...Continued from page 1

I see no members so I write some notes, starting with the weather. Most weeks I have hardly timephoto: glass of the week to sort out the club's official pens and booklets. They are getting low on ink and paper I see.

Member Kate Ernst arrives and says, "Where is everybody?" She's perfectly right – there's room for at least 15 other members. I guess they'll be along a bit later.

Kate, who is from Manhattan, joined the club last year in June. We've never had much chance to talk at length together, so we make up for it while we can.

Yesterday's rain was spectacular, and Kate says the sound of it reminded her of Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture.' She also says she didn't see any Edgar Allan Poe characters from 'Murders At the Sorbonne' wearing somber capes, but half expected to.

Since there is just two of us we can talk about anything and do. I do not scribble many notes but Kate notices me write 'cape' and says she hopes I am not taking dictation. She is right, it is easier to talk about what we feel like, about any subject.

For example, when life's 'business' is more or less in the past, it is possible to take up learning again for the fun of it rather than for getting ahead or getting more pay or honors.

This leads to a half hour of conversation about the author Willa Cather and her book 'One of Ours,' which was published in 1922. it won a Pulitzer Prize and she was the fourth novelist to be honored since the inception of the prizes in 1918.

Kate says the story was panned at the time, by critics who did not appreciate a novel about WWI written by a woman, who missed the point that the story was mostly about being in Nebraska. She says the original name of the book was 'Claude.'

I have a report to write so I try to steer us a little closer to the usual subject. Kate obliges by saying, "I feel like I'm at home in Paris."

"I love being in the post office," she says. She was standing in line when a customer plopped a portable computer on the counter and asked for a shipping box for it. The post office joe put the available boxes on parade and they debated the merits of one over another.

Most likely further back in the line temperatures were rising, but Kate appreciated the fact that the goal of the 'right' box had become a personal quest for satisfaction by both parties.

Kate's own personal quest for satisfaction takes place at a language school where she's taking lessons. She isphoto: rain, moto, car learning how to pronounce the difference between 'deux' and 'Dieu.'

She says her baker is understanding enough to give her gentle corrections but, she says, "All I want is a couple of 'pain au raisin.'"

About 16:00, about 25 hours since last time, the sky turns dark, the clouds roil, the bucket opens and a waterfall crashes onto the Quai du Louvre. Those who have been out in the open quickly fill the café's 'grande salle' while others take refuge under the awnings over the terrace.

But within 20 minutes the sky has finished with its theatrics and blue sky is showing again, and the airs dry the sidewalks and soon you'd never know that the Quai du Louvre was a river for a short while this afternoon.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This modest 'report' about today's club's meeting is a mere shadow of what happened today'. Thephoto: monsoon terrace 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has some other information, but you can skip it and miss nearly nothing. The easiest way to find out all you want 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 couple of minutes 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 on station.

The club's 'rules' were vaporized by the club's own members some time ago, much to their collective satisfaction. The club's other meager distinction is that it is the only club related to an Internet magazine that continues to have no newsletter.

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

The weekly club meetings start about 15:00, on days that are Thursday afternoons. Meetings end about 17:00, in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'tropical downpours' 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 take it if there's a pool.

Doing something 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 liberation is involved. 'True' is perfectly acceptable too, especially if it's an honest '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 is, sometimes.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because Willy the Bird has attended four meetings in a row.

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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