...Continued from page 1

Dan, who is listening carefully, asks, "This is irreal?"

"My ashes are going to be thrown into the Seine," Walter asserts, with a grin.

"Your ancestors aren't going to be very happy," Dan says.

Walter says, "Did you see all the skulls underground?"

"I don't see why we have to talk about the dead," Susanne says.

"I went to three cemeteries last week," Dan says, "You might get ideas."

This gives Walter the idea to phone Shirley to find out how the search for bargains is going, or maybe slow it down. I think it might be a club 'first' but am not certain.

Apparently Shirley is reassuring because Walter continues with, "He might have been Cuban. He wasphoto, walter, membership card worried about Castro starving Cubans." This turns out to be what the barber might have worried about, but Walter was careful not to put his neck in danger and didn't say anything.

This is when unsuspecting members Audrey and Bruce Poole arrive. They are from Fredericton, New Brunswick, which is quietly in Canada someplace. The Poole's are practically the only club members who order Corona beers and get Corona beers in bottles.

Just as we have ways of making membership cards, we have ways of of confounding stealth lamination.

When I tell Dan this is a little–known but true feature of the club's café he wonders if it might not be named after a cigar instead. Neither of us feels like trekking to the tabac up front to find out.

It's been a couple of weeks since the last member from Canada was at a club meeting so I ask Audrey to fill us in about events there. "Everybody wants to vote for the leader of the Quebec separatists," she says, "But only people living in Quebec can vote for him." It's good to hear that Canada is still a sort of democracy I think.

Shirley Pappas comes into the café, not carrying any shopping bags of any kind. She sits down and the 'Waiter of the Week' immediately fetches her a wonderful glass of red colored wine. Tomoko Yokomitsu arrives right after, to a round of light applause.

Walter tries again. He pulls out his club membership card and holds it up. Bruce says, "What?"

"I'm a card carrying member," Walter says. "It doesn't look like a membership card because of the bad lamination." Bruce photographs the card and when he is finished I give it a shot. We agree it is a test of 'stealth lamination.' Walter has to hold a finger aloft for something to focus on.

Bruce says, "I really like this France Télécom interactive digital TV. It's gotphoto, empty wine interactive weather!" Then he explains what 'interactive' weather looks like on TV. No, it's not the 3–D type of weather that makes carpets wet.

Susanne says that TV5 is really good for learning French. I wonder what all this is about. My TV doesn't have any of this stuff, and it certainly isn't 'interactive' or digital, unless you count the wavy lines and the ghosts.

"Life wasn't meant to be easy," Dan says. "It should be alright," he adds. Somebody else is shouting, and most are laughing, what is it?

"I'm looking for a chicken," Tomoko says. Oh – I get it. She's given up on a 'Kitty' mascot and now she's hunting for a chicken. Or a small bird, like Willy. I think, 'easter.' Easter is a long time off.

"Put another prawn on the barbie!" Between Dan, Walter and Bruce, they've decided that this new slogan that sums up the ethos of Australia, involves a prawn not a shrimp. That's why somebody kept saying, 'no shrimp, no shrimp.'

I have a feeling it is getting close to news time but it is only just past five. Everybody pays up, after Tomoko tells us where to find the next performance of 'Beatles Story' on Tuesday, 21 June. I look around but I can't see the club's blue Bic pen anywhere.

I must look like I've lost my number one teddy because Dan generously gives me his tested–in–space pen that writes upsidedown under water in sunken submarines. While I try to write upsidedown with it – it works! – Susanne looks under the seat and sees where I'vephoto, empty cafe cup dropped the blue Bic pen. Dan doesn't want his space pen back. Now the club has three official pens.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report' with enough members for a summery blather, probably doesn't totally clear up what this is all about. See the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with a mess of redundant words, but you can ignore them and still not miss the membership card. You can join the club, even without one, on any 'Thursday of the Week.'

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

Club meetings begin at 15:00, whenever it's in the afternoon, always on Thursdays and continue for two whole hours until 17:00 on the same afternoon, always in the western European Time zone – which is always 'CET' for short and never 'TszZ' although it occasionally is – and known in other rare places as 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where meetings are so be sure to come to the café La Corona's 'grande salle.' The people drinking and laughing in the rear are us.

Attend a meeting – by being at one or more. Hang around for a hour or two with new and old friends especially if you have the time for it. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' being equal to 'first' even if 'real' is just as unlikely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'irreality' with any sort of connection to facts, true or not.

A 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.graphic: club location map Toss your name into Google if in doubt.

Former 'rules' continue to be in disallowed week after week after week, month after month, year–in year–out, forever and moreover beyond the stars. Nevertheless these may still be consulted so that you know the history of the past of this social club making it seldom to repeat it, as we attempt to avoid doing.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional if there aren't any. There are usually empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Standing is permitted too. Whatever you say will be honestly 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 of today's total no–show appearance of any buzzards or other UFOs.

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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