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Mastodon's Dentist

photo, group, jim, laura, jim, stephan, tomoko, marion

'Group of the Week,' John, Laura, Jim, Stephan,
Tomoko and Marion.

Small World, Six Degrees

Paris:– Thursday, 17. February 2005:– Those living in Moose Factory up on Hudson Bay would probably say weather here is pretty mild. For all I know somebody living in Strezhevoy in Zapadno–Sibirskaya might think Moose Factory is paradise, but days here seem dreary, damp, cold, crummy and chilly to the bone.

And there's more to come. Tonight's TV–weather news has delivered a forecast that is far from optimistic. First off it has snowed so much that avalanche warnings are falling like a blizzard of snowflakes. However these warnings are for areas called either Alps or Pyrenees.

In this area we can ignore the weather because none good is forecast. Clouds, clouds and more clouds will move from west to east, with maybe a bit of peek–a–boo signsphoto, cafe of the week of the sun on Friday, with a temperature not to exceed 6 degrees.

The same thing is predicted for Saturday, with the addition of some winds from the Channel, whistling by at about 60 kph. This won't be fun with another high of 6 degrees.

The secretary's 'Café of the Week.

But it might be better than Sunday when the wind is supposed to pick up to 70 kph, with the temperature giving up completely, to rise to no more than 3 degrees. Truly, this will be an afternoon fit for breakfast in bed all day.

The 'Completely Different' Report of the Week

And suppose it's impossible to wake up for breakfast? All might not be lost if you have the right supplies for having lunch in bed all day. Build up a bunker of blankets and pillows and let the cracker crumbs and soup fall where they may.

Oh no, it is all too degenerate. This is not the middle of a ten–month winter. This is just a bit of February a little bit more wintry than normal. Yawn. Where's my scarf? Where are those club booklets? Where are my Métro tickets? All, right where it was last week, all just about ready to go, find the door, open it, lock it, shuffle down the stairs and heave open the iron and glass door, and step out into the blast of frigid oxygen coming down the chute from the Avenue du Maine.

Narely a soul on the street. Chez Papa is open again after its renovation, full of thin students eating massivephoto, water of the week amounts of stone–carver's cassoulet behind steamy windows. Cross the street and set off down the road between the sides of the cemetery, absolutely solo.

One of the café's classical–style 'Water of the Week' carafes.

And then the ride down to the Quartier Latin in the Métro. The mood for it happens in the curve after Sulpice, going into Saint–Germain. A curve like that and you want to ride it all day, but I have the door open at Odéon and my foot on the platform before the train stops.

Tramp, tramp, hustle down Dauphine to the Seine and wait at the light for the green man. Oh, I better pick this up a bit crossing the bridge and get to the club, but I pause for a paper at the kiosque in front of Samaritaine, just 'in case.'

Some Joes are fixing the stone blocks of the terrace of the club's café, La Corona. Their barricade cuts the width of the sidewalk to one lane. Chilled pedestrians edge carefully past.

Inside the café it seems as if the lunch crew has left. A member is sitting in the club's area and he turns out to be Jim Donatelli, from New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. Jim says he comes to Paris once or twice a year, and was at a club meeting a year ago. He reminds me of that club 'report,' and I take his word for it.

Last year, Jim tells me, he ordered some wine when he visited Bordeaux. The 80 cases took 11 months to arrive, with no little thanks to the able assistance of the Pennsylvania liquor board, some help from importers, distributors and interested parties. The cost, in the end, wasn't much more than Benjamin Franklin paid.

He did this because of an AEF balloon unit stationed at Bordeaux in 1917, and fondly remembered there. However I fail to note the details of this, other than to ask if the balloons were for submarine patrols. The answer is no.

Then we have a mini invasion that adds up to three new members. They are Laura and John Marshall of Somerville, Massachusetts, and Phoebe Marshall–Raimbeau of Angers. Somerville, a bit northwest of Boston, becomes the 'City of the Week.' Angers would too, except only one per week is allowed, even though there are no 'rules.'

