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Rollers In Buglise

photo, alley, saint ouen, puces

Slightly out of town, in Saint–Ouen.

More Longest Words

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 31. January 2005:– Watching the weather forecasts is becoming tiresome. Day after day Le Parisien's little weather maps are littered with black muttons. Or, are they sheep? Are they rain pigs wearing wigs?

Whatever they are, they represent dark clouds covering the blue winter sky, hiding its brilliance from our anxious gaze. Where is Superman with his x–ray laser–like vision to burn them away? What is the use of superheros if they are on holiday in Tunisia?

Tomorrow will not become famous in history for weather. The sky will be full of chaos in the morning and in the afternoon there might be tiny spaces between the dark muttons, for the sun to shine feebly through. Aside from this it should be fairly warm, with the high forecast to be in the 9–degree range.

Wednesday should stay aphoto, montparnasse on ice bit loose, with maybe about the same amount of solar peep–through, with a temperature maximum of somewhere around 8 degrees. The general aspect of Thursday looked so similar to Wednesday that I didn't study it carefully. Say it will be the same, including the temperature.

Ice times still happening in Montparnasse.

Should this sound morose, let me point out that the Riviera has sunshine forecast from Tuesday through Friday. Temperatures down there are a bit crazy with 14 degrees for foreseen on Tuesday, 3 degrees for Wednesday, and 8 degrees for the rest of the week. Offshore winds start at 100 kph and drop by 10 kph each day.

Café Life

Shooting Confirmed

It has been reported that a driver who annoyed a pedestrian enough and had his car knuckle–dusted, hauled out some sort of gun and fired at the pedestrian and another bystander who seemed about to object. The cops nabbed this wild–west type, reported to be 70 years old, and jugged him, making the streets in western Paris suburbs again safe for citizens afoot.

This was reported by today's Le Parisien in one paragraph on page 18, right after the paragraph about six cars being torched on Saturday night in Essonne. Police did not draw any connection between the various fried car locations and seemed to think things were quiet in the 'difficult cities.' Today's really big news was about the beginning of the Michael Jackson trial in California, and relaxing the laws governing the 35–hour work week.

Havanas Made in Normandy

Far more interesting than shoot–outs in Poissy, is the story about a dude named François Regard whophoto, cafe le grand coin hangs out on a farm in Normandy, not far from the Channel. François' dad liked Havanas and François got a taste for them, so after a huge administrative ball of wax he's got himself a permit to make Cuban cigars, for real.

The 'big corner' in Saint–Ouen.

With his customs permit he imports tobacco from Cuba and has set up one of his farm buildings as a rolling shed, or 'una galera.' Prime Cuban cigar tobacco is worthless without 'torcedores' to roll them, so François put in an order for Cuban cigar rollers at his local employment office.

They couldn't find anybody in France so François turned to another government agency, and after another huge administrative ball of wax he got Olga and Daymi, a couple of top grade 9 rollers from Havana. The two, freezing in Normandy, roll about 100 cigars each and then knock off to watch Brazilian novelas on TV for the rest of the day.

They make two models, the smaller 'Evita' and the Churchillian 'Maximo,' which are dressed with gold cigar bands and all the trimmings. They are priced at 30 percent less than cigars imported from Havana. François is so pleased that he intends to import the ladies' husbands, who are grade 9 rollers too.

Concerning the usual people who waste a lot of their lives complaining that France is too socialist for any of the above to be true, they are invited to light one up and take a puff.

Correction – Strikes of the Week

The three–day rail strike last week really happened and it may have happened to you if you were here. It was an unannounced strike, that happened on the spur of a moment, and it surprised union members, unions, the management, the government, the press, and of course, passengers with valid tickets. However it was unofficial, and wasn't meant to inconvenience your personal life. It was one of those random things.

Chinese New Year

The official date is Wednesday, 9. February and next year's official animal is the rooster. Several arrondissements host Chinese New Year festivities, which include the dragon parade, which leaves from the Hôtel de Ville at 15:00 on Sunday, 13. February. Expect parades on the same weekend in Chinatown.

Shopping & Soldes d'Hiver Alert XI

The Soldes d'Hiver have been on for weeks, but they continue for a bit less than two weeks more until Saturday,photo, bar, resto 12. February. Frankly, if you've waited this long you may as well put it off until the 'Soldes d'Eté' unless you really need a fur coat now.

Headline of the Week

Yet another super headline from Le Parisien on Thursday stated "Paris ne sait plus gagner." The home town football team has fallen on difficult times again. The main problem is that 'Paris–Saint– Germain' is the club behind all city teams. There are no Mets with a stadium in Queens to root for, just PSG.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The last club meeting's "Think!" Quote of the Week' club report is more sublime than it looks because it seems to be completely unrelated to anything that happened at the meeting, including the second sack of gummibären.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday again. The Saint's 'Day ofphoto, ticket kiosk, montparnasse the Week' will be Saint–Blaise. Again. Blaise was a 6th century Armenian bishop who is the patron of savage animals and if a snake bites you should be on good terms with Saint–Blaise.

Get cut–price same–day theatre tickets here in Montparnasse.

Other, slightly true facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The edgy design of the real club membership card on this page looks as much like contemporary art online as reproductions of it. You may think it is far too good to be true that the club membership itself is free too. It is though.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.05 – 26. January – for this issue the Café Metropole column began with, 'Chinese Red Towers.' There was one feature headlined 'Too Many Parisians Turnout for New Year Parade.' The repeat Scène column had the title of 'L'Année de la Chine.' Laurel Avery's Paris Life column for featured 'Impressions of Marmottan.' The update for the 29. January meeting of the Café Metropole Clubphoto, sign, rue des pretes saint germain l'auxerrois was titled, the 'Sunglasses of the Week' report. There were six wonderful 'Posters of the Week' and the caption for Ric's weekly cartoon was, 'Where's Beagle?'

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 8.05 – 27. Jan 2003 – the Café Metropole column began the issue with 'Earless In New York, Buffalo Grass Returns.' The first feature was titled, "I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door" – Visiting Liberty In New York.' The second feature was titled 'Hollywood East In Queens – The Marx Brothers Were Here Too.' The issue's 'Wine News' announced 'Quiet but Busy Times at Moonlight.' The Café Metropole Club update for 30. January was titled, the 'Not at the Rendez–Vous' report. There were four cool–type 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the unlikely caption, "Another 59th Birthday!"

The Longest Word?

Now that this year's French national spelling bee has been wrapped up – with three 100–percent contestants! – we can proceed briskly to this week's 'Longest Word of the Week.' Without any advance warning last week's surprise was uttered at the Café Metropole Club meeting on Thursday and it was, 'Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft,' thanks to James MacNeil.

Club member, Jules Verne fan and New Jersey snow expert Jim Auman emailed 'Friedhofswäterswitwenundwaisenrentempfangsbescheinigung.' Brilliantly, a couple of minutes later Jimphoto, sign, cafe resto banylonia sent this correction – 'Friedhofs– wärterswitwenundwaisenrentenempfangs– bescheinigung.' Which means, 'cemetery attendants' widows and orphans pension receipt.'

By complete chance, while researching the existence of the Paris 'Anti–Kiss League,' Andrea Felien of the Munich TV production firm 'Welt der Wunder,' offered an update to the first Longest Word of the Week. It is 'Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschafts– kapitänsmützenknopf,' which adds a captain's cap with a button on top.

The additional information that the Karl Valentin museum at Isartör is still operating is welcome. Hours are from 11:01 to 17:29 on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday, until 21:59 on Friday, and from 10:01 on Sunday. On Wednesday and Thursday, visit the exterior of Isartör day or night, even in rain, for free. Also free, all who are 99 and are accompanied by their parents.

'Countdowns' Beyond Pluto

The 'Quote of the Week' is attributed to Albert Einstein. He reportedly said, "A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving." Luckily Dr. Einstein lived in a time when copyright was more flexible.

One 'Countdown' Here On Earth

The 100th anniversary of Jules Verne's death on 24. March 1905 is a mere 53 days from now. A live reenactment of the writing of '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' has been called off on account of Verne having had no pen that could write under water.

Anniversary of Note

photo, sign, impasse st sophie, saint ouen Today marks the birthday, in 1769, of French inventor André–Jacques Garnerin. On 22. October 1797 he went up in a balloon to an altitude of 975 metres, and jumped out of the basket. Since he was the inventor of the parachute, although imperfect, he floated down and regained terra firma in the Parc Monceau. André– Jacques' wife Jeanne&ndash,Geneviève followed him two years later, to become history's first wife of a parachutist to jump.

Today's Other 'Notable Dates of the Week'

There are only 334 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1929 when Leon Trotsky was exiled from the USSR. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 31 days, the same number that 1990 had when McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Moscow.
signature, regards, ric

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