"HEY! The 11th is OKAY!"

photo: l to r, bill, kathi, chris, marilee, nellie, don, marilyn, nancy

Bill, Kathi, Chris, Marilee, Nellie, Don, Marilyn and Nancy refuse to do any Mardi Gras steps.

Chocolate Frogs - Forget It

Paris:- Thursday, 27. February 2003:- Last week at this time the weather here came out of a slump, and it stayed unslumped until yesterday. It was great - sort of like the kind of weather Paris doesn't get in any month for a whole six days - but it couldn't last forever, because this is Paris and nothing lasts, especially if it is good weather.

I am looking at the forecast in Le Parisien - made last night - and trying to square it with tonight's TV-weather news. Here's the real news - the two don't match, except for temperatures which are predicted to remain in the 'mild for February' zone. About 15 degrees.

Le Parisien says the coming weekend will have highs of ten - only ten? - and the TV-weather news didn't disagree. It didn't predict any weather for beyond Saturday, or Sunday. Playing it cagey. No forecast for March. It's a difficult month.

Instead of writing my usual 'weather-notes,' I scribbled the forecast on top of Le Parisien's maps. This isn't tidy but it's good enough. Tomorrow might be faintly sunny if you aren't west of Paris.

Le Parisien says you are going to get good and watered on Saturday, although this isn't too clear fromphoto: soup of the week, cafe creme their map. My 'scribble' shows it clearly enough though. The paper says 'frog-type' weather is expected for Sunday. It says you should wear a frog-suit if you go out to stroll around.

This week's 'Soup of the Week' is half café.

From the TV-weather news, I drew a weak sunball on Paris for Sunday, between walls of rain in the west and east. To sum up, the paper does not agree with the TV-weather people and I doubt both. This doesn't mean I think it will be cloudy but with no rain, or the temperature will be 12.5 - I just 'doubt.'

At the moment there is no doubt that it is warmer than it was. If today had a high of 15, this is a 50 percent improvement over ten days ago.

But today's skies are not an improvement over yesterday's. Today's skies are boringly grey. It is a good sky for the poster photos. A bit less contrast is better. Unfortunately I only come across one shootable poster on the way to the club. It shows a kid about to eat plaid spaghetti.

At the club's café La Corona nobody is taking advantage of its several hundred free chairs on its two terraces. Nobody much is inside either, but one of the Monsieur Naudans says there are waiting club members.

They are not officially 'waiting' until after 15:00, and I am sitting down by then. The 'Waiter of the Week' helps me find them - in the club's area - but in an obscure corner. The club's official area is so grand that it includes 'obscure corners.' This is unintentional.

Kathi Callinan and Bill Ligerzewski are from Long Beach, New York. This is either the 'City of the Week' or the 'Island of the Week.' For it is both a city and an island, off Long Island - really pretty close to Queens' Far Rockaway, but really an island, right out in the Atlantic Ocean, almost closer to Porto in Portugal than to San Francisco.

When I lend Bill one of the club's pens to fill in his particulars in the members' booklet, he asks "Is this a two-pen club?" when he sees I keep the other one for writing vital 'report' notes.

Nancy Macklin arrives from Illinois. Because of what follows I do not notice that she has omitted her hometown's name. It is therefore not a candidate for 'City of the Week in Illinois.'

At this point, about seven minutes into the meeting, its gentle course through the next two hoursphoto: beer of the week comes to an abrupt end with the arrival of long-time member Marilyn Burke, who has Chris Caruso for company - to help carry a lot of unwieldy brick-a-brack picked up in the hardware department of the BHV.

Some of the stuff looks like fishing rods, but it is not. It gets stuffed in several free corners, and Marilyn tells us all about it. Well - she hasn't been at a meeting for quite a while and she is pretty excited.

This week's 'Beer of the Week' is half beer.

It is catching. I forget to write down much. Kathi says Marilyn is coming off a session of 'retail therapy.' Don Smith arrives and gets smothered in the flow, but is careful to keep his hat on. Nellie is with Don. They are both noted in the members' list as having joined the club in September of 2000, but Don came to a meeting four months earlier without the secretary noticing.

While Kathi and Bill had two feet of snow out on Long Beach, there was more in New Jersey. Member Jim 'Exciting Count-down' Auman has written to me about this too. Snowblowers couldn't throw new snow higher than the drifts.

Chris Caruso is a neighbor of Marilyn's in New Jersey. She says the best thing to do was stay home. "We baked brownies," she says.

