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Say, What?

photo, group, tomoko, eva, marilee, dominique, paul, josef

'Group of the Week II,' Tomoko, Eva, Marilee, Dominique,
Paul and Josef.

Speak Up of the Week

Paris:– Thursday, 10. February 2005:– Last night Dimitri said he hates 'faux' spring weather. Nobody else said anything so he said, "I hate faux spring weather" again. Uncle Den–Den took a hit of vodka and poked the borscht to see if there was any meat left in it. If there had of been a vote, 'faux' spring weather would have lost.

Today 'faux' spring is over, almost before we can get used to it. Along the Seine the wind blew the 10 degrees to shreds where it was exposed. And the wind shifted sneakily around to get at you where it wasn't supposed to be exposed.

Tonight I have watched the TV weather–news maps and video animations very carefully becausephoto, hot wine of the week I am temporarily, I hope, deaf. On one hand it is peaceful not to be hearing the cars swish by outside, but on the other it sounds like the world is deserted. I am going to try and get some volume back tomorrow, like I tried on Wednesday.

Marilee's 'Hot Wine of the Week.'

The only word I heard the weather lady say distinctly tonight was 'gris.' Two–thirds of northern France was covered in it, with a wind pushing 60 kph out of the southwest. But the temperature is supposed to hike to 14 degrees, making more 'faux' spring. Saturday is to be the same, maybe with thicker 'gris.' The temperature will stay about the same too.

A vast change will arrive on Sunday, with considerable breezes huffing down from the Channel, pushing many dark clouds along perhaps causing the sun to wink frequently. In Le Parisien, it is called 'psychopathic.' Meanwhile the temperature is expected to be diabolical, somewhat no higher than 7 degrees.

A Different 'Completely Different' Report

Linda Thalman, the server–lady, said she was going bats out on the edge of the plains of Essonne. She said let's meet at Victor's house in the Place des Vosges, give it a once–over, have a bite to eat and ride up the Champs– Elysées with the wind in our hair and eyes sparkling like Lucy Jordan.

Being deaf lets me live an internal fantasy life. Frankly I don't know what the server–lady reallyphoto, rouge and pot of the week said, but I was at Victor's house this morning, on time, thanks to two radio–alarm clocks and a phone call from Uncle Den–Den. He said, "Wake up, punk!"

Downtown on the Rue Saint–Antoine I noticed a lot of dogs leading people around. It must be a new thing because I don't remember it from the last time I was here before noon, which was probably about 1981. Dodging leashes isn't something one is born to.

Somebody's 'Generic Reds of the Week.'

Nearly to Bastille I realize the leashes have caused me to walk right past the Rue de Birague, so I walk back, keeping both eyes open. I recognize the crosswalk where I passed two tethered dogs, look right, and sure enough, there's the Place des Vosges exactly where I left it last time. Going by, head down, the server–lady almost bowls me over. I think I shout.

I guess the server–lady has heard my squeak because she stops. I see her lips move. I guess she's said, "Hey! We're both on time!" I save my breath, and do not bother mentioning Bastille.

We go along to Victor's house and go in and see the photos which are mostly dark, in obscure rooms, full of guards nearly passing out from lack of something, possibly oxygen. My deafness interfered with my night vision, but I got a clear view from a handy window, of the other side of the place, slightly foggy. We looked at Victor's dark furniture too.

Then we go, frigid from Rivoli's breezes, to about the nearest brasserie, and wait a long time for lunch. It's a swell place and if you're down that way stop in at the Fontaine Sully for a runny omelet sometime. We got a table on the terrace, protected from the weather by lots of plastic and some fronds.

After, we went out the back way and took some 600 year–old alleys, passed Philippe–Auguste's wall and the Hôtel de Sens with its pointy turrets, and skipped across the Pont Marie like people who just had lunch. Getting to the Pont Neuf was mostly in wind–shadow, but none of it on the bridge, so to the club's café was done smartly.

Patrick, the club's historic 'Waiter of the Week,' is back. He's been on holiday in Cuba and he and thephoto, group one of the week server–lady have a good old natter about it. From what I hear, not much, Cuba isn't the fun, carefree, island in the sun it used to be. For one thing, the only acceptable currency is euros. As in, everything that cost a dollar five years ago, costs two euros today.

'Group One of The Week,' with Linda, Marilee and Josef.

No sooner are we sitting in the club's area when member Marilee McClintock arrives. Marilee was happily retired between Paris and Agadir, but she got a mission from the Peace Corps and today she is in transit between Micronesia and Benin.

In fact she says, "Benin is not a demotion." In Micronesia, way way out there in the far Pacific, it rains 400 inches a year. In comparison Benin is nearly a tropical rainforest desert. Marilee orders a hot wine first thing.

Patrick suggests a Côte du Rhône instead. Without saying so, he is not recommending the 'vin chaud.' Marilee persists, and the server–lady asks for a pot of Côte. Marilee tells more tales from the south Pacific. Too many trees. No beaches. Two thousand miles from one end to the other. Every family with a pet pig, and no canned peas.

A new phrase – 'millenniumphoto, green drink of the week generation' – for those born in 1980, the age of Peace Corps volunteers today. Except that Marilee is a volunteer too, from a different generation. Good of her to check in to the club – now I can tell everybody who passes through asking for Marilee that she's in Benin, in the same time zone.

Josef Schomburg arrives and everybody is talking about camping on an island in a lake in Ontario while the club's secretary listens as hard as he can. After the server–lady says, "There's Lake George," she adds that she paid Oxfam to sent a goat to her mother–in–law.

Tomoko's 'Green Dream of the Week.'

No, no, my hearing must have gotten this wrong. Just like being at the bakery so early this morning they hadn't baked my bread yet. What a day!

Member Eva Lee arrives from Tranquility, New Jersey. The server–lady, since she's already in the first 'Group Photo of the Week,' takes her leave to return to the plains of Essonne to feed Tiger and Starlet, her jolly cats.

Member Paul Vogel, who I think is from that Brooklyn movie 'Smoke,' arrives with Dominique Legeai, who lives in Barrington, Illinois too. Dominique grew up in Chartres, but has lived for 35 years in Barrington. This means that Chartres becomes the 'City of the Week.'

Paul and Dominique are here mainly for Rétromobile. Paul says he needs parts for his 1939 Citröen convertible. He already has all the pieces of two 2CVs and one Peugeot 203. Dominique has a bunch of them too, including a camionette and one of the vans called 'Le Tube.'

Dominique notes, "Getting a Coke with ice in it is rare." I explain that this café was chosen to be the club's headquarters because it is between the Louvre and the Pont Neuf, in Paris' iced Coke zone. He looks dubious, but it's true. Of course there are other 'iced Coke zones,' somewhere, but not necessarily at his own D & J Bistro in Lake Zurich.

Member Tomoko Yokomitsu arrives as theatrically as an actress should, wearing something colored different from what all the rest of us are wearing. It is Tomoko's first meeting of the year because she is always rehearsing to be Yoko Ono in the 'Beatles Story,' which will be playing soon at the Petit Journal Montparnasse.

Even though the server–lady is long gone, questions about Canada linger in the air – such as,photo, tomoko of the week 'are Canadians 'fidel?' It's the best I can do with these ears. Was it supposed to be 'fickle?' Or – Tomoko is saying that her, "Last boyfriend went..." The notes say, 'Tomoko doesn't know – never tried – culture – you have to cohabit...'

And here, the 'Tomoko of the Week.'

Oh, being deaf is dreary! How many people who aren't deaf have told me this? These notes are a hopeless mess. They just dribble off into nonsense. Dominique finds out that Tomoko is a French movie star, attending club meetings to practice her English. It is all so crystal clear now.

This club 'report' is over. See you at Rétromobile tomorrow, right inside the big box of spare 2CV parts. As soon as I get my ears suctioned.

Shopping & Soldes d'Hiver Alert XIII

The Soldes d'Hiver are in their exciting end–phase sprint but they continue for another two whole days until Saturday, 12. February. Frankly there's nothing left and the spring–summer stuff is already in some shops. Only five months until the Soldes d'Eté!

More About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' without the slightest whiff of any 'Onion Soup of the Week,' lacked any mention of 'green drinks.' The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has a columns of fine print, but you can skip it all entirely and miss little but fine print. If you do skip it, all you need to know is that the club can be joined any Thursday, so long as it's during the week.

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

Club meetings begin about 15:00 on the hour, on Thursday afternoons and waste away about 17:00 or after on the same afternoon in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'ZZTO' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where meetings are held.

Be devilishly clever at a meeting – by being at one – and become comfortable for a hour or two if it is what you feel like. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having approximately the same worth as 'first' regardless if 'first' is perfectly believable too, and if it is an acceptable form of 'true' but not hardly.

Note of caution – you may have any one or more personal reasons for remaining unfindable 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. Google yourownself if in doubt.graphic: club location map

Former 'rules' continue to be 'former' week after week after week, month after month, year after endless year, and have been eliminated forever etc., blah–blah, from the club's hyper–texts of archives etc., etc., andsoforth.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional if there aren't any. Should there's a free chair, sit – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. Bring your own if you prefer. Get one on sale. Whatever you say will be greatly appreciated by other members present if there are any that are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because this week's meeting may have had enough words for two whole meetings, I think. I saw lips move.

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.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– 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