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Open–Pit of the Week

photo: group, don, stephan, james, marion

The 'Group of the Week,' Don, Stephan, James and Marion.

Gotta Move Those Refrigerators

Paris:– Thursday, 24. June 2004:– There are no papers with weather predictions today because there are no papers to be had except for the 'Canard Enchainé.' This paper has no weather report in it, just a report about 'Sarkozy's monkeys' getting a death threat.

I skipped this gripping news in order to search for the report about the terrible panther spotted near Marseille. This was a story I almost missed and now can't find. Firemen and police finally concluded the panther was a big, fat cat, but without actually catching it. It is still 'at large,' somewhere near the calanques.

The panther does not have anything to do with the weather. I thought the football might blow it off the TV–news, but this didn't happen either. The football was on other channels.

For fans who only will know the football score, here is the weather's score. Friday will start off cloudy and gradually become something like sunny, with a high temperature possibly reaching 22 degrees.

Then on Saturday the sunny times will be even more, but the skies will not be 100 percent blue. In contrast the temperature should reach 25 or 26 degrees. Sunday is expected to be bright, but again without a perfectly blue sky. Expect the temperature to gain another degree.

I realize that this is a forecast for weekend weather, so it is somewhat doubtful. I mean, these less than fully sunny days to come could be nuanced – but, for the moment, let's simply pretend this isn't going to happen. Let's pretend Paris will have summer weekend weather. It'll be the first time this summer.

A Short 'Club Report of the Week'

I followed Le Parisien's advice yesterday and went shopping for bargains at the nearest place with 'soldes d'été.' But I didn't buy anything for two reasons. Nobody makes adult clothes for men anymore, and the substitutes cost at least twice as much as they should even though they are on sale.

I was so bitterly disappointed that I went to bed early and slept soundly for seven hours until somebody wokephoto: cafe of the week me up to say that photos were missing from the week before last's Metropole. Otherwise, this morning was pretty fine. No photos were, in fact, missing – but I appreciated the thought.

The, ah, café 'of the Week.'

So much so that I decided to give the 'soldes d'été' another chance on the way to the club meeting. Yes! – I braved Rivoli and its mobs of teenagers looking for teenage clothes. There were other people on the busy street, and they were proudly carrying bags from famous places that sell cheap clothing for unfussy teenagers.

So I try Samaritaine. It has its men's department right on Rivoli. Most people whose ages are in the teens avoid the place, and I found out why. Everything 'on sale' costs twice as much as it should, and the good stuff costs four times as much, even 'on sale.' I guess I will have to wait for another year, even if my sorry rags are a couple of years behind now.

On the Quai du Louvre there are no great crowds of terracians littering the cafés. I guess the weather was, is, perfect for shopping, and not so perfect for sitting around doing next to nothing, or recovering from shopping.

At the club's café its 'grande salle' has more than its usual number of civilians, especially in the club's area at the back – but there's room for all so long as they are not rowdy.

James MacNiel is waiting for the meeting to begin. James is on weekend leave from Heidelberg, in town to catch some jazz being played in the Parc Floral, because the weekend weather is going to be so fantastic instead of the rain he promised.

Earlier in the year, James chanced to be at the club meeting when the great bumper–sticker slogan contest was discussed by the organizers, myself and Heather Stimmler–Hall. Then, to make a long story short if not believable, James managed to win the second place and one of the fourth places in the contest – without, I remind readers, without being at the judging of the slogans.

So today is prize–award day, again. But first, Don Smith arrives. "We're playing musical apartments today," Don says, adding, "I'm half moved."

Somehow I get it in my head that Don is at the meeting in order to avoid moving a refrigerator. Both James and I are positive that we aren't helping Don to move any frigo, nor even any suitcases. Don's protests that he has neither to move, notwithstanding.

James tells a story about moving a convertible couch. "It didn't fit in the elevator, so the delivery guys wouldn't deliver it," he says, concluding that he did deliver some beer and a brotzeit – er, small beer, and schnapps. Darned if I know what these notes are about.

Not so luckily, Marion and Stephan Nowak arrive from Köln, which is in Germany too, like Heidelberg. Don asks Marion if she has a freezer. No, no, first Marion says something about moving stuff from one refrigerator to another – then James says, "Leave my refrigerator out of it."

Sensible Stephan picks this moment to bring order to the meeting with a bit of philosophy. He says the modern world is divided into two – there are consultants who either see the world as being three regions, or five.

You might have trouble believing this, but the whole world is currently run by huge consulting agencies and theirphoto: wine pot of the week only difference of philosophy is about whether the world is in three parts or five. Didn't I say this already? Anyhow, trying to get Stephan to agree that is might be two or four instead, gets nowhere.

So this must be the 'Pot of Vin of the Week.'

I should be careful here. Marion is going to read this later with a fine toothbrush and if she thinks there's anything wrong with Stephan's theory, I am going to get it in the neck. Stephan wants to talk about the two classes of mankind he considers to be enemies, but I don't want any grief from this.

Marion has said that she has found more for Stephan in the 'soldes' than for herself, and now after hearing something I don't, she says, "Does this mean I'll get another chance at the 'soldes' today?" Then she shows us the bag she has, but made for herself, by herself, with her own sewing machine. It is a fine piece of work too. Better than any 'soldes' stuff.

Stephan has somehow looped his team's score in the Euro Foot, and James offers to fill him in. It is James' team too I think, but he goes into a play–by–play, minute–by–minute account, goal–by–goal, on–and–on – so after six minutes we are only six minutes into the match. Suddenly he says, "Czech, two – Germany, one."

Continued on page 2...
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