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No Mucho Ado

photo, grocery shop, alimentation

Nothing 'hyper' about this corner grocery.

Headline Even Worse

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 8. November 2004:– The TV–weatherman has been warning me and I've been warning you and now both of us need to take it seriously. After years' worth of Nelly–mild Novembers, we have one of the old–fashioned kinds here.

This is what it means – there are winds cruising down from Lapland or Iceland and they are washing over northern France as if it was Belgium here. Le Parisien is still printing its weather maps in color, but it looks like a lost cause.

There are black clouds all over their wretched maps. They look like little muttons, black sheep, damp woolmice or all three. The country is pocked with them. It looks like the Orient Express has just choo–chooed past and every puff of smoke contains half a day's rain.

What did the man actually say? Well, he said, 'snow above 400 metres,' a couple of times. This means no snow on Montmartre because it is 299 metres above sea level, a 100 metres short. But all the same! It's only the beginning of November.

Most of the west of France is going to be very overcast tomorrow. Some of the rest of France will have doubtful skies, with maybe some sun peeps. It'll probably matter not at all because the overnight low here is supposed to be 5 degrees, and the freaking high has been forecast as 8 degrees.

On Wednesday, while winds pummel the north, the west will lighten up. This will leave the whole centre of the country covered with Tuesday's overcast. Snow may fall on heights above 300 metres. However the temperature will not be too bad because it is supposed to drop another degree, to 7. 'Not bad' because I thought the 7 was a 9.

Bad news for Thursday though. The whole country is expected to be cloudy all over, except for around Marseille. Winds will be howling down the Channel at 60 kph, which will drive the temperature down to a high of 6 degrees. This is not a nice outlook at all. Even if we haven't had any November weather like this for years, I don't know why we need it this year.

Café Life

No Mucho Ado

It turned out to be a week that got a pin stuck in it and the air came out slowly. The deflation was so soft it was hardly noticed. After so long a build–up here we are with empty hands and nothing to do.

So it was that I spent a completely non–political election night. We were summoned to Unclephoto, ghost house Den–Den's to assist Dimitri with his birthday, although I was totally unaware of it. It wasn't his birthday anyway – just a Tuesday that substituted for it.

Or maybe it was his birthday because it was election night in America. The truth of it will probably never be known now. As it was, Dimitri was late. Uncle Den–Den discovered he was out of mustard and he couldn't reach Dimitri to ask him to bring a pot.

This is a brilliant photo of a house that is not here.

At one point I had my coat on and five euros in hand, but Dimitri answered the phone and Yo'd the mustard. When he arrived it turned out to be used mustard, a half–full pot. Any mustard in a storm. All's well that ends with mustard.

We started off with salad. I got half of the big green hot thing, and I kept it. I've been in training to eat these hot things, and everybody else complained that there wasn't enough. I could have eaten another one too.

Then Dennis came in with the big pot full of sausages and potatoes. It had a sinful lot of sausages in it. In a restaurantphoto, temps des cerises, shop if you order these things you might get one, or two if they are chipolatas, but you never get three and ones stuffed with nuts and smoked ones. It was the hydrogen bomb pot of sausages. It explained the need for more mustard.

This is a shop not open.

Uncle Den–Den drank vodka with the Buffalo grass in it. He said it was medicinal, utterly necessary for combatting jet–lag picked up in San Francisco. There was some Greek wine too, and he kept asking about it. I think it was meant for the salad and was supposed to be finished before the sausages.

Hours later we were still eating sausages. I remember being surprised to see Dimitri about to blow out five candles on a birthday cake, with oranges on it. All I can remember is the sausages. I don't remember any cheese, but I might be wrong.

There were songs of course. Nigel sang the Maori song that Line sang last year. There's no program for these things, anybody can sing whenever they like. Somebody always does too. Just like Uncle Den–Den always gets a book to read. Last Thursday it was a big book full of the complete Alan Ginzberg. Somebody read 'America.'

Always the perfect host Uncle Den–Den wanted to know if anybody wanted to watch TV. He said Oleg had left a black–and–white set in a closet. He didn't know if it worked. Nobody suggested he find out.

It's hard to remember what happened after the sausages. It's hard to remember how the sausages ended. I think they were all eaten. I didn't bring any home with me so they must have all been eaten. Or maybe Dennis intended having one for breakfast.

The next day I was listening to Radio France–Info while making breakfast. Yeah, I know. How could anybody even think of breakfast after all those sausages? I think I must have breakfast out of plain habit.

The radio said the election looked good, but they still had to count something in Ohio. By afternoon café timephoto, temps des cerises, shop somebody was throwing in the towel. Then Yassir Arafat came to France to check into a military hospital south of Paris, and the election was completely over.

If this restuarant has sausages, it is closed.

If there was any lingering doubt about it, the Côte d'Ivoire blowing up on the weekend settled it for good. I had a lot of work to do and didn't pay a lot of attention. When I finished it I switched to doing the events columns for Metropole. Maybe if I'm lucky I can watch the video of the 'Battle of Algiers' that I taped while doing last week's club 'report.'

Not every week is spent walking around Paris as free as a bird. Some weeks are a hard slog without even going out for anything other than a walk around the block and having a sausage or two.

Headline of the Week

Friday's Le Parisien featured a major–type headline, with "LA FIN" splashed across a full front page photo of Yassir Arafat. Three days later the chairman is still in the hospital, still hanging on. The people keeping a vigil outside the hospital might be there for a long time.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last week's 'First Annual 'Day After' Meeting' clubphoto, la corona report is still online, by popular assent. While Paris and the café La Corona seemed deserted, the club had its usual number of members present and an average number of new members there to join us.

But the club's café is always open and well–ligthed.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 11. November. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Martin. This Martin was a Roman legionnaire from the area of the Danube who was in Amiens one winter when he lent half his coat to a 'miserable.' For this good deed he got another half–coat. So impressed was he with it that he converted, became bishop of Tours in 371 and died 16 years later on the edge of the Loire. Tours still has half the coat. According to tradition, it is supposed to get warmer after today. If it does, it is sometimes called Saint–Martin's summer.

Other highly interesting facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The silly graphic of the virtual club membership card on this page looks several hundred times better online than printed, but is free both ways. The club membership itself is totally free too, even though the club's secretary is far from perfect.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.46 – 10. Nov 2003 – this issue's Café Metropole column headline was, 'Nothing Happened – Holy Cola!' This was followed by Laurel Avery's 'Paris Life' column titled 'Cocteau In the Hamster Cage.' The week's Scène column was titled 'Noël in Paris 2003' and 'Two Picassos for the Price of Two' was a repeat. The Café Metropole Club update for 13. November was appropriately named the "12 Extra for Getting Wet!" report. There were fourphoto, sign, rue croce spinelli new 'Posters of the Week' and the caption of Ric's weekly cartoon was, "Vous Américains!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.46 – 11. Nov 2002 – the Café Metropole column opened with 'Bon Anniversaire Dimitri!' Metropole's 'Wine News' followed with 'Winery's Truck Falls Ill.' There was one preview Scène column titled 'Noël 2002 – Not Quite the Full Program.' The Café Metropole Club update for 14. November turned into the 'Best Crêpe Stand in France' report. Another item was called 'Le Mois de la Photo 2002, the Mid–November of the Photo.' There were four jolly Paris type 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Since You Asked.'

The 'Countdowns' are in Schwabing

The new feature 'Quote of the Week' is back again for the second time in history because there are no famous quotes with a connection to today. However I found the following today, so I guess it counts. 'Il faut manger pour vivre, et non vivre pour manger.' Roughly this means, 'Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.'

However you might be interested in learning that Christianity became Rome's official religionphoto, sign, do not neter, turn back 100 metres exactly 1612 years ago, and that all other cults were forbidden. This was far from perfect because a century later, under Diocletian, Christians were still having sand kicked in their eyes.

Famous Anniversaries of the Week

On returning from a crusade against heretics, Louis VIII was struck dead by dysentery 778 years ago today, at Montpensier in the Auvergne. On a lighter note, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 'Brothers Karamasov' was published on this day in 1880, a year before he died. It was on this day in 1793 when the Louvre was opened to the public for the first time. Because it is also Alain Delon's birthday, he will be returning to Friday night TV as 'Frank Riva.'

Today's Other 'Significant Dates of the Week'

There are only 53 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1923, when Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch failed in Munich. This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 313 days, the same number that 1939 had when Hitler escaped an assassination attempt carried out while he was celebrating the Beer Hall Putsch.
signature, regards, ric

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