"Yuk!" to Mushy Green Peas

photo: espresso cafe van, mud

'Ed' finds 'Mud' café van in Manhattan in time for this report.

Fame Comes To Port Moody

New York:- Saturday, 17. January 2003:- True to her word as she ever is - despite rain, sleet, Paris' winter sales - 'Les Soldes d'Hiver'- and lost gloves! - the Web-server-lady Linda Thalman played hostess and temporary club 'secretary' for the second week in a row on Thursday, and thoughtfully sent the following report about it to the regular club secretary, who is 'wintering' in New York City and test-driving eye, ear, nose and throat medical services, so he will be able to not only see but also hear in-flight movies on his trip back to Paris to be on time for next Thursday's meeting.

For those concerned about the secretary's health, another visit to a famous hospital this morning in sub-freezing Manhattan revealed that the secretary can keep his ear after all, take off the bat-wing bandage, and stop taking all the dern antibio pills.

In rapture over this turn of events, the secretary promptly left the first-come-first- served clinic and toured the farmer's market in nearby sub-freezing Union Square - mainly to not drink the hot apple cidre on offer and salute the statute of the Marquis de Lafayette, who gazes over the New York Film Academy building and herds of lonely squirrels.

Again without further ado - the latest Café Metropole Club meeting report by the server-lady, known for short as Linda.

Thursday's 167th Club Report

Paris:- Thursday, 16. January:- I spend ten minutes not finding the new gloves I bought last week before hightailing it out of the Cadillac Ranch to catch the RER train to Paris. On the train I find them in my bag where they should be.

photo: hot apple ciderArrive out of breath at the café La Corona two minutes early, but chat with the staff in the café's bar section, so I get to the Club one minute late in the café's 'grande salle' section - to greet Sheila Archer from Brooklyn, New York.

She is coming down with something close to the 'peste' - actually the French word for 'plague' - and wants to get back on a plane, with her luggage that was lost for one and half days, and go home.

Bundled up vendor of Union Square cocktail is unable to say whether it is tasty or not.

I suggest stopping by a pharmacy and then calling in at Air France to see if they'll change her special cheap-o ticket to get her back to her Brooklyn bed pronto.

What look like 'civilians' wander in and out of the 'Club' area, but they return and it is Terry Gardy and his daughter, Jennifer Gardy that join us. They are from Port Moody, B.C., in really far-off western Canada - sort of in the outer suburbs of Vancouver, we learn. Everyone votes for Port Moody as the 'City of the Week' because the Gardys are the first club members ever to come from there.

Out come the Club sign-up sheets and I hand out pens to all so that the forms I've brought along can be filled out from A to Z. No namby-pamby 'no rules' from this secretary, temporary or not!

Bill Bortz, from Washington, D.C. arrives. We quickly learn he's an attorney. A taxphoto: statue lafayette, union square attorney. A US government tax attorney in policy and not in enforcement. Or should I write 'collection?'

Before I can bat an eye, Joe Fitzgerald waltzes in and we are shaking hands and introducing everyone.

Lafayette may want to know you are back. Find him in Union Square.

My notes are worse then Egyptian hierogliphics - is this spelled right? - but the discussion covers subjects as varied as Francisco Hidalgo the photoghaper, to the 'big dig' in Boston, 'Virgin Mary' tub shrines in Quebec, taxes - of course, and the origin of Port Moody - possibly a surveyor of yore.

We also get onto geneology of our families and find we've come from Ireland, France, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Switzerland and some other territories once familiar but now unknown.

Terry says one of his ancestors was murdered and burned in his own fireplace in his own castle in France by an unnamed king. How's that for history?

Bill asks if he should worry about getting UK pounds before heading for London and there is a resounding "no!" Just put your plastic in an ATM in London and spend, spend, spend.

Long-time member Doug Fuss saunters in about 16:00 and it is like old home week, as I haven't seen him in ages. Another round of hand-shaking and intros and we're off again on a multi-thread discussion.

Somehow - nobody knows how these things get started - we get on to traffic and traffic circles, driving and how 'wonderful' it is to do it in France.

The quote of the week might be - "You can't make a four-way stop work in France which is why there are so many traffic circles."

Cameras come out. I've got my 'out of date' normal point/click otto and then develop printsphoto: pure maple syrup, $39 camera and Terry has a fancy Canon 'S40' that does everything but make tea. He promises to send digital versions of the 'Photos of the Week,' once back in Canada at the end of the month.

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