...Continued from page 1

And there's the fake rabbit, the tatty one that used last time and the time before, and we all pretend to think it's a new rabbit and applaud quickly – because there's a football game to watch, or something new to buy or something fine to eat.

But the whole thing sure takes a long time. It isn't tidy, it's hardly foreseeable, and nobody knows what the end will look like. Like the Airbus A380 it's the biggest thing around, and it's ours.

Rare 'Fiat 500 of the Week,' Again

Metropole reader and Café Metropole Club member Bruce Poole, living in Fredericton, New Brunswick, captured a mint blue metallic Fiat 500 in London a couple of weeks ago and again sent the photo to me for Metropole's collection of Fiat 500s 'of the week.'photo, fiat 500, photo bruce poole

This time I did not lose it. If you doubt this is Bruce's true photo because it appears as if everybody is parked on the wrong sides of the street, all I can say is, this is how they do it in the UK these days.

This is really, truly it.

I swear that the blue one here is nearly the same color as last week's and you can hardly tell that the steering wheel is on the right instead of on the left like it would be if it was a Continental model. Another big tip of the cap to Bruce Poole!

Headline of the Week

There were some bold headlines of the week in Le Parisien but one of the biggest was, Chirac rame.' This appeared on Friday's front page, and was about Président Chirac's lackluster effort on Thursday evening to convince 83 young TV studio guests that voting 'yes' in the French referendum for the European Constitution would be a brilliant move.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last Thursday's club meeting' "No New Meat!" report is hardly apt, because no members had anything to eat of any kind. Other things happened and other things were said, but it is doubtful that anybody present remembers. Luckily there is a boring report to refer to.

The next Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday, more or less as usual. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Anselme. This 'Saint of the Week' came from Aoste in northern Italy and became an abbot at Bec in Normandy, before moving on to Canterbury where he worked to reform the church in the 11th century. Royalty fans should be pleased to learn that Thursday is the Queen's birthday too.

Other actual true facts about the club are on view on the 'About the Club' page. The sketchy design of the somewhat edgy club membership card on this page looks as much like a membership card as any Mets baseball card, but they aren't. Sufficient to be free while the club membership itself is virtual, available and romantic too, all of which can be tested in Paris.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.16/17 – 12/19. April – this double issue's Café Life column was headlined, 'A Fixer–Upper Week – Metropole's 'Tours' Lists.' The Café Metropole column's head was, 'Easter Sparkles, Drizzle Becomes Cloudless.' The slogan 'Contest' became exciting with 'Balloons Away!' Grand Prize – for the Bumper–Sticker Slogan Contest.' The 'feature of the week' was titled 'Easter In Paris – "I'm Wearing this Coat to Brussels!" A email from Linda Thalman was headlined 'Paris Is a Jungle.' The update for the 15. April meeting of the Café Metropole Club was titled as the 'Members 'On Location' report. The update for the 22. April meeting of the club has become known as the 'Hoboken of Germany' report. The Scène column was a repeat jumbo with, 'Dante et Virgile aux Enfers – with Francis Bacon, Elsa Schiaparelli,' againphoto, sign, passage joanes already. There were ten hyper–edgy 'Posters of the Week' and the caption for Ric's weekly cartoon was about a thrilling 'Art Déco Toilet Seat.' On account of Easter the second weekly cartoon was captioned "April Showers – What's Not to Like?"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.16 – 14. April 2003 – this issue's Café Metropole column began with 'How Much of This is True?' The Au Bistro feature was brief, with 'In Only 2 Words – France Wins!' The lone feature dealt with 'Désolation des Filles de Joie' and other crimes. The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 17. April was headlined as the 'Mark Kritz' First 'First'' report. There were four merely ordinary 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was off–the–mark with, 'Passive Hustling.'

Irish Rarebit

For the seventh time almost in a row, this is not about some old saint, but is instead a true story. On this day in 1949 Irelandphoto, sign, villa mallebay proclaimed itself a republic and severed its ties with Britain and the Commonwealth. This left the northern counties of Ulster under the British crown. Since 1969 this division has required the government in London to keep troops in Ulster to protect the civilian population from each other.

Today is also the anniversary of the placing of the first stone of the Vatican's Saint–Peter basilica in Rome. This was done by Pope Julius II, of the Medici family, in 1506. Raphael and Michelangelo worked on the huge building, and Bernin wrapped it up in 1666 with a healthy touch of the baroque and 284 columns. Not that it's related, but today is also the birthday of Lucrezia Borgia, in 1480.

World War II was winding down on this day in 1945 when a thousand bomber British raid on the tiny German island of Helgoland blew everything up and killed 128 people who were mostly anti–aircraft crews, and a bunch of seagulls. After the raid the civilianphoto, sign, boulangerie fertillet population was evacuated, but the British Navy attempted to blow up the entire island two years later. This failed and the island was used as a bombing range until 1952, when the Germans took it over again and cleaned up the unexploded bombs. Today Helgoland is again selling tax–free cigarettes and booze to day–trippers. Both Helgolanders and the seagulls speak a version of North Frisian unique to the island.

All the same we'll take today's 'Quote of the Week' from James Branch Cabell. He wrote, "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true." Branch, possibly writing in English, but by no means certain, may not be correctly quoted here because this quote belongs to 14. April.

Today's Other 'Notable Dates of the Week'

There are only 257 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1955 when Albert 'Smilely' Einstein died at 76 in Princeton, New Jersey. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 108 days, the same number that 1915 had when aviator Roland Garros was shot down and glided to a landing behind German lines in WWI. Roland was also a tennis a ace, and the stadium in Paris is named after him.
signature, regards, ric

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