liras.

Another thing to clear up is the 'City of the Week' andphoto: toast of the week with annalee ladouceur Anita supplies this with Franklin, Massachusetts - which had the new world's first public library with books in English, which Benjamin Franklin donated from his own library to get the free public library thing started.

Annalee Ladouceur takes part in the big 'Clink of the Week.'

For the unrelated reason of no longer working in this library, Anita is taking lessons in French at the Alliance Française, which was founded somewhat later than Franklin's library, in 1883.

Edgar is still thinking about money. He says, "Aren't ATMs wonderful?" Annalee thinks the lifestyle in Paris is different too. She says you can stand in a café for half an hour and waiters don't 'chit-chat' or ask you 'where you're from.'

"They take your order and bring it and then go away until you can catch one to pay up," she adds. This can take a half hour without half trying, which is a long time to spin out a thimble of café.

Monica is in Paris because her dog was allowed to enter France but not Britain. Instead of putting it into quarantine there - which she describes as sort of hard-time solitary confinement for dogs - it can run around Paris in semi-freedom for six months before going over there.

And, it turns out Monica is staying right near where Dinny lives, and you will all remember Dinny has this dog named Tobia - a bona-fide club member too! - so there'll be some dog-meets-dog to come out of this meeting. It's not only people who get to know each other by becoming club members.

For a reason I don't note, Kevin shows us his Swiss Army watch. These are the Swiss-steel ones with the Swiss white cross on them, but they don't come with 32 useful blades, corkscrews and lock-picks. All they do is show Swiss Army-time.

Some members ask Edgar about Paris' current 'Beautiful Cow Show' going on at the Porte de Versailles.

He describes being in a huge glob of a crowd. He saw this lady become aware of a small kid leading a 'four-ton' bull by a piece of string behind her, and "She freaked out! But the crowd was so dense she had nowhere to go," he adds with a big grin. Readers and members should note that there are small animals at the Aggi Salon too.

Edgar also describes hot sausages one can eat there, from the Aveyron. Those sitting closest to him beginphoto: monica o'neill shay to get the smells he describes and an inkling - only a smidgen, only! - of the tastes. These are the 'Mercedes' of sausages, but taste better than the cars.

Doug, who is sitting furthest away, says, "Dinny and Monica are 'linked' by dogs, while the other end of the table is 'linked' by sausages."

Somehow Monica O'Neill Shay manages not only to be in focus but has 'balanced-whites' too. I wonder how this happened.

While a great deal of chat has been going on I have been scientifically 'testing' last week's home-made 'focus-puller' with the camera, getting mixed results with it. Its 'white-balance' part needs to be perfected.

For this reason I politely suggest everybody stop their talking and drinking and having a good old time, and come out to the café's terrace for the 'Group Photo of the Week' before the rains return - and the club meeting is over.

While all members present comply with the secretary's mild harassment, they simply refuse to do any carnival tango dancing.

Even though Annalee bends a leg, I think the others don't do it because of the traffic roar from the Quai du Louvre, which has more volume than usual because of the Seine having flooded the riverside speedways.

At three minutes before five the members decide today's meeting is finished. I ask if anyone knows what the right time is, because meetings are never over before five.

Some members do look at their watches and timepieces, but fail to register the time. By the time this is apparent, the time really is over.

On the way out, I tell Patrick that a club member has emailed him some 'bisous' - XXXs - from Chicago, and he says he appreciates this thoughtful gesture. I think it must be another true club 'first' but the meeting is over so this is not in the reports booklet. Remember you read it here.

While Annalee and Edgar go off to look for more sausages and the dog ladies head off to a reunion with their best friends, Doug and I watch Fred start his huge motorcycle, afterphoto: doug, kevin, edgar, fred first unhooking its heavy-duty anchor chain from a sidewalk fence made out of carbon steel.

The guys, from left, are Doug, Kevin, Edgar and Fred - with a variety of 'balances.'

I tell Fred that a couple of club members had their photos taken in December while wearing motorcycle helmets backwards. He looks at his very carefully before deciding the only way to do the same thing with it would be to take his off head first.

If you are not a club member and becoming one seems like a dubious proposition to you, as club secretary I can truthfully say that after 124 meetings I have found most club members to be pretty sensible folks. As sensible as it's possible to be in Paris, anyway.

Later, back in Montparnasse, all of my winning Loto tickets turn out to be duds when I get them checked at a café I reserve solely for buying lucky Loto tickets. Not a single sausage!

The Next Meeting

The coming weekly meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 7. March - a full week from now and a full week into next month.

This will be a fairly usual 10th Thursday in the year 2002 kind-of-day called Sainte-Félicité, about whom I know nothing even if it is my saint's day.

The address for this meeting is at the bottom of this page, followed or proceeded by all the date and time and multiple métro-stop names, which must be pretty-well known already because they have been exactly the same for more than a month of Sundays' worth of weeks, like this paragraph.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Learning more about this club could improve your tolerance for a meeting, so you can do this by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club.' This page explains everything you need to know about club membership - not much - and meetings - a tiny little bit.

But if you want to skip the highly entertaining 'About' page, all you really need know is that you can easily become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by simply coming to a meeting if you chance to be in Paris.

Date, Time and Location of the Coming Meeting

The coming meeting of your club in Paris will begin at 15:00 and zip along to 17:00 in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'CDG' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in far-flung worldzones without 24-hour 'Eurotime.'

The club's secretary will be making some feeble effort to record 'report' notes during the meeting. Thisphoto: the focus puller will require slight effort on your part. If you seldom recall your hometown and email address, note these on a used métro ticket for reference.

An accidental photo of the 'focus-puller.' It looks home-made because it is.

Come with a new 'Quote of the Week' ready or name your own 'City of the Week' or even bring up any other original 'Things of the Week' if you want to see them mentioned in a 'club report' associated with your name. Otherwise and in general, there are no hidden 'rules' except 'no rules.'

Your comments will be treated with some respect and honestly appreciated by the other members present, if they happen to be listening - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they happen to read it, if they chance 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: Louvre-Rivoli, 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,
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Waldo Bini