...Continued from page 1

Berta happened to pass an ecole maternale just before Christmas, just as its Christmas trees were being set out on the sidewalk at the beginning of the holiday recess. She says she had a choice of seven different trees until a huge Mercedes screeched to a stop and the driver popped out and plucked up six of them.

The ultra–rare 1998 World Cup's souvenir lighter.

Berta dispatched Scoop to get some foie gras without telling him the amount, so he returned with a slab of it, costing 92€. Scoop says, "They had shorter slabs, but why take a chance of running out?" He adds that they've been having it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

How do they have it for breakfast, the club's secretary wants to know. "On toast, just like at lunch," Scoop says, adding, "It's lucky I decided against getting caviar."

Dimitri, who has not been saying much, even though Scoop isn't the only one talking, shows us his original French 1998 World Cup Trophy Bic lighter. Scoop assesses it quickly and says, "That might be worth a lot on French eBay!"

Any kind of eBay is a mystery to Dimitri, who has two telephones and two antique answering machines, but no computer. However, when the concept is explained to him, he says, "I have a friend with a Greek Island for sale."

Since Dimitri is a fairly recent member, he gets quizzed about why he lives in Paris. "No one was paying me to stay in Berkeley," he says. Then there are many questions about the gilding business, which lead to the ships' figureheads at the Musée de la Marine – where Dimitri did some gilding a couple of years ago.

Barbara and Albert, who are a bit jetlagged on account of seeing San Francisco's New Years on CNN, mention that San Francisco has the 2nd largest population of French citizens – after where? A quick look around turns up the figure of 40,000 for the San Francisco bay area. If Dimitri were French, he might have been paid to stay in Berkeley.

This doesn't mean that waiters there will let you smoke in restaurants or cafés, just likephoto: attack of the cafes today's 'Waiter of the Week' in La Corona is keeping a sharp eye on Dimitri and Scoop, to make sure they don't break any US laws. These are not the same as the club's 'rules,' because it has none.

Part of the 'attack of the killer cafés.'

However, Dimitri does make the claim that tobacco is a good cure for bee stings. The problem today is that there are no maddened 'killer' bees in the club's area of the café. Which reminds me – whatever happened to frequent club member 'Willy the Bird?'

Finally, to bring the threads of many club subjects back to Paris, Scoop thinks the club's café should continue to be La Corona, because he knows where it is. Even if somebody feels like having a binge in café, it is only once a week – and for the club's secretary, this has been one of 217 weeks.

The 'Soldes d'Hiver' Red Alert

The official version about the dates for the Soldes d'Hiver in Paris is still official. The starting date has been decreed to be next Wednesday, and the final day will be Saturday, 7. February 2004.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' About Page

Today's 'report' about this club meeting may seem to be slightly more garbled than others, but you might not havephoto: rue de rivoli, 1 jan 2004 read some of the other 'reports.' The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page may clear up some murky areas if you are curious to know what this is supposed to be about, but the 'About' page was written by the club's secretary too.

The Rue de Rivoli today, before the impending 'Soldes d'Hiver.'

One vital fact – whatever you may think, there are not many others – is worth remembering. You can become a lifetime member of this online magazine's free, live, and real club by simply becoming a member during any of its meetings in Paris, for free. This is a lot of value for 'free' because it costs so little.

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

The weekly club meetings start about 15:00 sharp, always on Thursdays, and keep going until about 17:00, in the European Time of Paris Winter – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'les vrais temps d'hiver' – and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm. The only part of the world where these meetings happen is Paris.

Doing anything at a meeting – like arriving – is encouraged. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a greater 'report' value than 'true.' Don't get the wrong idea – 'true' is fine too. This is French-type 'exception,' because it's not a 'rule' nullified by an exception.

If you prefer to be 'not found'graphic: club location map on the Internet, be sure let the club's secretary know – before it's too late. If necessary you can even be at a meeting and not be at it, officially. Former 'rules' have ceased and have transformed into latter ones. All 'exceptions' to any other 'rules' have been temporarily suspended forever.

This 'Map of the Week' is the same as every week's.

Talking in foreign languages like Canadian at meetings is fine. If there's a free chair sit wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. Whatever you say may be truly appreciated by the other members present, if they are listening, which they actually do sometimes – and by all readers of this online magazine, if it happens to be written here, as some of it is sometimes.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since two weeks ago because Dimitri noticed that the name of the club's café is spelled incorrectly.

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

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