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Sorrow for Geese

photo, group, don, michael, cherie, sue, doug

Whole 'Group of the Week' – from left, Don, Michael,
Cherie, Sue and Doug.

Cheer for Fairfield

Paris:– Thursday, 11. November 2004:– Today has been so gloomy – actually like very many past 11. Novembers – that I wanted to get home quick and turn on the cheery lights and the TV set, to watch the gloomy weather forecast in the comfort and warmth of my cozy apartment. The only thing missing is chintz curtains and a sauna.

First the big picture. The centre of our depressed weather system is over the Black Forest and it has really rotten weather twirling around it in a big loop, vacuuming it out of the Massif Central, spraying it at Switzerland and southern Germany before dumping back into the northeast of France.

The result will be a day of clouds, freezing fog, and some sunny periods in the afternoon. But clouds will lurk along the Channel all day, so don't go up there. I mean, this is what the TV–weather news guy said tonight. He also said the low will be 3 degrees, and the high will be 9 degrees.

The skies should be considerably brighter on Saturday, if any of this turns out to be true. Oops, I forgot to put in the vital crosshatching to indicate the cloud locations. Never mind – there will be 60 kms of wind blowing down the Channel – don't go up there – and the high might be 8 degrees.

Sunday looks like it will be tricky, with northern France covered by high clouds. Let's say it might be half–sunny, after morning fog clears. Let's say it might be 8 degrees, and this might be the highest temperature of the day. Night is another story

It is very definitely winter–type weather these days. It calls for wool scarves and some kind of head covering, which can double for keeping the rain off your coiffure. Fingers may feel toastier if they are covered with wool, leather, or bandaids, in a pinch.

The 'Remembrance Day' Club Report of the Week

When I leave for the club the sky is so dim that it seems like a half hour before sundown. The few drivers out cruising Paris, from habit, on this holiday, many are doing it with their lights on. Drivers have been asked to keep their lights on in the daytime on major routes, but more than half don't remember.

When I first came here it was common to drive with no lights on in the city at night. Those were exciting days, er, nights. I forget now what it was that prompted French drivers to start usingphoto, doug and don their lights. Many who don't want to now, in the daytime, say that it wears out their light bulbs.

With the price of gas where it is, I wonder why there's nobody complaining about their gas tanks becoming empty on account of cruising around Paris on holidays.

Doug and Don grapple with the 'laser bazooka.'

Luckily I can take the Métro, and today it has just the right temperature. I do not have to loosen my scarf one bit. All the same I hop out at Saint–Germain and walk through the dark Quartier Latin to the Pont des Arts. It is very quiet and most of the chic art galleries are closed.

The club's café La Corona has its lights on when I arrive but it has not attracted many to its warm and yellow interior. Those who witnessed the Remembrance Day ceremonies on the Champs–Elysées this morning must have gone to museums or warm cinemas this afternoon.

After noting the club details, the weather, and the house count in the café's 'grande salle,' I read Le Parisien in hopes of finding a good story. There's one about the 110 year–old veteran of World War One, hail and hearty. But I am puzzling over "Des maisons en toc ont semé la zizanie" on page 17 when Sue and Doug Fuss arrive.

These members joined the club on 23. December 1999, so they've chalked up five years of belonging to this rare club. Just think – a year after the club started there was an election and now there's been another one. Actually many more, if I think about all the French and European ones too.

Don Smith drifts up to the club's tables with his hat almost brushing the café's chandeliers. I mean, the ghastly things may as well be called this, for want of any better term.

For whatever reason – you know this club, 'no' reason is good enough – we spend the rest ofphoto, sue, digital camera the meeting fooling around with cameras. First, Don says something about his new camera – he says it is a 'laser bazooka.'

Sue gets 'digitaled' through two cameras.

As far as I am concerned, 'bazooka' is the 'word of the day.' Just think – there they were in 1938 and the perfume factory, and the sub– assistant marketing guy said, "Let's call it a bazooka." He didn't get fired, he got drafted. Loading trucks in North Africa, he said, "What are all these dern bazooka things anyhow?" He was overheard and four million Joes starting calling then 'bazookas.'

Doug tries out Don's 'laser bazooka.' It has silent motors that go whir, whir. There is pixel talk. If I could quote myself, I'd say, "18 million pixels more than you need," but I can't. Scratch that quote.

After some hesitation and some prompting from the 'Waiter of the Week,' Cherie and Michael Licamele join us to become club members. We all shake hands again. This is lucky for the club because Cherie and Michael are from Fairfield, Connecticut, which gives us a legitimate 'City of the Week.'

For those who missed geography, Fairfield is near Bridgeport, not all that far from East Norwalk. It is not especially near any of the other Fairfields.

Michael, and maybe Cherie, were in the Corona last Thursday, but the bar area was so interesting that he, or they, did not manage to find the club. They come to Paris often and often hang out on the tip of the Ile de la Cité, so they have been halfway across the Seine on many Thursdays during club meetings. Today is a true 'first.'

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