"Twice As Much Caffeine?"

photo: group from left, randy, luan, susanne, anite, lucy, mark

Today's group from left - Randy, LuAn, Susanne, Anita,
Lucy and Mark.

Absolutely Perfect

Paris:- Thursday, 16. May 2002:- Last week's report here about doctors getting enough money to go golfing, if there were enough golf courses, was premature - and the weather 'report' was somewhat confused.

'Grizzly' was forecast and grizzly is what we got so it wasn't actually 'confused,' it was 'grizzly' which is the same as confused, weatherwise.

This week, today, I have very bad news for everybody who hasn't been in Paris today. Today is perfect weather. Perfect for May. Perfect for Paris. Absolutely perfect. If you are not, weren't here, you missed a good chance for the most perfect Thursday, 16. May in recorded history.

It has been like man's first step on the moon. You only get one of these, and today has been it. If youphoto: luan sills want perfect weather in Paris you can forget Thursday, 16. May right now. It has been a one-time thing for the lucky 12 million people here.

When a good thing happens, even if it is only once, you have to give it credit. Today will stand like a unique moment in the entire history of the whole world, especially as I am calling attention to it here, where it will stay online for everybody to wonder at, forever.

From Tulsa, LuAn gives good-natured language lessons to Randy, also from Tulsa.

At the same time since it is a Café Metropole Club day, it becomes this report's first 'First of the Week.' My walking all the way to the club's café, La Corona, is not a 'first,' or a 'second,' or even a 'third.' Seconds and thirds don't count anyway as everybody who has read 'About the Club' knows full well.

The second 'first' of the week is new member Randy McIntosh's heroic effort involved in bringing a mint print-out of 'About the Club' to his first meeting, bringing it all the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma, on several different airplanes - perhaps via Cairo - arriving this very morning, and carrying it all the way across Paris from the too well-known precincts of the Rue Cler in the 7th arrondissement, to La Corona.

During the meeting held on Thursday, 21. June 2001 Tulsa was mentioned, but not as 'City of the Week.' For that meeting, Tonkawa was the winner. Although unheard of, it was 'pinpointed within a triangle between Wichita in Kansas, Tulsa and Oklahoma City.'

So, close - but no cigar! Therefore, after running a careful check of over 134 club-meetingphoto: randy mcintosh documents, I solemnly declare Tulsa to be this week's 'City of the Week' for the first and only time.

LuAn Sills, who has come all the way with Randy, also helped to bring a jar of peanut butter to their hotel's owner - plus! - yes, there's a 'plus!' to this - plus some little peanut butter treats for the hotel lady's poodle.

If Randy could afford to stay in Paris forever, he would eat ham and cheese sandwiches, forever.

Because I do not have my super search thingee with me at the meeting, Randy offers his home town of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, as a back-up 'City of the Week,' if necessary. It is not, but is recorded here in case anybody else ever shows up from Sapulpa OK and proposes it for 'City of the Week.' I will know it is waiting for its 'first.'

Randy used to print Oral Roberts' books for him but is now in the natural gas business. He offers the useful information that regular gas only costs $1.19 a gallon in Tulsa, and adds that this is the reason that local ladies all drive Kenworths instead of puny SUVs to the country club.

LuAn is totally against this wasteful expenditure of natural resources and is content with her plain Jeep. She does admit it has the luxury item of air conditioning, which does not actually work too well with no roof on it.

In fact, except for coming to Paris as often as they can, they both claim to be cheap, and happily survive on standard café ham and cheese sandwiches - which reminds them both that they are jetlagged something fierce, and they immediately order what becomes the 'Food of the Week.'

They have kind words and fond memories former Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and when Mark Kritz arrives, Randy says, "San Franciscophoto: mark kritz is the prettiest city in America."

You can't fool the Kritz. "I notice you've come here instead of San Francisco," he says.

I ask him where he's been - besides San Francisco - and he says, "It must be May - here's Mark Kritz."

"If I'm in Paris, it must be May," Mark says, "Or December."

Randy then says some words in Oklahoman to find out if we can figure out what he's saying. He says, "Po-iem." I ask him to spell it, but he doesn't know how. So he might not have said 'Po-iem' exactly. It's the best I can do.

The 'Question of the Week' is LuAn's - "Does a double-express have twice as much caffeine?" She thinks not.

Kritz thinks she may be right. It has to do with making a pot of coffee and brewing it a long time as opposed to taking a large clump of finely-ground strong coffee and blasting hot water through it for 15 seconds.

