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The only official date for the summer sales – 'les soldes d'été' – that concerns anybody now is the last day of discount shopping on Saturday, 24. July. If you are still empty handed, you'll to settle for the 'soldes d'hiver' next January.

Headline of the Week

"Partir Tranquille" was the advice of Friday's Le Parisien, announcing as it was the beginning of the annual summer exodus of residents. The SNCF expected to be hauling two million passengers, and the paper asked five racing drivers for holiday driving tips. Elsewhere the paper published a map showing the locations of the radar speed detectors.

While lauding the safety of autoroutes compared to other roads, one Formula One veteran suggested that many of the radars are misplaced by being located on fast, straight stretches where the greatest danger is getting a speeding ticket. Each of the five professional drivers had a specific complaint to make about various rules, but the main thing to remember is 'tolerance' which is common sense.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

If your life seems hectic at the moment take a peek at the latest 'Quietest Meeting of the Week' report. It was so low–key that the companion weather report is more likely to leave you sleepless.photo: fiat 500 of the week

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 8. July. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint–Thibaut. This is an unknown – to me – saint overshadowed by several of last week's kings named Thierry. None of the usual sources are more enlightening. The only reference I can find was featured in Metropole article about Châtelet, published in 1997. It says 'Thibaut–aux–Dés, from the name of one–time resident, Thibault Odet, who was treasurer of the Auvergne in 1242.'

Some minor and unimportant details about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The virtual club membership card on this page remains as free as clean fresh air and continues to be easily worth as much. Do not expect any 50 percent–off sale price.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.28 – 7. July 2003 – the Café Metropole column's headline was, 'More Better Paris Plage.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was, 'Yet Another Six–Word 'News' Report.' This issue's feature was titled 'Gone To the Dogs, for Lovers Only.' Laurel Avery contributed 'How Did Van Gogh' Do It?' There were links to the two current Scène columns. The Café Metropole Club update for 10. July was titled, the 'Osaka City of the Week' report. There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoonphoto: sign, rue du mont cenis of the week was captioned, "Not Going to Norway!" Nothing against Norway, but nobody went there.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.27/28 – 1/8. July 2002 – This issue's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Leftover Confetti and Empty Ping–Pong Balls.' The 'Au Bistro' column fell 'Victim to Flat–Hunting Sports.' The issue's single feature was titled 'Taking a Long View On a Clear Day.' The Café Metropole Club update on 4. July was headlined as a 'Martinique's One Season' report and was followed on 11. July with 'A Bungle of a 'First' report. The two Scènes were titled 'Two Scènes for the Price of One' and 'And Some of It Is Free.' There were four summer–type 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, "HEY! It's France! Right on the nose!"

'Countdowns' – Suspension Continues

You can find the exciting 'countdowns,' if you really miss them, in a recent issue by clicking here. Do not, I remind you yet again, forget to subtract 21 days from all count–down dates. All other 'countdowns' that expired weeks ago should be ignored.

Thursday, 5. July 1810

Although I've neglected to have a countdown to the date of the birth of Phineas T. Barnum, it is still a date to remember unless you prefer necrophilia. Should you actually lean this way, the date to remember is 7. April 1891 when Barnum died peacefully atphoto: sign, navettes bus, ver plc italie home in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This second date will not become a countdown item until 87 years from now.

Between the two dates Phineas Taylor Barnum had a life so interesting that his complete biography was too large to fit in the New York Times, so it was cut to 6200 'fit–to–print' words. His obit includes the Tom Thumb story, the Jumbo story, the Jenny Lind story, and a long appreciation of his business skills, which were so formidable that we are still at their mercy. As showmen go, Barnum had no peer, then or now.

This Year Becomes Much Better, Even Shorter

Throughout today there are still 179 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left' as at this time in 1789. We could have had the best 187 days of any year in our lives so far if we were paying enough attention. Whichever year you are in, if not in this one, make sure its 5. July has weather better than it is here.
signature, regards, ric

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