...Continued from page 1

Three bystanders instantly hitphoto: saddest fiat 500 of the year the shooter on an arm, a Canadian tourist named Mohamed Chelali slapped the barrel of the rifle and another pushed it high. The shooter clung to the rifle. So did the bystanders, and one grabbed him by the neck.

Right here, one time only - the sorriest 'Fiat 500 of the Year.'

Several CRS troops were nearly as instantly on the scene and they plastered the shooter to the ground. He was handcuffed and quickly bundled into a CRS 'salad-basket' and whisked off to the Quai des Orfèvres.

There he was examined by a doctor who decided he wasn't injured physically. Upon questioning by Police Judiciaire investigators, the 25 year-old shooter apparently said his intention was to shoot the president and then himself.

This is not normal behavior for citizens of France, so he was handed over to the psychiatric unit instead of being placed directly into police custody, or 'garde à vue.'

The Président was unaware of the incident and was only informed by telephone 90 minutes afterwards, by the Minister of the Interior, Nicolas Sarkozy. Chirac, riding towards the Elysée in his bullet-roof Renault, is reported to have said, "Ah, bon?"

The distance between the shooter and the president might have been 100 metres, or 150 metres as reported by tonight's TV-news. A bit far with iron sights, but close enough.

TV-news played a clear recording of the shots, wondering if the second one wasn't a echo of the first.

When Jacques Chirac was first elected Président in 1995, I was at the Etoile and on his round of hand-shaking, I was within 20 metres of him, with all exposures in the camera already taken.

The beginning of the investigation today has turned up that the shooter has a fairly long history of belonging to extreme-rightist groups. Nicolas Sarkozy has demanded a complete report within eight days. The PJ and who knows how many spooks started tearing the country apart yesterday.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

If you are again distracted by sports news, I can understand why you haven't had time to read last Thursday's club meeting 'report.' In case this is the case, you can catch up with your club's news by hitting this link to 'A Bungle of a 'First' report, and nobody will know the difference.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 18. July. The club's 'Saint's Day of the Week' next Thursday is Saint-Frédéric's day.

Readers who want to become real club members can scan the few minor details concerning this freephoto: bike of the week club in 14 seconds by reading the large-sized fine-print on the 'About the Club' page and maybe scraping the virtual membership card off the screen.

Some Parisians treat the Fête Nationale as any normal bike day.

Joining is no more than easily simple. Do it by being here! Being here on a Thursday is even better. Keeping up with club 'news' is no great chore either, because the reports about it go online right after the meetings, right after I finish writing them slowly. You can read them in this magazine, which is online too.

Save 'Metropole Paris' as one of your favorite bookmarks to avoid mistyping its overly-long name every time you feel like reading a club report, or a regular edition like this one.

Metropole's Affiliates

The following product or service providers have chosen Metropole because their offers may be of value to you and I agree with them.

'Bookings' has extended their reservation service for a wide selection of Paris hotels. Check out their wider offers and make your choice long before your arrival in France. Try this one. Other Metropole readers have.

'HighwayToHealth' provides a 'city health profile' for Paris as well as travel insurance. If you have signed up for these services before you need them suddenly, you will benefit from them. I hope won't be the case, but 'Things Happen.'

'Petanque America' exports quality Obut boules from France and will ship them to you anywhere in the Americas - which will save you the effort of carrying them all the way from Paris. Be the first on your block to introduce the game of pétanque - or boules. Everybody can play this game, nearly anywhere - such as on any vacant lot covered with suitable dirt.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 6.29/30 - 16. July 2001 - This double issue began with the Café Metropole column's breathless 'Bigger Yawn Than Last Week.' The 'Au Bistro' column raved about the 'Lost Rave Party Found.' This issue had no features ofany kind. But it had updates for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 19. July, called the 'The 'Frites' of the Week' report, followed on 26. July with the 'Steamy Meeting' report. The week's 'Scene' columnphoto: sign, rue andre gide was headlined 'Something for You Rain or Shine.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Is It 'Ed?'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 5.29 - 17. July 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Travel Tales.' This week's 'Au Bistro' column headline was 'Incredible Weather Bombs Picnic.' The week's feature was about Canada for a change, with the title 'More Trees Than People - Oh! Canada In 2000.' This started the 'more trees than...' wave. The Café Metropole Club first update for this issue featured Linda Thalman's report, "Full House." The following 20. July meeting's report was, 'Métro, Clubo, Dodo.' The 'Scene' column was skipped on account of jet-lagism. The usual four 'Posters of the Week' were on view nearly as usual and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'No Smoking, Remember?' Nobody in France is responsible for anything after 15. July.

Silly Countdown To Sunday, 13. July

Despite a couple of semi-important upcoming dates that could be suitable 'countdown' candidates - only two of them are here this week, both for cultural reasons.

As of today, there are only 169 days remaining in this year. This means the 'euro 3 signuro'photo: light pole decor currency has been around for a whole 196 days now - more than exactly six whole months! - more than long enough for everybody to treat it like regular old money.

This week's second countdown is to Sunday, 13. July, which is only 364 days off. This date is the eve of Bastille Day 2003, when most of the cultural street parties and techno sessions take place, regardless of the weather permitting, with the official stuff happening the following day.

Of course, if you've just gotten through this year's festivities, I can understand why you might think this countdown is a complete bathtub full of hogwash, which it is.
signature, regards, ric

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