...Continued from page 1

The owner gives a book to a customer and when he protests, he gives him another. Upstairs the maid is polishing a telescope when the bookshop owner come in. He says, 'don't break it' and aims it out of the window, and sees the clochard stumbling along by the bouquinistes. He sees the clochard on the Pont des Arts, sees him mount the railing, and jump into the river.

The bookstore owner runs downstairs and out the door and across the street to the quay, and down the stone steps to the riverside, shedding clothes all the way, followed by the curious – who are by now lining all quaysides and are packed like an army of sardines across the bridge.

The clochard is in the middle of the stream and is reached by the good samaritan, with some frenzied splashing. As a sightseeing boat draws alongside there is also a rowboat with other rescuers on the scene, and between a thrown lifebuoy from the bigger boat and the men in the rowboat, the two are hauled out of the water and taken to the quay.

There the bookshop owner attempts to revive the clochard with the help of 30 bystanders. This is so confusing that the clochard it carried up the stairs and across to the bookshop, where he is finally brought back to life, spitting water all over while the maid it running around getting towels and one bystander is congratulating the 'hero' and saying he can't wait to get home to tell his wife about the incident.

This is all accompanied by swift dialogue seemingly made up by the actors, played not on a stage but in a real park, real bookshop, by the real bridge over the real river. The camera shoots from the bookshop's upper window, and scans the bouquinistes opposite, with passing cars, trucks and buses blocking the view. It is real and fluid.

photo, fiat 500 of the weekIt is also in black and white and all of the scenes are from 1932. Jean Renoir was the director and the film's title was 'Boudu sauvé des eaux.' It sounds like it was the model for the 'Clochard de Beverly Hills.'

One More Time, Once

Captured, on Wednesday, this gleaming Fiat 500, obviously someone's wheels of fire hardly showing the decades of wear and tear of Ile–de–France life since leaving the factory in sunny Italy.

Headline of the Week

There were some bold headlines of the week in Le Parisien but none was more striking than Thursday's 'SUPERBE.' This was the only word on the front page and the back page, to match the single color photo taking up both pages – of the world's first Airbus A380 in flight. The monster lifted off the ground as lightly as an elephant–sized ballerina and waltzed around the sky for four hours on Wednesday.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last Thursday's club meeting reported as "A Profound Experience" in the report is faintly apt, because club members and the secretary routinely 'get lost' in Paris, although not always so profoundly. Sometimes it is only slightly lost, and it can lead to minor or major discoveries, off the route, as it were.

The next Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday, about the same as last week. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be the saints Sainte–Judith and Saint–Antonin. These 'Saints of the Week' are separated by only two centuries, but they are just as unrelated as last week's. Judith is Prussia's patron saint, from the days when it was a pagan place, and Antonin was a pal of Fra Angelico and when he died in 1459 he was Florence's archbishop.

Other, somewhat true facts about the club are on view on the 'About the Club' page. The ragged design of the somewhat tatty club membership card on this page looks as much like a membership card as any other discarded Métro ticket, but it isn't. Wholly free, the club membership itself is virtually real, as you will find when you join on any Thursday.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.18 – 26. April – the issue's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Café Life In 117 Words.' The 'feature of the week,' about the slogan contest, was titled '145 France–Is–Good Slogans – for the Bumper–Sticker Slogan Contest.' There was a new Scène column with the title, 'Par Amour de l'Art, and Thread Trips.' The update for the 29. April meeting of the Café Metropole Club featured the 'Frenziedphoto, sign, rue de la paix Voting Picks Winners!' report. There were four zen–zen 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was a warning about 'The Ponts de Mai are Coming.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.18/19 – 28. Apr/5. May 2003 – a double issue often starts with Café Life and two years ago it was about 'Ton Amie, Mabutu Mosa.' The issue's Café Metropole column shouted 'Bagdad Café Makes Comeback.' The solo feature sought, sort of, 'Typical' in Paris' 'Business District.' The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 1. May was titled as the 'First Country 'City of the Week' report. The update a week later on 8. May was headlined as the 'Somebody's Swedish Grandmother' report. There were six slighly cool–cool 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week hit the breadbasket with, 'World Premiere Sandwich.' Gulp!

A Little Cryptozoology for You

For the ninth time almost in a row, this is not about some old saint, but instead is a true myth. This day in 1933 was the anniversary of the first 'modern' sighting of the Loch Ness Monster, affectionately called 'Nessie' by loyal fans. Despite many sightings by people leaving pubs on the shores of the Loch – a freshwater lake – near the city of Inverness in Scotland, sober scientists continue to have doubts about the existence of the 'monster,' just as they do about 'Bigfoot' and 'Yeti,' who are not related.

The Big Leonardo

Known to us as a 'Renaissancephoto, sign, quai voltaire Man,' Leonardo da Vinci was an architect, musician, anatomist, inventor, engineer, sculptor and painter and spent his free time fooling around with anatomy, astronomy, and civil engineering. Without Leonardo's painting of the 'Mona Lisa' the Louvre would not be so popular today, and some believe his painting of the 'Last Supper' is a historical document. Leonardo died 486 years ago in Amboise, possibly in the arms of François 1er, after which 60 beggars followed his casket to the Chapel of Saint–Hubert.

Remembering May Day

All the same we'll take today's 'Quotes of the Week' from Alan Pavlik's Just Above Sunset out in Hollywood. It was the annual worldwide May Day Fête du Travail yesterday and many people have had interesting things to say about work, from Leon Trotsky to Joe Hill and Ronald Reagan.

Today's Other 'Notable Dates of the Week'

There are only 243 days left of thisphoto, sign, place charles garnier year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 73 when the fortress of Massada fell into the hands of the Romans. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 122 days, the same number that 1997 had when Tony Blair became Britain's youngest Prime Minister in 185 years, at the age of 44. In only a few weeks he will be attempting to set another personal record.
signature, regards, ric

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