Marilyn, who may have a bigger, hungrier, family, says, "What you do, you take pancakes and throw goulash in them." Bill agrees that this is a very sensible thing to do, especially if the goulash is very Hungarian.

Nancy is taking a careful look at the member's booklets one and three. She is discovering that she knows other members. "Bernie is my cousin," she says to Marilee McClintock - who has also arrived - who knows 'Bernie' but has never met her.

Nancy turns more pages and turns up Liz Krekorian's name. I have to explain about the phone call for Liz, and how Liz is incommunicado in Arizona or Wyoming. Marilyn says it is all this 'six degrees of separation' business. As far as the club is concerned, I am starting to think so too. What will happen if all the Louisianians show up at once?

Nearly everybody present either owns an apartment in Paris, or in France, and there are a lot of friendly tips flying back and forth about the best places to buy fishing rods for them. About getting things fixed up, Marilyn says her husband 'has nothing to do at the moment.'

Actually, club member Tom Burke is busily skiing somewhere while Marilyn is busily doing household shopping here.

Paris' arrondissements are compared. Marilee lives near Bastille and Marilyn says, "HEY! The 11th is OKAY!" Adding, "I always stayed in the 16th myself. But I went to a Japanese ballet just to see the place."

While this is going on inside, the clouds have parted outside. I call for a 'Group Photo of the Week' to bephoto: group, club tables taken on the terrace. While nobody acknowledges this, all members do get up and get outside and stand still for a fraction of a minute.

This week's 'Group of the Week' is pretty gabby.

Once back inside, the server-lady Linda Thalman joins the meeting. School holidays are over and parking places are harder to find, so Linda has come from the Cadillac Ranch on the RER. "Where's the 'Waiter of the Week?" is the first thing she wants to know.

Marilee says she sits on the beach at Agadir in Morocco and looks across the Atlantic at the United States. Bill says, "It's our view too, but from the other side."

Nancy says she sits on the upper levels of buses to see all the ironwork in Paris that isn't so visible from the sidewalks.

Linda wants to know where Tom has gone skiing.

Marilyn says she has a deal with Tom. "I don't ask him where he goes skiing, and he doesn't ask me what I've bought."

There is more to the quote, but in the interests of peace and harmony - and it isn't me who says this, at least not on purpose because the secretary isn't supposed to quote himself - this has been 'the babble meet of the week.'

After the club meeting the sun is still high enough in the sky for it to be daylight. It is a sign that the days are getting longer slowly, after a period last year of getting shorter fast.

Call for Your Favorite Restaurants

This endless repeat 'Call for Restaurants' is receiving a constant trickle of candidates. This is convincing me that it will be possible to put a list together, even if I'm in a little doubt about whether I can do it while in the grip of spring fever.

Do not give up even if it seems like I have. I can't help it if all I want to do is watch daisies grow.

About the 'Café Metropole Club About' Page

If you are absolutely sure you want to become a member of this club it could be an idea to read thephoto: extra club drinks 'About the Café Metropole Club' page first, but nobody will try to stop you from not reading it. It explains a bit about the club, like about it being free. The rest of the information isn't very necessary.

This week's 'Glasses, Pots and Glasses of the Week' are all glass.

Skip this 'About' page if you aren't pressed for time. All you really need to know is that you can become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by simply being at one of its meetings in Paris. It's like the club that's too easy to join, so only more than 450 people have done so.

More club 'lore' has been forgotten than ever existed. Luckily all of it that once existed can be found in past club 'reports' if you are hardy enough to plough through dozens of dozens of them.

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

This club's meetings begin - usually on time - in Paris at 15:00 on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, in Europe'sphoto: linda shoots, puzzled prototypical Metric Time Zone - which is inexplictly 'CET' for short and not 'iCETz' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in some other worldwide areas, even though club meetings are usually only held in Paris.

This week's 'Photographer of the Week' does 'Camera Jiggle of the Week.'

Drop in with your own new 'Quote of the Week' handy or mention your hometown as a possible 'City of the Week' or invent any other 'Things of the Week.' New true 'firsts' will be welcome too, with 'first' often having preference over 'true.' The club secretary's 'firsts' have never counted.

'No-names' is an option you can also opt-in for if you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet, or 'out-opted.' 'No rules' have creased being an 'exception.' They are not a 'rule' either anymore. There are some other 'exceptions' so it seldom pays to pay attention.

Whatever you say may be truly appreciated by the other members present, and there almost always are some, and if they are listening which they do sometimes - and by all readers of this online magazine, if you ever read this - if it should happen to be written here, as some of it is sometimes.

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