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''Gulf Fish are Dumb''

photo, group, jacob, carolyn, bill, heather

This week's jolly 'Group of the Week,' Jacob, Carolyn,
Bill and Heather.

''For the Love of the Sport''

Paris:– Thursday, 21. April 2005:– Today has not been as sunny as this morning's forecast in Le Parisien. It was bright for a while and then it became more overcast, with a sort of gray mess of clouds overhead that never got loose enough to let the sun shine through. So, it was, boring, up in the sky.

Tonight's TV–news weather lady predicted that it will be getting warmer, and this is all there is for good news. No more sunshine is forecast until next week sometime unknown, and from Saturday on it isn't going to be getting warmer any more until maybe Monday.

Friday is supposed to start off with fog in the morning. On the way to the club meeting this afternoon it looked a bit hazy, or misty, or out of focus – so this is what tomorrow morning might be like. If it isn't too foggy, it will be sunny in theory. Then at 12:01 it will become more cloudy, and so on. Rejoice for the extra temperature, which is supposed to be 18 degrees.

The forecast for Saturday doesn't look good. The weather map on TV tonight was very complicated, and perhaps can only be described as 'unstable,' followed by cloudy and variable, tending towards rain or showers, whichever you like least. The high for the day may be 16 degrees.

On Sunday a lot of glop is supposed to be our lot. The sun may peek out timidly but it isn't something you want to bet on. The main crummy weather will be east of Paris unless it is tardy. On this day the high may be 15 degrees, which is certainly something or other 'for the time of year.'

The 'Love of Sport' Report of the Week

The club secretary's 286th departure for the Café Metropole Club is about the same as the past 150, with a scramble to get out of the apartment and loping down the street and scooting past two walls of the cemetary to Raspail and wait a minute or two for the northbound Métro,photo, wine of the week which may be a bit late because it races to Vavin and hits the brakes hard and does it at Montparnasse, Saint–Sulpice and Saint–Germain, and slows down a bit before Odéon because it is where the secretary will leave it.

The 'Pot of the Week' contains wine, of course.

Then it's a trot through the Quartier Latin to Buci and along the narrow sidewalks of Dauphine to the Pont Neuf, and I wonder why there are so many students around. Besides the French ones, some others have sacks that indicate they may be Americans, but what are they doing here?

All this loping, scooting and trotting puts me on the bridge with five minutes to spare, so I look at the statue of Henri IV to see if there's anything I've missed. No, it's the same as it was last time and the time before that.

The traffic at the quay is about the same as it always is when it's dense, and it is noisy too – with drivers in the left lanes trying to turn right on to the bridge and the occupants of the bus lane on the right, tending to go straight ahead. Seeing them not crash into each other is worth 45 seconds until the green man pops on.

The 'grande salle' of the café La Corona has fewer people in it than usual, and the club's area has a new 'Waiter of the Week.' He goes and asks Patrick what the deal is with me, and Patrick tells him a huge fib about how all the club members to come will order platters of food and drink and leave generous tips when they leave if we're treated nice.

This gives me time to write down the club stats and glance at today's Le Parisien. I no sooner read, 'La grogne prend de l'ampleur,' when members Carolyn and Bill Cross are before me, sliding out chairs and installing themselves.

They have been at club meetings in 2001 and 2003. The first of these had so many members at it that there were no less than five 'firsts' and about a dozen candidates for 'City of the Week.' I can already tell that today will be calmer, so I declare Waveland, Mississippi to have this week's honor.

Readers and members may recall that Bill came to one of these meetings with his Yashica 635. This was what is called in Europe a 6x6 camera, because its film measures 6 cm by 6 cm. Today Bill hasphoto, lake of cafe of the week another piece of old iron. A familiar piece, because it's a Pentax K1000, exactly the same but older than the one member Bonnie Blythe had two weeks ago. Two old Pentax cameras make one 'first' of a sort.

Modest 'Lake of Café,' of 'the week,' of course.

Bill says he runs a photo gallery called the F-Stop in Bay St. Louis. When he isn't handling black and white prints he is out on the dock of the bay fishing with artificial bait. "Gulf fish are dumb," he says.

Carolyn tells me about their house, which sounds a bit fictional, or 1950's style, with overhead fans and hardware cloth screens – to keep the previous owner's birds from escaping. Carolyn says it is kind of warm there now.

Bill is annoyed with the price of underwear in Paris. I tell him everybody is annoyed with the price of it. All our cotton, if that's what it is made of, comes from someplace else – like, maybe, Mississippi.

Instead of buying underwear here Bill has got himself some jazz posters instead. It seems like a long way to come for them, to get a poster of Miles or Dizzy. And he knows some of the small places here where live jazz is played.

A new member arrives and makes his wish to join the club known. Jacob Hardie is from Oakville, Ontario, and he works for Air Canada in the customer satisfaction department. Jacob is spending a lot of this visit lining up the details of buying an apartment, which he thinks will be a better investment than in Toronto.

Jacob has his opinions, just like a lot of other club members. "Hockey players in France play for the love of the sport," he says without prompting.

I didn't even know there are French hockey players in France. In fact there may not be, and Jacob is justphoto, pentax k1000 camera letting us know that he is powerfully annoyed by the players strike in North America. No hockey season in Canada? What ever happened to 'Rocket' Richard? Turn your back for a minute and a place goes to pot.

'Battleaxe of a Camera' – 'of the Week,' of course.
Continued on page 2...
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