...Continued from page 1

In the midst of this uproar, member Willy the Bird flies in and picks up a couple of crumbs from the floor. Then he hops up on a chair back and gives Jerry the beady eye. Jerry says he's here because he's read the club 'reports,' but I think he may have skipped Willy the Bird's part in them.

Elodie smiles for camera while asleep.

The café's 'grande salle' is entirely full for the first time I can remember, making it this week's 'First of the Week.' Also, though I didn't know it at the time, Jacksonville in North Florida is the 'City of the Week.'

Another Jacksonville, in North Carolina, was 'City of the Week' in June of 2001. This leaves the way open for another six Jacksonvilles to claim the honor. If anybody else shows up to be a member, we can call their home town the 'Jacksonville of the Week' instead.

For Susan and Nick this is their first visit to Paris. Nick, as a loyal Canadian, was taking a photo of the United Kingdom Embassy in the Rue Saint–Honoré when he was bounced by a gendarme who told him it was forbidden. He wanted to confiscate Nick's camera, but Nick offered to erase the photo instead. The gendarme accepted this compromise, so Nick still has a camera.

I could have told him he could take all the photos he wants of the Centre Culturel Canadien, but instead told him taking photos of anything in Paris is illegal because it's simpler. Naming what you can photograph is a very short list. You can photograph yourself if you don't stand in front of any background.

Jerry says he was at a tatoo in Edinburgh. He wants to know if there are any military band parades here. Well, yes, there will be some for the Libération ceremonies. See the recent Scène Eté column, beginning with the list starting with the date, Thursday, 19. August.

One of the café's waiters is out on the drenched terrace battling with a parasol, so I scrub the traditional 'Group Photo of the Week.' There isn't even room to stand up in the 'grande salle.' The light is terrible too.

Members are counting numbers, sortingphoto: kerry button change and throwing money at a red plastic dish. I am unaware of this until I hear – is it Barbara? – tell Kate, "You're less than half a person." Ed asks Jason if Elodie will have a perfect french accent because of being born in France.

"A Kerry button can change my life?" someone asks and I don't hear the reply. Somebody else, Jerry I think, says, "Christmas is on a Saturday this year." Now that I've got a calendar big enough to read, I can confirm this as the 'Fact of the Week.'

Ed parks his car in a free spot nearby across the Seine, along the quay, up the Rue Saints–Pères, in the Rue de Lille. Kim, Barbara and I walk with him there. While he goes west to his car, we find we have walked halfway to where we're going in two different arrondissements. The sun is shining and the air is fresh.

This was the 250th meeting of the Café Metropole Club. All that's left now is looking forward to its 251st meeting.

The only thing I've forgotten today, and not so minor, has been Heather 'Member–Number–One!' Stimmler–Hall's arrival. It's probably because I didn't get to sit beside her and hear all about her Tour de France and the van–with–windows she drove in it for two weeks. Maybe next year.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This abbreviated 'report' about today's club's meeting is a total approximation of what happened today. photo: waiter, parasolThe 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has some other information, but you can skip it and not miss anything. The easiest way to find out all you need to know about the club is by joining it on any week with a Thursday.

You can become a real lifetime member of this online magazine's real, live, and free club by becoming a member in a half a minute by signing–in yourself any of its meetings in Paris on a Thursday. Getting something to drink is easily arranged, if the 'Waiter of the Week' happens to be paying attention.

A 'Waiter of the Week' about the rescue an endangered parasol.

The club's 'rules' were dematerialized by the club's own members some time ago, much to their satisfaction. The club's other slim distinction is that it is the only club related to an Internet magazine that still has no newsletter.

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

The weekly club meetings start about 15:00, on all days that are Thursday afternoons. Meetings end about 17:00, in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'continental tropical rubbish' although they sometimes are – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Club meetings are held in Paris. Even if the secretary gets any other better offer, he'll only accept Astoria, specifically at the Bohemian Hall.

Doing anything clever at a meeting – like being at one – is considered the opposite of not being at one. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a much greater 'clever' value than 'true,' especially if a hurricane is involved. 'True' is perfectly acceptable too, especially if it's a clever 'first.'

Only one note of caution – you may have any one or two personal reasons for not wanting to be traceable via 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 one of these club reports.graphic: club location map

Former 'rules' remain 'former' week after everlasting week and have been purged from the club's gigantic volumes of chronicles except for all the originals still online buried deep in the cool salt mines of the archives.

Talking to other club members at meetings is an encouraged activity rather than merely optional. If there's an empty chair sit – also optional – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café.What you say may be honestly appreciated by other members present if they are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, as a fraction of it sometimes is.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because Jacksonville's number came up again.

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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