Besides, it is Somerville that has Davis Square, known far and wide as the 'Paris of the New Millennium.' All Angers hasphoto, photo of photo of the week is a 'château' with 17 towers, begun in the time of Philippe Auguste and completed when Saint Louis was around.

Of course Angers also has an English– Language Library, and Phoebe is its director. It has many more books in English than my own George Brassens Bibliothèque in the 14th.

John's food photo, a bit too small to eat.

John is retired from taking photos, and just to keep busy he says he is engaged in a 'honorary withdrawal from acting.' What's wrong with this picture is his valid actor's guild card. For photos, I take a wild guess and ask if he had anything to do with the photos of the Data General computers underneath the Tour Eiffel. It's a bingo for the club's secretary. Hey, small world.

Our other acting star, Tomoko Yokomitsu, arrives. Jim immediately remembers the frozen, poison blow–fish Tomoko brought from Japan last year. Every time somebody remembers this Tomoko remembers that I didn't eat it.

I'm so embarrassed that I have to say that Tomoko is playing Yoko Ono in the 'Beatles Story' show which will be on stage at the Petit Journal Montparnasse on Wednesday, 9. March. Like Yoko, Tomoko doesn't sing, but club member Renaud does, as do the other Beatles look–alikes.

John then impresses Tomoko by speaking Japanese. John then impresses me with food photos. Laura says, "Hisphoto, screen actors guild card camera has a special setting for food photos. He says wait, wait. I say I'm starving."

Authentic and valid actor's guild card.

Members Marion and Stephan Nowak arrive and plug themselves into chairs. Marion claims that she never comes to Paris for sales, and she might be right. More small world happens when Stephan begins to have fond memories of Pittsburgh, which is apparently near New Wilmington.

I have a hard time following Jim's geography, so he draws a map, with north in the south, to show the 'golden triangle,' and the location of the French forts. He says George Washington lost twice here, but everything was okay in the end.

Meanwhile, while remembering the sights of greater Pittsburgh, Stephan draws a diagram showing how Bayer got rid of its polymer and chemicals divisions, by flogging them to former stockholders with a ten–for–one trade that they couldn't refuse.

You may think this is completely unrelated to this meeting, but it is the background behind Stephan's trip to Pittsburgh, instead of coming to Paris, he says.

But something else must have happened because everybody who knows Pittsburgh agrees that you can't fly from there non–stop to Paris or Frankfurt anymore even though the planes were always full when you could.

"That's why you can't stay on the Canadian side," says Marion, or Stephan, or maybephoto, cutting stone, terrace work Jim, or it could be John or Laura. It's about seeing Niagara Falls, the French and Indian War, and '50 Best Places.' I don't hear the question that matches this answer, in other words.

Right... outside... the... club's... window!

And why do members have to compare pickpocket stories? Stephan remembers losing six francs and a Métro ticket at Saint–Michel, while Jim recalls giving up a handkerchief at – where was it?

And – if you do stay in Canada, or is it around Pittsburgh? "There's fish in every lake," said and noted, but unattributed.

There being no kitchen sink to throw in here, I must not forget to mention the noise interruption caused by one of the Joes on the stonework right outside the club's window – when he fired up his saw and set to work slicing a piece off one of the stone blocks. If you wanted to know what the mastodon's dentist drill sounded like...

More About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' withoutphoto, chinese tower, cafe cups the slightest attempt at any reasonable coherence, lacked anything edible other than photos of food. The informative 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has reams of fine print, but you can skip it all entirely and miss little but lots of fine print. If you do skip it, the club can be joined any Thursday, so long as it's the day you want to join.

Where, How, Why Not, What, Who?

Club meetings begin about 15:00 on the hour, on Thursday afternoons and fade away about 17:00 or after on the same afternoon in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'ZTZO' 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 whether you want to or not. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having exactly the same value as 'first' regardless if 'first' is perfectly believable too, and if it is an acceptable form of 'true' but hardly likely.

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 everlasting year, and have been eliminated forever etc., blah–blah, from the club's hyper–texts of archives andsoforth, etc., etc.

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. 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 members mentioned one of the world's 38 official 'golden triangles.'

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