...Continued from page 1

"There were ugly parts to the 19th century too," he says, specifically mentioning the Paris Commune. I think most past centuries had 'ugly parts,' but we keep on the 'art' line and David's painting of Napoléon plopping the crown on Josephine's head in Notre-Dame comes up as an example of - as an example of a big painting.

David says notables at the time paid David - David the painter, not our David the club member - to include them in the painting.

This reminds me that we have been having this serious discussion for hours and it is long past café time. Luckily the 'Waiter of the Week' materializes at exactly this moment and takes the order for one Coke, one Perrier and one double-café and delivers all three one moment later.

David, who was a professor of mathematics in his former life before cooking in Paris, isn't sure if Oldsmobiles are still made in East Lansing, Lansing, or even in the United States, or at all.

We are all silent as we remember the 1955 'Rocket' 88. It is possible that the only place in the world where one of these might be found is in Havana, or maybe, Western Australia.

Then Neil remembers that he must be elsewhere and takes himself off. Since it is after- hours club-time-wise, David and I look for the bill. Seeing none, I ask the 'Waiter of the Week' for it.

When it comes, David and I look at Neil's empty Coke glass. There is no money on the table. There is no money on the floor either. So we split the price of the Coke and leave a pile of euros on the table.

David says goodbye and goes out the café's front door. I go out and look over the terrace and then go back to have a run through the waterworks downstairs. Before I get there, Neil comes charging in, saying he got all the way to the Place Dauphine before remembering he might have stiffed us for the Coke.

Since splitting the price of it with David was so taxing mathematically, I suggest Neil can make it up at the nextphoto: cafe meeting he attends. But he insists on paying, so we split it again. David - if you read this, I owe you about a third of a Coke.

Then, on the way to the waterworks again, La Corona's owner, Monsieur Naudan, decides to tell me he has an apartment for rent in the 6th. Gasp! Can this be true?

The 'Drink of Almost Every Week,' is always a double-café.

Oh yes. The problem is he doesn't want to rent it for a long term - no more than four years. This is actually okay with me.

The other problem is the cost of the service charges for the marble entry, the elevator and the concierge and the garage, the water and heat, and for the maid to dust its 110 square metres. But the truly insurmountable problem is the rent for it. Except for this, I could handle the other problems, if I didn't tip the maid.

And I forgot - the 'City of the Week' is East Lansing, MI. Go, go 'Magic Johnson!'

The Coming Meeting

The next weekly meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 27. June. This will be a perfectly normal 26th Thursday in the year 2002 - except for it being the last one in the first half of this year - named for the occasion, for Saint-Fernand. I am pretty sure this saint is not a 'first.'

The location details for this meeting are below, followed or preceded by the multiple métro-stop names and all the date and time details, all of which have been identical for years, almost like this paragraph, which has not changed by even a hyphen this week.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

To learn how to become a member you may read the page called 'About the Café Metropole Club.' This page explains nearly everything you should know about this club - which is next to nothing - and its meetings - only a bit more than 'not much.'

'Club rules,' such as they are, suggest that if you feel like giving this 'About' page a pass - be my guest. All you really need to know is that you can become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club in a second by simply being at a meeting when you are at one.

The 'Coming Meeting' Standard Details

Meetings of this club in Paris begin at 15:00 on Thursday and continue until 17:00, still on Thursday, inphoto: letter of the week Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'EDF' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide zones without 'Metric-Eurotime,' which is now in its long-day summer version.

The club's secretary will be listening to you at the same time as he is concocting some 'report' notes during the meeting. Note your name, hometown, and your own email address in the members' booklet in case the secretary forgets to ask you to do it.

Absentee member attends meeting with surprise letter for the club secretary.

Come with a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your own 'City of the Week' - the secretary can't do this - or dream up any other original or amusing 'Things of the Week.' 'No-names' is an option you can adopt too if everything is really silly. Otherwise and in general, the only exception is 'no rules.'

Things you say may be treated with great respect and may be really appreciated by the other members present, if there are any - 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

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