My next note reads, 'Foods - puluer - mcII,' so I will just skip it.photo: susanne farah

With all the talk of the trips to Cairo, Kritz asks, "How can you call yourselves Okies if you're never there?"

"They only let you leave so many times," Randy replies.

At this point, and my notes are very clear about this, Anita Bennett who has just arrived with Susanne Farah, says, "We've just come from a Turkish bath."

Susanne knows where all the steam baths are in Paris, especially the hot ones.

There is silence while some of us look outside and see that it is still the 'best day of the year' and others look around at the Corona's decor which is well-lit from the outside light.

They went to the Hamman in the Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, which they say has been operating since 1889. Since the mosque was built between 1922 and 1926 I may have mis-heard the date. They look like they ran all the way to the club meeting too.

Susanne becomes a new club member without really knowing what it involves, except that it is free. She lives in Paris and has done so for a long time.

In the excitement Lucy Wollin has joined us from Manhattan. Like the Oklahomans, she intends to see the Impressionists in the Musée d'Orsay too, plus walk around a lot and look at the people.

Frankly, as far as I know, this is a fairly new declared Paris activity for vistors - looking at Parisians. Of course I see them all the time, and on top of it I have no way of knowing whether they look like Oklahomans. I do know Parisians do look like a lot of New Yorkers - especially the ones who come to Paris.

With these tardy arrivals - but not late! - it is time to get the 'Group Photo of the Week' and doingphoto: anita bennett this is fairly easy because nobody is sitting out on the terrace of La Corona. Sometimes there is, and some look like they want to get into the picture too.

On today of all days, Anita has just experienced a hot steam bath.

With this chore out of the way the only thing left to do is return to the café's interior and settle our tabs with the 'Waiter of the Week,' who is the new one whose name I keep forgetting or haven't asked for yet.

Then, while there is a little lingering on the terrace, this same 'Waiter of the Week' brings me three more new members who are - not late! - but have arrived after the club's official time is over.

This is how Valerie Lofland and her son Aurimas and friend Stelly become club members. Stelly is agreeable to anything just so long as it is free, but Aurimas - who is about six - gets a bit impatient while Valerie and I chat about her being a PhD like - Kritz, "Maybe I advanced science 45 centimetres" - and being a Lieutenant-Colonel in the air force in Germany at, I think, Ramstein.

Valerie has been looking forward to meeting the server-lady Linda Thalman. But with this beautiful day I am pretty sure she has stayed home at thephoto: lucy wollin Cadillac Ranch to run her green thumbs through whatever she runs them through out there.

The Coming Meeting

The next weekly meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 23. May. This will be a fairly usual 21th Thursday in the year 2002, between the election of Jacques as Président and the legislative elections. Otherwise it is named for Saint-Didier.

Lucy up-dates my memory about subway stops in lower Manhattan.

The actual location for this meeting is below, proceeded or followed by all the date and time and multiple métro-stop names, all of which have been identical for years, almost like this paragraph, which does change by a word or two some weeks.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can find out how to become a member by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club.' This page explainsphoto: valerie lofland nearly everything you should know about this club - next to nothing - and its meetings - only a bit more than next to nothing.

If you feel like giving this 'About' page a pass - there are 'no rules' after all - 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 being at a meeting when you are in Paris, or even if you live here as some members do.

Despite working for the air force, Valerie may be the club's only member to arrive by train.

The 'Coming Meeting' Boilerplate

Every meeting of this club in Paris begins at 15:00 on Thursday and continues until 17:00, still on Thursday, in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'MIPS' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide zones without metric 24-hour 'Eurotime,' which is now in its real 'summer' version.

The club's secretary will be making some true effort to make 'report' notes during the meeting. Thisphoto: ham, cheese sandwich, demi will require only that you say something worthy of noting. Note your hometown's name and your own email address for reference if you tend to forget retaining them in memory.

Not just the 'Food of the Week' but the French national snack of all time.

Bring a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your own 'City of the Week' or be prepared to mention any other original 'Things of the Week' if you want curious relations to read them in a 'club report' associated with your name. 'No-names' is an option you can elect too. Otherwise and in general, the only exception is 'no rules.'

Many of the things you say may be treated with great consideration and be really appreciated by the other members present, if they hear them - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they read them - if they turn out 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.
Every Thursday from 15:00 to 17:00.

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,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini