...Continued from page 1

"En Août, Paris A un Charme Fou" is a bit long–winded on Le Parisien's front page today, but sums up the city in August. The paper, after mentioning all the free stuff and events, says stress is less too – as if it has 'left town' with all the Parisians on holidays.

'Daily life,' begins a caption beneath a front–page photo of hundreds of evening picnickers on the Pont des Arts. With temperatures hovering about 30 degrees – about 83F – recently, almost everybody is outside looking for any place comfortable. High for today is supposed to be 34 degrees.

Pooped by Heat of the Week

If this issue seems to have fewer photos than usual, just hold your breath until I add the full lot of them tomorrow.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Catch up, if you are at loose ends, with the latest "You Gotta Be Crazy" report. This is what member Bertaphoto: chess painting, chess players, luxembourg Maginniss thought about the club before joining it, just after it started in 1999. On Thursday she wondered, "Is the club re–inventing itself?" The secretary doesn't know.

Chess players in the Luxembourg.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 5. August. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint–Abel. As a saint, this one is another mystery. I don't know if this Abel has anything to do with Cain because it was so long ago, long before the saints business even started. Maybe he became a saint retroactively. Most others have.

Some other truly minor facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The graphic of a virtual club membership card on this page is still tatty, but is worth more even if it's free. Actually the membership itself is worthwhile, even if it's free too.

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 6.32/33 – 6. Aug 2001 – this double issue led with the Café Metropole column's 'Here Comes, There Goes, Hot' Weather.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was 'Silly News – France, Nevada.' The issue's feature was titled 'Wheelchaired In Paris.' The new 'Scène' column was titled 'Not Closed In August!' The Café Metropole Club update for 9. August was titled, the 'Mystery of the Week' report. The following meeting on 16. August was titled as the "Nothingphoto: sign, rue eugene pelletan Better To Do" report. There were six 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned, "It's August! Go Away!"

This Was Metropole Four Years Ago

Issue 5.32 – 7. Aug 2000 – The Café Metropole column was titled, 'Banda Municipale de Santiago de Cuba.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was 'France Is On Holidays, But Still Open.' The issue's single feature was titled 'This Years' Summer – One Day Is Better Than None.' The Scène column's headline was 'The Short(er) Version.' The Café Metropole Club update on 10. August was called the "Köln – Paris; Four Hours Six Minutes" report. There were only two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Hitchhiking Is Great!'

'Countdowns' – Something Completely Different

You can find the seriously out–of–date 'countdowns' in a not–so–recent issue by clicking here. They are all 49 days old. In case you've forgotten what 'countdowns' are exactly, skip the link and forget it.

Despite this deception, countdown wizard Jim Auman continues to toil. He writes, fairly recently, "It's coming! another dreaded countdown. Tuesday, 3. August will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Colette – at 20:00, to be precise. She had the right to a national funeral but the church refused its benediction. She was buried, and still remains, in the Père- Lachaise cemetery."

Other Fond Memories of 50 Years Ago

On Monday, 3. June 1946, french engineer Louis Réard showed off his creation for a two–piece bathing suit that he baptized 'bikini.' He was right to think that four little triangles of fabric would be as 'explosive' as the atomic bomb that had been tested at the Pacific atoll of Bikini four days earlier.

Professional models refused to wear the mini creation, so the inventor asked Casino de Paris dancer Micheline Bernardini to unleash the 'rest of the 20th century' on an unsuspecting world. The garment, duly registered, gained an honored place in dictionaries.

But it took ten years, until Roger Vadim's 1956 film, 'Et Dieu Créa la Femme,' co–starring Brigitte Bardot, to gain the bikini international notoriety. After that all that remained to come was the hit song by Brian Hyland, which finally arrived in 1960. Who can ever forget 'Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini?'

The Very Day

Exactly 250 years ago, Pierre–Charles L'Enfant was born in Paris. Then, 23 years later he came to be in the British colonies with General Lafayette. By the war's end six years later, Pierre who had become Peter, had gained the rank of major of engineers.

George Washington asked Peter–Charles L'Enfant to build Washington DC after congress decided the United States needed a capital city in 1791. However Peter's demand for total control of the project was rejected, and he was sacked the following year without pay. In a snit, he took his plans with him.

The project started over, relying on the memory of other builders. L'Enfant spent the rest of his life suing for unpaid wages and died dirt poor in 1825. But the original plansphoto: sign, les marionettes du luxembourg were rediscovered in 1902, l'Enfant was rehabilitated, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with honors in 1909.

Today also marks the 131th birthday of Enrico Caruso. This is not an even number suitable for an anniversary note and the 83 years since his death in 1921 on 2. August is equally uneven. However he was quite popular in Naples for singing in waterfront cafés, before becoming the 'King of Tenors,' mostly in New York at the Metropolitan Opera. Paris is not mentioned at all, for a change.

Less Year, Almost Nothing

There are only 151 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left' as at this time in August of 1776, when members of the Continental Congress began putting their 'Hancocks' on the Declaration of Independence, which is only slightly connected to the fact that this year has 215 days remaining, just like 1776 had.
signature, regards, ric

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