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5th Year Ends

photo, group, stan, heather, karen, lynn, jeff, rita, bob, priscilla

'Group of the Year' – from left, Stan, Heather, Karen,
Lynn, Jeff, Rita, Bob and Priscilla.

The Club's 6th Year Begins!

Paris:– Thursday, 14. October 2004:– Tonight's TV–weather news employed a word that is used a lot these days in reference to the price of crude oil in New York – unstable.

We have – I guess it cannot be rare – a cyclone condition. This is not a tropical storm, but a counterclockwise mess of wind circulating around a low pressure something or other, with the whole thing moving from the Britain area towards France.

Because of the counterclockwise rotation, our winds are sort of from the south – but the wholephoto, kir royal thing is coming from the northwest, so temperatures are falling in my bathroom, leaking in through the loose windows.

All in all, it is not only unstable but complex. This will result in the weather being two kinds of crummy for the next several days, with Friday maybe being the worst, with no more than 10 degrees in my bathroom. In the Alps, there may be a bit of snowfall above 1000 metres. Luckily my bathroom window is a lot lower than this.

The week's ' Cocktail of the Week' is the real McCoy!

The complexity keeps on for Saturday and Sunday, with pretty rotten weather for both days, with temperature highs of 11 degrees and 12 degrees. The sun may peep out at random times, but will not like what it sees, and hide.

As in every autumn at this time of year, official sundown is about 19:00 and sunrise, in theory, about 8:15. In between, umbrellas.

A 'Once a Year' Club Report this Week

The sky to the north is full of clouds from the tops of buildings lining the Boulevard Edgar Quinet up to the top of the sky, which isn't all that high. I stick the umbrella that I wear on my head in the bag and trudge to the Métro at Raspail, with the wind pushing behind me.

It doesn't seem like a good day to be doing anything other than going to a club meeting and being at it, but when I leave the Métro at Châtelet I wander over to Les Halles to see what the city is going to tear down.

With the sky in various shades of gray, it doesn't look too bad, if you like sunken malls. The best view of it is notphoto, bob's dog from inside, but from outside and above it – where it's possible to see the church and the Bourse de Commerce. Everything else looks about as cheap and shoddy as Les Halles, except the garden.

Portrait of 'Bisou.'

What the city tears down, it will rebuild. There was an architectural competition for the replacement, but I must of been having lunch at the time. Le Parisien says the folks in the neighborhood are restless. They don't want to re–live the ten–year long hole in the ground – that was filled with the 'hole in the ground' mall.

Part way through this I put my umbrella on my head and pull it down to the tops of my ears. The sky is spitting before it starts to drool in ernest.

In the café La Corona's 'grande salle' Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' says that things are really slow. I try to tell him there's more people in the 'grande salle' than usual, but it is the lack of people before I arrived that he's thinking of.

The first member of the club to arrive is Rita Martinson, who has just returned from Berlin. We are in mid–paragraph when Priscilla Pointer and Bob Symonds arrive.

I assume this couple from Santa Monica who live near the Rue Daguerre are club members, because they know member Dennis Moyer, and I've met them before. Of course it's possible that they are the only club members not included in the archives – this club secretary is not perfect after all.

While Metropole's archive is returning a blank, putting Priscilla and Bob's names into a search engine produces lots of results – for about 20 movies and dozens of TV shows. Bob tells me about the current American Festival, mostly taking place in Vincennes, so if you hit the link your browser will be turned on for searching too.

Lynn and Jeff from Oakland are next to arrive and Lynn deftly orders a Kir Royal from Patrick. There is to be no re–run of last week's 'Strange Cocktail of the Week.' In a moment of recklessness the club's secretary emits a monologue on the subject of drink – to wit, the 'house red' isn't always the most superior drink available, but might be better than the average beer.

This, despite the absence of personal experience for the past 15 years. How do I know things aren't vastlyphoto, beer of the week better these days? To take me off the hook, Rita says, "I do freelance predictions – chardonnay will be big!"

Luckily I have a German wine bible so I can look it up and spell it correctly. It is a white grape in Burgundy. In my time it was too rich for me, I was stuck in the Loire.

Then Karen Scott arrives, from the one and only Lodi, in New Jersey. Karen asks if Heather Stimmler–Hall will be at the meeting, but I do not know. Karen gives me a birthday card to give to Heather.

A rather ordinary 'Beer of the Week.'

At this moment, as if summoned, Heather does arrive. I give her the card. It has a black dog on it with a posy in its mouth. Bob pulls out an Orange card holder and shows me a photo of his dog. It has a green tennis ball in its mouth. It's name is 'Bisou.'

Karen says, "You remember, I couldn't get a cold drink?" I don't, remember. "Actually it's kind of balmy today," she says. Does this mean there are problems getting cold drinks today? The café's frigos are fritzed?

