It Took a Whole Year

photo: bar, la corona

The café La Corona's spacy bar area.

For Your Club to Turn Four!

Paris:- Friday, 17. October 2002:- As of last Monday, which was 14. October, your club finished its third year of continual existence, and became four years old - which it will continue to be until Monday, 13. October 2003. This is not a 'first' in itself, but becoming four is.

Another non-'first' is the club's secretary forgetting to look carefully at members' booklet number one - to see that the 'first' meeting in the whole history of the world was on Thursday, 14. October 1999.

Only statistics fanatics will appreciate this, but yesterday's meeting had the number of '52' when it should have had the number 'one.' This means that there might have been 53 meetings in the club's third year - counting number 'one' and number '52,' but of course there weren't.

If the club ever had a general meeting - unforeseen by the 'rules' - and the 419 members were asked to vote - also unforeseen by the 'rules' - for declaring the secretary competent or not, if the vote went against me I would gladly step down.

No, I am not tired of the club. Not even if it has 53 meetings in a year, which I think is plainphoto: glasses impossible because I wasn't even at all of them and one or two didn't happen because I was goofing off in New York.

Glasses are a frequent accessory at most meetings.

However, all of this is moot anyway. The club has 'no rules' after all. It doesn't have 419 members either because one died of old age. Cobia, who joined the club on Thursday, 23. August 2001, moved to dalmatian heaven earlier this year. Adieu good member 267.5! Dinny Moyer and we miss you.

Another bit of 'mootness' is the fact that your club is already in its fourth year because of sloppy accounting. Simply being 'free' isn't any excuse for this.

But now that the forgetting has been done, it is time to forget it, and get on with this fourth glorious year - by reminding you of all the other things that didn't happen in the past year except for more virtual Metropole Paris readers becoming 'real' club members, by signing the members' booklet in person in Paris.

The club's own Café La Corona which is the site of the weekly Thursday meetings, survived its year-end renovation by never getting it finished. The marble people put in new floors and other craftsmen put in a new kitchen and the waterworks downstairs, but the yoyos who were to recover all of the banquettes and chairs in the 'grande salle' didn't do it.

Since - except for these few improvements - nothing else in the classified-monument café was to bephoto: members maps changed, it still has its art-decadent hideous yellow murals plastered on the mirrors as before, and its totally disgusting worn-out red plastic upholstery - which still sends the color-balance for photographs into a tizzy.

Members often trade tips about Paris - such as 'better' maps.

There is a handy French phrase for this sort of thing, and it goes like this - 'the more things change the more they stay the same.' This goes for your club's café, and I suppose it is only natural, because it is the closest café in Paris - to the oldest part of the Louvre, which is more than 500 years old, if it was still where it was.

Last year for the 'birthday' announcement, I referred to the state of the Internet-economy and its relationship to this online magazine. Since then everything except this club and its companion magazine has gone further to pot.

This means that all existing club members and some future ones are closely connected to an ongoing institution of huge success, one that often has its own personal 'Waiter of the Week.'

While the 'Waiter of the Week' is a permanent fixture the actual La Corona café waiter performing this function often changes, depending on who draws the short straw. The same cannot be said for members. Even for those who have unwittingly joined the club only barely knowing they were even in Paris, have memberships for 'life.'

An additional bonus is that the memberships are 'free.' This is in the sense that the club does not front up any money to bring members to Paris and buy them tureens of onion soup, and members are not required to pay anything for their virtual membership cards - except maybe, pay a teeny little bit for the ink to print them on their own printers.

Memberships are 'free' and for 'life' because when the club began, it started to have all sorts of 'rules' but this situation only lasted a short time until one member - a historic personality whose name escapes me - suggested that the whole thing would be easier to manage without 'rules.'

Instead the club has its 'firsts.' During the past 156 meetings since club meeting number one, there have been too many really true 'firsts' to mention here, which is in itself a 'first' since 'firsts' are always mentioned.

If the club's secretary was paid to say so, the same would go for the weekly 'Cit of the Week,' the 'Food of the Week' and of course, the 'Drink of the Week,' not to explicitly mention all of the other 'Things of the Week' including the much beloved 'Quote of the Week.'

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