...Continued from page 1

Polly gets into this conversation as if she's been at the meeting since the beginning. She says she has an unspellable Serbian family name, and it is always a fair adventure to convince anybody in France to give it a whirl.

Then, she says, after its correctness is achieved, and everybody is quite pleased with the result, it is safe to freely admit that getting it right is something of a major accomplishment. In the United States this might be called something icky like 'bonding' but here it is merely being 'human.'

Since it is after the meeting's time–over, I suggest it is 'Group Photo of the Week' time. Polly is surprised and says she didn't come prepared for this important event.

The author of 'French or Foe?' and 'Savoir Flair!' listens without much conviction to the secretary's explanation about all club members – especially number 400! – being 'heros,' and finally agrees to be present with Chris and Joseph for an 'unofficial Group Photo of the Week.'

After two 'unofficial' shots, the session is over. Polly is relieved, and turns to pick up her bag – and this becomes the unposed non–Mardi–Gras, non–hiphop 'Group Photo of the Week,' with Polly completely and naturally, unprepared.

it is only at this moment – on the point of leaving – that Chris becomes aware that Polly is the author of a book that Chris bought yesterday – that Chris does not have with her.

The two ladies work out a substitute method of a 'signing' – thus lending a fine literary aromaphoto: mr ferrat to the meeting, which is a true 'first' if there ever was one.

After the stories about treadmills in Baton Rouge I feel like a walk, so I go with Joseph over to the traffic–clogged Boulevard Sébasto to see if there are any Palm PDAs available.

If you can't find the meeting in the 'salle du club,' find Monsieur Ferrat.

Going into an office supply shop we practically fall over a large and tired Monsieur who tells us where we can get a good glass of Guinness for breakfast at eight in the morning in the Rue Rambuteau. He also says something about having forgotten where he parked his DC–8 at Shannon, and shows us his pilot's license.

I won't say having a conversation like this is a common situation in Paris, but on the other hand it is sort of a gentle warning that there are 'human' people here and you should be prepared for them.

The Next Club Meeting

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 5. September. This will be a perfectly normal 36th Thursday in the year 2002 – with the day being named Saint(e)–Raïssa, which will be a bonafide 'first.'

The changeless paragraph which used to be here, is... [...not here anymore...]

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

Find out how to become a member by looking over the page called 'About the Café Metropole Club.' But if you are reading this 'report' of today's club meeting, 'how–to–become–a–member' should be perfectly clear. Even hefty Chihuahuas could figure it out.

'Club rules' have been deactivated – but if they weren't – they would suggest that if you feel skipping this 'About' page a pass – do it. All you need to know is that you can become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club in a twinkle by simply being at a meeting. This is all there is to it, so I guess you can skip the 'About' page after all.

Special Dubious Note

It is not true that all of the unposed 'Group Photos of the Week' are achieved by asking members to do a Mardi–Gras kick and hiphop. Some members do both spontaneously.

The Standard Details Concerning Meetings

Club meetings begin in Paris no sooner than 15:00 on Thursday and continue until 17:00, still on Thursday, in Europe's Central European Time Zone – which is 'CET' for short and not 'FTAB' – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide areas with 24–hour–time.

The club's secretary will be listening to your every word at the same time as he may be trying to concoct some 'report' notes, which might be completely different from anything youphoto: polly signs for chris hear at a meeting. Please note your name, hometown, and your own email address in the members' booklet. The club's secretary often forgets to remember to ask you to do it.

Chris watches as Polly signs something to go with 'French or Foe?'

Come prepared with a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your hometown as 'City of the Week' – the secretary can't make up fake ones – or dream up any other 'Things of the Week.' 'No–names' is an option you can opt for too if you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet. Otherwise and in general, the only exception is 'no rules.'

What you say may be appreciated by the other members present, if there are any, and if they are listening – and by all readers of this online magazine, if some of them 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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