...Continued from page 1

Now it is – together with Paris, Texas – cousin or no cousin, favorite Wim Wenders movie or not.

Tomoko is quietly plucking a tablet from bubble–sheet of pills. When Lyndee asks her what it is Tomoko says it is an anti–smoking pill. She says she calculated the cost of smoking as adding up to three restaurant meals a month. She has been taking the anti–smoking pills for four years, Tomoko adds.

Both Lyndee and Larry have been reading the club's 'reports' carefully. Before I can think up a suitable evasion, I am asked whether I ate the poison blow–fish Tomoko brought me from Japan. My lame excuse is that I found it while defrosting my freezer.

Tomoko grins. "I ate mine," she says, adding, "A long time ago." More questions turn up the fact that it is perfectly safe to eat raw poison blow–fish raw.

Steve Camera–Murray arrives with Mary Murray, who is Lauren Camera– Murray's sister from Boston. This is Steve's last club meeting for a while because he has been recalled to his home office in San Francisco.

Steve wants to know why firemen might be demonstrating in Paris today. On the way to the club meeting, he and Maryphoto: demonstrating firemen, photo©Steve Camera Murray saw some wonderful scenes of firemen setting off orange smoke– bombs in telephone booths, holding up red flares, marching wearing their chrome helmets, and flying CGT and FO union balloons.

Steve's photo of out–of–town firemen in Paris today.©

I say they are very lucky to have seen such a sight. It is extremely rare for firemen to demonstrate in Paris. Paris firemen are in the army so they can't demonstrate – so the ones they saw were probably from the outer suburbs, where they are possibly volunteer firemen. All the same, they want their job to be classified as a 'dangerous' one, with retirement permitted at 55.

Heather tells us about being a movie extra today. She says, "I was playing at being a journalist in a press conference scene. They said I wasn't dressed well enough." As a working journalist in Paris, Heather wore what she always wears 'on the job.'

To round off the meeting – although Diana says it earlier – she says she wants cars banned from the Place de la Concorde.

There is, or was, a city plan to do this. Many Paris drivers would easily avoid using Concorde, but suburban drivers think it is absolutely essential – so the traffic designers at the Prefecture de Police haven't been able to come up with a plan that won't cause a revolution.

Firemen may hold street demonstrations – with a valid permit, of course – but revolutions are not desired at the moment in Paris. There's an election next Sunday.

The Bumper–Sticker Slogan Contest

This is running in Heather's Secrets of Paris newsletter, andgraphic: bumper sticker in this week's edition of Metropole. Entries are already arriving.

Briefly, we are seeking very short slogans that sum up Paris and France positively in as few pithy words as will fit on a bumper– sticker. Suitably 'grand' prizes for the best entries are also being sought.

Judging will be held in late April at a club meeting, and members will be asked to assist with choosing the winners. Find all the details on the Contest page.

Heather has found some runner–up prizes. Who wouldn't want a somewhat rare RATP keyring thing? 'Rare' because the RATP has changed their ticket color to violet – and the fate of their boutique is unknown. Where Heather got them is not a 'contest' question.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This brief 'report' about today's club's meeting should give you a hint of the fun times to be had at club meetings. Only those who have been at this meeting will know how much has been omitted. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page doesn't say the club's secretary is unconscious, but it might contain a couple of facts about the club. Exactly two, I believe.

All you need to know – is hardly more. Become a real lifetime member of this online magazine's real, live and free club by becoming a member in an eye–blink by attending any of its meetings in Paris, for free. The other fact is that there are no hidden costs or other 'rules.' If there were an entry charge, it would be tax–included.

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

The weekly Thursday club meetings start around 15:00 sharp, on days that are Thursday afternoons. Meetings continue until about 17:00, in the European Time of Paris' annual 'semi–real interrupted spring' – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'les temps douce de mars' although they are sometimes – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Paris is where all club meetings are held.

Doing anything interesting at a meeting – like being at one – is considered interesting. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a decided edge in 'report' value over 'true.' 'True' is good too, especially if it's plausible.

A note of caution – you may have any one of a hundred personal reasons for not wanting to be traceable viagraphic: club location map the Web. If so, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines before becoming 'found' in a club report.

Former 'rules' are 'former' and have been eliminated from the club's chronicles except for all the latter ones still online in the archives. All 'exceptions' to any other 'rules' have been suspended forever, Quite a bit like all the 'rules.'

Saying things at meetings is fine. If there's an empty chair sit – optional – wherever you like, or haul one over from the smoking part of the café. If they are listening, whatever you say may be highly appreciated by other club members present, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, it might be read by all the readers of this online magazine, because some of them do read it.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since last week because the club's secretary thought Portland, Oregon was already a 'City of the Week' when it wasn't, until today's meeting.

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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