Unlike four years ago, members do discuss the coming election in the United States. The last time one member kept on saying he voted for 'lower taxes' in Florida, and everybody else changed the subject.

Bob says, "Election day should be Sunday."

This is so self–evident that Heather says, "I'm busy – I'm goofing off." Heather, not content to be a freshly–minted author, is now 'testing' hotels that claim they arephoto, group 2 entitled to four stars, even if they have no restaurant. She would rather not tell us the names of places she's giving the thumbs–down.

Members acattered around the club's area today.

It reminds Karen that she's tired of hotels and intends to stay in an apartment next time she's in Paris. Rita is not happy with her apartment because it is in a quartier with where the atmosphere is a bit downscale – it could have been okay if she was a student seeking local 'charm.'

This meeting, the last of the club's 5th year, or the first of the club's 6th year, is not over yet because a new member arrives. This is Stan Moyer, from this week's 'City of the Week' Ambler, Pennsylvania.

Being a Moyer, Stan is here seeking the club's other two Moyers. Who knows? Maybe all the world's Moyers are separated by less than six degrees, but both Priscilla, Bob and I know that one of our other Moyers is wheeling around the San Francisco Bay at the moment.

Egad! So do Lynn and Jeff, because they are watering uncle Den–Den's plants! This leaves one Moyer totally unaccounted for – a serious omission for an anniversary meeting, not the mention the lack of cake with candles.

Out of a hubbub I hear Heather's question, "What's a civet?"

Before I start to wonder why I'm being asked this I blurt out a wild guess that it's some kind of rabbit. This, in itself, is not wholly correct, but is close enough to move the conversation on to all the wild things that are turning up hanging in butcher shops these days.

Ducks, pheasants, rabbits – why have I never wondered before what happens to all the rabbit ears? I mean, this is France, where nothing is thrown away. Are there no deep–fried rabbit ears? The members look as if the secretary has jumped his trolley.

Stan says that he has just returned from the south of France and a bicycle trip from Toulouse to Montpellier. "It only rained at night," he says, but, "The wind was in our face."

Heather says, looking at her watch with no numbers on its face, "I need to get a watch with numbers on it."

Somehow this is a signal, now that we've gotten the 'Group Photo of the Week' out of the way, for Tomoko Yokomitsuphoto, tomoko to arrive. She has been in rehearsals lately, but the director has fallen ill and here she is. Everybody is happy to meet Tomoko!

As Lynn and Jeff prepare to leave, I learn that no extraterrestrials have sent any significant signals since last week's meeting. My guess is that there may be no Internet, out there in other galaxies, as hard as it might be to believe.

Tomoko, using classic French conversational fingers.

As a final thought for the week, Karen says "There's more money for booze – if you don't smoke." With all the smoking that boozers in this town do in cafés, there should be plenty of money for it.

Last Week's Extraordinary Announcement

This stupendous event was mostly ignored today as club members were more intent on having the meeting at hand rather than waxing philosophic over the significance of it. I guess it means that with five years of age – unless I've miscounted again – the Café Metropole Club has now entered a phase of maturity. Since most things these days are over in a flash, can decline be far off? Tune in next week for meeting 01 of year 6 – another true and unique 'first!'

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report' lacked for little other than some 'Food of the Week.' Few meetings are perfect. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has some other details,photo, of the week, camera but you can skip them and not miss a thing. An easier way to find out all you want to know about the club is by joining it any Thursday.

Lurking in Stan's camera, the 'Photo of the Week.'

You can become a real lifetime member of this online magazine's real, live, and free club by becoming a member really easily on a Thursday by signing–in yourself during one of the meetings in Paris if you are here. Getting something to eat is even more easily arranged if you are hungry.

The club's 'rules' were turned into mere hints of rumors by the club's members some time ago, much to their everlasting joy. The club's other capital distinction is that it is the only club related to an Internet magazine that carries on with no newsletter, regardless of what members say it is.

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

The weekly club meetings start about 15:00, on Thursday afternoons. Meetings end about 17:00, also on Thursday afternoons in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'Eno' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Club meetings are always in Paris. If the secretary gets no other better offer darn soon, club meetings will continue to be held here.

Do anything clever at a meeting – like being present for one – and become mildly famous for a short moment if you are not already. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having approximately the same portable phone value as 'first,' especially if dogs are involved. 'True' is perfectly acceptable too, especially if it's modestly 'first.'

There's just 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 darn week, year after everlasting year, and have been purged from the club's intergalactic volumes of archives except for all the originals still online buried in the cool and deep salt mines of the Martian chronicles.

Talking to other club members at meetings is an encouraged activity rather than permanently 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 is likely to be much appreciated by other members present if they are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, as bits of it are, sometimes.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because no members ordered deep–fried rabbit ears as a snack.

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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– unless stated otherwise.
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there is no such thing
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Waldo Bini