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The Fab Seven

photo, group, tomoko, renaud, priscilla, bob, rita, don, dennis

Our fab seven, from left, Tomoko, Renaud, Priscilla,
Bob, Rita, Don and Dennis.

Masterpiece of the Week

Paris:– Thursday, 2. December 2004:– Before getting to the forecast let's look back at the prediction in the 'Café' column made on Monday for this week. This included –

"After plumbing the depths down to 3 degrees overnight the mercury will bound up to seven degrees tomorrow sometime, possibly in the afternoon. Since it will be mostly cloudy in the morning you might not notice it becoming afternoon, when it will be almost as cloudy, with maybe some feeble attempts at semi–bright periods."

At noon on Tuesday, even Radio France–Info was saying more or less the same thing. But at the same time outside my big window overlooking the Montparnasse cemetery the sky was blue from bottom to top, from edge to edge. There wasn't one cloud visible anywhere.

I had a feeling on Monday night that the forecast was too miserable to be true. But how would it be – if I substituted my inexpert 'feelings' for the official TV–weather news forecast? I don't even have one of those glass half–spheres with the golden snowflakes fallingphoto, beer of the week on the bear. At least, a correction here, for the weather slur made for Tuesday.

Returning to the regular program we have, based on tonight's TV–weather prediction, a rewind to Tuesday. Say there's a tiny bit of sunshine in the morning and less in the afternoon, give us an overnight low of 2 degrees, and top it off with a miserable high on Friday of 5 degrees.

As our low–hanging clouds head for the southeast, Saturday might let us see some blue skies and sunshine during the daylight hours, when it will not get to more than 5 degrees again. Then on Sunday the muck descends once more to give Paris a bad reputation for December, along with a high of 4 degrees for the day.

As Le Parisien says for Sunday, "Beurk!" This is a word kindergarten teachers are always telling their small charges not to say, because they love to say it.

A 'Fab Four' Club Report of the Week

Today has light too lousy for photos. Everything is a shade of gray and there's hardly any contrast. The camera will see black but nothing in it and it won't see any white because there isn't any. All the same I quit riding my second favorite Métro at Odéon and walk the rest of the way to the club, taking a glance at the Place Dauphine on the way.

Unlike last week the Quai du Louvre is plugged with traffic, and a riot must be happening somewhere because sirens are howling all over. Or maybe it's siren test day. Staying outside seems like a loser but I do a tour behind Samaritaine anyway, to burn off a couple of minutes.

In the club's area in the café La Corona the waiter of the week gives me a grim look when I say Iphoto, cafe of the week will order the 'Café of the Week' later. He keeps an eye on me from the front of the 'grande salle,' which does not have many paying customers.

Beautiful enough to swim in.

After doing the necessaries I watch the traffic outside. The red and the yellow double–decker tour buses pass. Nobody sits on their open top decks. City buses, with bikini ads, pass. The breeze ripples the city flags advertising the Paris candidature for the Olympics. Rumble noises come from the floor from the Métro trains passing underground. The bikes, scooters and motorcycles outside do not have steel wheels.

Priscilla Pointer and Bob Symonds accuse me of being alone at the club when they arrive. They don't know how the lurking waiter has been keeping me company. Priscilla has an old photo of herself that she wants to turn into a card. She knows it was taken 59 years ago but doesn't remember where.

None of us can figure it out. If the Ile de la Cité is in the distance it is too small to identify with precision. Dennis Moyer, another member in good standing, arrives. Although he has probably never sampled La Corona's café, he says, "I'm replacing every cup of café with alcohol," and orders a pastis.

Great shouts go up when Tomoko Yokomitsu comes in because Dennis ran into her yesterday. On the six days a week when there are no club meetings, members creep around the city having unofficial meetings with no 'notes,' no 'reports.'

Dennis, by supreme fluke of coincidence,photo, pastis of the week also has a pack of old photos. He says he is making a calendar. "That's a gingerbread house," he says, while musing, "In another life."

So far, four fourths of the members are in the theatre business, so all is theatre talk. Seasons – fall is better because all the theatres have full programs. In spring some are finishing their seasonal offerings.

Dennis' substitute for café.

Tomoko promotes a show she is in tomorrow. This is an evening showcasing the 'Naissance des Musiques Afro–Américaines,' featuring Manda Djinn, the 'Diva du Gospel.' Tomoko has a part in 'Séisme,' third on the bill, with her name spelt 'Thomako.' The buffet is Suédo–Américain.

Priscilla says,"Surviving in the theatre is a feat." Tomoko agrees, says, "If I don't volunteer, this year I have no work."

Song–writer Rita Martinson pulls up and takes a seat in the conversation. The club secretary flubs the introduction with Dennis. Tomoko explains why she left Japan to seek fame a fortune in Paris. "It's a true story," she says.

"It was a dream I had when I was 22," Dennis says. It's the first time he's ever admitted being 22. But it's true – it only took Dennis 40 years to get installed here.

Don Smith floats in under his pwn steam.photo, where, 59 years ago He sent me a photo of his foie gras expedition that didn't make in through the Internet. "He could have smiled if he had teeth," Don says about a chicken dealer he wants me to see. "At the marché au gras," he adds.

We're told it's Priscilla 59 years ago. But where?

Rita has a question for Dennis. "Is Paris your dream?" she asks. "Nightmare?" Dennis wonders, adding "At a boxing match I went to there were actors, politicians and gangsters."

Bob helps with, "Restaurant mafia."

"Where?" Priscilla wants to know. Rita, possibly looking for trouble, says, "I eat in every arrondissement." Everybody takes out restaurant cards and passes them around.

During this the members have ordered water, café, pastis, beer and wine and the 'Waiter of the Week' slips in a café for the secretary and the secretary slips the bill for it to Dennis.

Tomoko's friend Renaud Siry arrives, to become today's sole new member in good standing. Renaud was born in the 8th arrondissement so we use his Château de Nointel as this week's 'City of the Week.' We could use it as the 'Château of the Week,' but hardly anybody lives in one, so very few weeks could be named this. Okay – it's the club's first 'City of the Week' château.

(It is also the club's first 'City of the Week' château that has a big collection of miniature cars, and did I see a lot of dolls too? See the Web site below.)

Renaud is famous – aren't we all? – for creating the 'concert–spectacle' ''Beatles Story.' The reconstitution of the 'Fab Four' played the Olympic last winter and were at the Petit Journal Montparnasse in the spring.

Since Renaud is a drummer, he plays Ringo's part. Apparently the concept got going with a rock–opera, butphoto, brochure beatles story now the six–member group just plays Beatles. And six members, to cover all epochs, plus two Pauls.

The club certainly has a couple of Pauls at least, but I don't understand why Renaud hasn't brought his drums today. Rita could sing along and Dennis could tap his toes.

Instead Renaud has brought a script entitled 'Sunburn In the Heart' for Patricia. At least, I think it's a script. I don't get a close look at it because, on account of the musing I was doing at the beginning, time has fled.

Book this group for your 40th anniversary.

There not enough light out on the terrace for the 'Photo of the Week.' There's no light for it inside either but everybody lines up, squinches together, opens their eyes, and hangs on – while the club's secretary fumbles with the digital and the reds and the yellows, to arrive at the weekly masterpiece.

Although my notes say the 'Photo of the Week' is of glasses full of money and bar tickets, no photo was taken of this. The 'Waiter of the Week' took his sweet time to take his share too.

The Question of the Week

Member in good standing, Rita, wants to know – what is the name of the part of the anatomy that is in the centre of the face between the bottom of the nose and the top of the upper lip? The answer is required by the time of the next club meeting. S'il vous plaît.

Soldes d'Hiver Alert

The official word is that the coming Soldes d'Hiver will begin on Wednesday, 12. January and continue for a bit more than five weeks until Tuesday, 22. February. Bring money.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' again lacking an any 'Food of the Week,' had at least a mention of pastis. The 'About the Café Metropole Club'photo, group 2 of the week page has a lot of fussy fine print, but you can skip it and not miss anything vital. A dead easy way to find out all you need to know about the club is by joining yourself in person on any Thursday so long as you are in the area.

Today's 'Group II' is the same as 'Group I' – count'em – seven!

You can become a real member for ever of this online magazine's real, live, and free club by becoming a member extra–rapido on a Thursday by signing–in yourself during a meeting in Paris, as long you are here, in the café's 'grande salle.' Getting to Paris is your lookout.

The club's 'rules' were converted into legendary folk tales by the club's members a couple of months of Sundays ago. The club's other distinction is that it is the only club related to an Internet magazine that operates with no newsletter, regardless of how many requests there are for one. To unsubscribe to or disconnect, you need do nothing.

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

The weekly club meetings start about 15:00, on Thursday afternoons and drift away around 17:00, on the same Thursday afternoon in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'ZOOU' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Club meetings are held in Paris. If the secretary gets a better offer, club meetings will continue to be held here.

Be fiendishly clever at a meeting – like being at one – and become somewhat notorious momentarily if you are having any mood at all. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having approximately the same basket value as 'first,' especially if balls are concerned. 'True' is perfectly acceptable too, if it's honestly 'first.'

There's just one note of caution – you may have any one or more personal reasons for not wanting to be findable 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' continue to be 'former' week after week after week, month after everlasting month, year after everlasting year, and have been eliminated from the club's hyper–volumes of archives except for all the originals still online buried in the warm and shallow depressions of central Bulgaria.

Talking to other club members at meetings is an encouraged activity rather than seasonally optional in December. If there's a free chair, sit – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. What you say will likely 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, haphazardly.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because this week's 'Château of the Week' was spelled letter–by–letter by Renaud, and seconded by Rita.

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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Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini