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' - even though Gary peels an orange he's brought with him.

The light is kind of dim inside the café so we try the terrace as the spot for the 'Group Photo of the Week.' I have a feeling this isn't getting it, so we do a backup 'Group Photo of the Week' with everybody sitting in a line at the club's tables.

Sally, who is very jetlagged remember, says this might be the 'lineup of the week.' Eva might as well be just as jetlagged, because she discovers some innocent civilians with a baby, and tries to get them to join this club they know nothing about.

At 16:56 Dinny comes bouncing orangina, orange peels Great timing! The 'Group Photo of the Week' is over. Akkk! Dinny is dressed - she has dressed her eyes for Halloween. She looks like she has borrowed the eyeballs Michael Jackson used for one of his hit video-clips. Her orbs give me the creeps and it isn't even dark yet.

Meanwhile, while Sally swills litres of Orangina, Gary peels oranges.

Four minutes later we pack up, pay up and blow out of the joint. We are all invited to member Frank Watson's vernissage for his photo exhibition, 'Elisabeth och Christine.'

Sally and Eva go off towards the Pont Neuf, while Gary, Dinny and I go the other way to cross the Pont des Arts, and go looking for the Rue de Verneuil.

This turns out to be beyond the Rue des Saints Pères, a block further from Seine than the Rue de Lille. It is a long street with little traffic and a great number of small, fancy shops, for people with flush platinum cards.

Near the far end of it we find the Café des Lettres, which fronts a terraced courtyard that has the Maison des Ecrivians behind it. The café is Swedish and the 'maison' is French.

Inside the tidy place we find drinks, olives, peanuts and Frank, who is dressed correctly for the semi-secretive 'Mois de la Photo,' and he introduces up to Martine Leonard from Le Mans, because they did a show there together.

Martine tells me she has done photos of the bal-musettes along the Marne for years, and we exchange email addresses in order to talk about this some more.

Frank says his daughters Elisabeth and Christine are no longer little girls. Putting the photos up in Paris keeps them this way for another few says - until Saturday, 30. November.

Stocked up with a wine, an orange juice and one olive between us, Dinny uses a time-out to disengage her Michael Jackson pin-eyes, and we head for the métro station at Solférino.

We get to this by dumb-luck dead-reckoning. Waiting for the green man at the Boulevard Saint-Germain some civilians behind ask us where the métro is, and I point out the construction site hiding it - which I luckily spotted about a week ago.

Dinny changes her mind about the métro and decides to hunt for a taxi instead to get to a place where she will reinstall her pin-eyes, and be creepy for the whole rest of the evening.

Every Club Meeting Is Different

Besides not being likephoto: pin eyed dinny today's meeting, the next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 7. November. With Toussaint and the Day of the Dead over for this year this will be a fairly normal 45th Thursday in the year 2002 only seven days from now.

If the award existed, it would go to the 'Creepy Club Member of the Week.'

Otherwise, the Saint's Day next Thursday is Sainte-Carine. Besides being a saint, about whom nothing is mentioned in my saint's book, I know nothing about this saint.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

By taking a look at the page called 'About the Café Metropole Club' you can learn how to become a member. However, if you are reading this 'report' of today's club meeting, becoming a member should be pretty obvious.

'Club rules' are so nearly nothing that they don't even have 'exceptions.' If you feel ignoring this 'About' page - exceptionally - do so. All you need to know is that you can be a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by simply being at a meeting. While you may think this to too easy to be true, it is still fairly easy to join.

Dubious Glum Note

Last week I asked you if the club having its third birthday meant it is four years old now. Dinny wrote to say I am off my head. Tonight she told me this again. She is very sure about it. She says the Café Metropole Club in Paris is three years old even though it is living in its fourth year now. I have a glum feeling Dinny is speaking for everybody. Who is right?

What, Where, When, Who, How, Why Not?

Club meetings begin in Paris not before 15:00 on Thursday and continue until 17:00, in Europe'sphoto: frank and martine Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'WIZZ' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide areas with a couple of daily sets of 12-hour-time.

Martine and Frank - are posing! - not being overtired at the beginning of the opening of his photo exhibit.

Please note your name, hometown, and your own email address in the members-only members' booklet number three. The club's secretary often forgets to remember to ask new members to do this legibly.

Come prepared with a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your hometown as 'City of the Week' or invent any other 'Things of the Week.' True 'firsts' are welcome too even if they are rare 'drinks on the house.' 'No-names' is an option you can also opt for if you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet. Otherwise and in general, the only exception is 'no rules.'

What you say may honestly be appreciated by the other members present, if there are any, and if they are awake and listening - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they read it - if it should happen 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

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini