Is 'Beverly, New Jersey' True?

photo: group of the week, don, susan, kathi, bill

The shades of members, are from left, Don, Susan,
Kathi and Bill.

'Daïneur' of the Week

Paris:- Thursday, 6. March 2003:- Yesterday was a great weather day here. So was the Wednesday before. Some days in between weren't quite so good, and some were downright crummy. Some were rain-in-the-face days.

Today's weather is not so good as yesterday's. It is not as warm, and the sky is far from clear. In short, I would say it is a terrace day only for the exceptionally hardy or for those who will sit out in any weather, even in the middle of the night when nobody will notice how brave they are.

Tonight's TV-weather news is forgettable. The guy in the funny suit says, 'Wow, lookit this tremendous high we have!' I look and I see no clouds over the part of France we are concerned with. But I don't see any 'high' either. Is it invisible? Is it the 'high' we are going to have tonight? Nighttime darkness isn't in the forecast.

There are certainly lots of clouds swirling around out west, and they are headed this way. Thus, for Friday, variousphoto: kathi's watch sorts of clouds. Same thing for Saturday. Then, finally, on Sunday - except for way out west - one big sunball for most of France. The paper, Le Parisien, calls it 'rosbif/ chou-fleur.'

This means, if you are here, that you should have roastbeef with cauliflower for lunch and then go out for a walk around town. With 'soft' weather - high predicted to be 13 whole degrees - perfect for digesting - overdone cauliflower? Underdone roastbeef?

Kathi's zoomy watch tells Paris' time pretty well on time.

When I arrive at the terrace of the café La Corona today is it not as bad as I am making out, but nobody is pretending to be brave or digesting Sunday's cauliflower at 15:00, and it might be just a tick warmer than 13 degrees.

In the café's grande salle, the weather is fine and there is a fair number of shafts of sunlight striping it. Member Susan Ellis is sitting just to the left of one of these bright stripes at the club's table. She says, "I'm up to my neck in gators."

My ears need repairing. I think I have heard her say, "I'm up to my neck in gators." When I ask her to repeat the last word she has to think about whether she has said 'gators' or not, and decides she has. I look around and see none.

Susan says it is a phrase somebody in Houston might use if they have a lot to do. But there are not a lot of alligators around Houston, or at least, maybe not many any more - she tells me when I ask.

You see, one of the main reasons for this club is the secretary's geographical education. Like, how to say Houston Street in New York, is not how to say it like Houston in Texas - or vice versa. If you say it Texas-style in New York, New Yorkers will call you a galoot. [Origin unknown - says the secretary's big red 2.2-kilo dictionary.]

The 'gators' that are up to Susan's neck are actually poets, or readers of poetry, that she is rounding up - another Texas term - for a two-day reading at the Cité Universataire on Friday and Saturday, 21 and 22. March.

This then, is when almost-New Yorkers Kathi Callinan and Bill Ligarzewski, arrive. They live in Long Beach on Long Island, just across a bitty bridge from one of Queens' islands. They joined the club last week, so none of the above are 'City of the Week.'

Susan has a true 'Find of the Week.' It is a new place that has just opened up - open since 2003! - called, 'Breakfast In America.' It is definitely an eating experience that Paris has been lacking for about 2000 years.

According to the photos on the newphoto: bill's watch café's postcard, it was designed to resemble a diner - prononcer 'daïneur,' for our French members and readers - a neighborhood diner in a Houston in the 1950s. Official slogan - 'Un diner américain à Paris.' It is located in the Quartier Latin in the eastern, low-number region of Rue des Ecoles.

"Paris has gotten smaller," Bill declares, "Since we've been here."

Bill's snazzy watch tells Paris' time too.

Before I can think of the reality of the 'incredible shrinking Paris,' Bill says it has become 'smaller' because so much of it has been walked in a week. Kathi then asks me for a rubberband for a poster she's picked up in their wanderings, and I do not hear the next 10 minutes of conversation while looking for one.

I miss all the Paris hustler stories and when I emerge Susan is saying, "I got paid 50 cents a hour," and "Have you ever had a Fuddruckers hamburger?"

Bill says, "There's one out in Jersey." Susan says - no, thinks - that this fastfood restaurant chain is 'abundant' in Houston. She isn't sure because she hasn't lived there for a long time.

When Don Smith arrives, she asks him where his earring is. Don says, &quot:I have no earrings because I've never been on a ship that's sunk yet."

He explains further that sailors get them as awards for surviving sinking ships, but the maximum is two. Then the notes say something about a ship that took six hours to sink, but there's no conclusion - so your guess is as good as mine. Was Don on this ship?

Susan says, "Beverly, New Jersey."

She says this because every time somebody pauses to put a comma in their conversation, the secretary asks all present to think up a 'City of the Week.'

Susan says, "Do you say 'peekan' or 'pecan?'"

Don gives as good as he gets. "How do you say Oregon?" he challenges. Oddly, everybody knows the right answer. Maybe it is only people from Seattle who have a problem with it, like I do with Houston Street in Manhattan.

Then it is time time. Bth Kathi and Bill have new watches. They got them at the watch place in the Rue Auber. They already have watches that work fine, but they couldn't resist buying snazzy Paris-designer watches, mainly because they cost less than 15euro 3 sign each.


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