Peanut Butter and Chocolate

photo: group, eva, gary, lorin, sally, linda

Eva, Gary, Lorin, Sally and Linda - in the 'Lineup of the Week.'

A 'Food of the Week' First

Paris:- Thursday, 31. October 2002:- Recent weather forecasts haven't done much to raise cheer for fans of fine fall days, but the days themselves have turned out to be pretty agreeable. It just goes to show that TV-weather news tends to paint a darker picture than reality really is.

Of course it is hard for me to tell, with my color TV showing black and white snow half the time, and big-grained deranged color spots the other half. The weather guy says, "Figure out where you are on the map to find out tomorrow's temperature." I know where I am 'on the map' but I can't see it. He should remember that blind people watch TV too.

From what I could see, the near future looks a bit gloomy, so I head off early today to get real autumn photos in the Tuileries on the way to the club. Since the rest of the week's photos to appear in the coming issue may be mostly full of rain, I think you should know what you've missed by not being here on the 'other' days.

Doing this is one of 'Ed's' little editorial swindles. My excuse is that I have no curtain onphoto: frango, peanut butter chocolates my bedroom window and early morning blue skies fall right on my face, waking me up early and grouchy. Fine weather photos are my revenge.

With the trek from Concorde through the garden and past the Louvre, I arrive at the club's café La Corona a bit late. There are no members in evidence, so I don't need to tell you this - but I already know that original member number two, Gary Martin, has arrived ahead of me. I know this because I'm writing this later.

Inside this timely package - a major 'Food of the Week' first.

Gary tells me he went to Marseille in three hours on the TGV and came back in seven hours on the TGV. During the day in between, he was in Marseille - where the weather is nicer than here.

The Channel had a bad storm earlier in the week, and blew freak sand and salt spray on the SNCF's TGV electrical stuff, and it stopped all trains, including Eurostar. A bunch of households up there were without electricity too, but I don't know if this has any connection with Gary's return delay on the Marseille-Paris run.

Good member Sally Dilgart arrives from Chicago. She has brought the club secretary his annual box of Frangos. This year's are described on the package as 'peanut butter chocolates.' How did she know my favorite food?

In fact, I have never had 'peanut butter chocolates' in my life before, and I'm not sure I want to start now because they may be habit forming. Chicago is a long way from Paris as I guess most people know.

Then Eva Lee shows up. Sallyphoto: frango, wine pot and Eva have a crushing reunion. Actually they've been trying to meet at the club since their last time together in 2000, but this is the first time in two years they've managed to both be here at the same time. It is very emotional.

'First' or not - it plays second string to the 'Drink of the Year.'

Or it would have been if Sally had not decided to let her jetlag last four days. She is not trying for some kind of 'sleepless in Paris' record, but she is getting close to it.

Then the server-lady - the one who looks after Metropole's Web server, not the café's drinks - Linda Thalman, breezes in. She is breezy because she says she's had a siesta today already. She also says Paris' air is polluted today - compared to the air at the Cadillac ranch - and she gives Sally a big hug too.

It is all very emotional. Eva and Sally look at me and ask, "Where's Dinny?" Off-club, Dinny wanted to call Eva at her hotel, but had to email me to ask for Eva's name. I in turn emailed Sally in Chicago to ask Eva's name. Sally emailed back to me and I relayed it to Dinny.

This is how it has come to light that Eva is using an assumed name. Her real one isn't even in the members' booklet. If you ask me, I think it is somewhat irresponsible behavior for a lawyer who is a club member, but it is too late to change the club's records or get one of the other lawyer members to sue her for fraud. Besides, Sally doesn't want to sue Eva.

The three - Eva, Sally and Gary are frequent visitors to Paris. They all agree that they don't tell anybody they are coming here anymore. People back home say, "Why are you going to Paris again? Haven't you seen it all yet?" Gary says his neighbors ask him if he hasn't taken enough photos yet.

Apparently it is impossible to make some people in the great big United States understand that there is always more to see, or photograph, which sometimes isn't the case in Pottsville, Michigan.

I am making 'Pottsville' up. If there is such a place, no club members live there. If there is such a place, anybody who resides there is welcome to join this club in Paris - to find out why some people keep coming back here.

Eva then takes a photo of us with the throwaway camera she always has. Linda thinks my idea of taking up a collection to get Eva a real camera is a silly idea because Eva throws them away.

About here Lorin Kalisky arrives,photo: three frangos mainly to talk to Linda. He gives the Mission District of San Francisco as his home town, just so this meeting will have a 'City of the Week.' Lorin lived in Paris for three years in the early '90s, and it seems as if he is back again to stay for a while.

Closeup of three peanut butter chocolate pumpkins. Yes they are!

Sally has a 'zoo story.' She and Eva, I think, were having a picnic in a pergola out at Vincennes and some touring kids thought they were more interesting than the animals.

The kids were in a group from Morocco or some other place in North Africa and they had never seen two American ladies eating baguettes and cheese in a pergola in a zoo before. Sally says they might have been Girlguides.

About the Frangos Sally says, "Peanut butter and chocolate always go together." When I look dubious she says, "Trust me!" Okay - good enough for 'Food of the Week' - een though Gary peels an orange he's brought with him.

Continued on page 2...
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