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Honolulu 'First'

photo, group, dan, doug, tomoko, lennie, sandor, olga

Today's group of Dan, Doug, Tomoko, Lennie, Sandor and Olga.

Everglades Weather

Paris:– Thursday, 23. June 2005:– Last week residents and club members were making remarks about the good weather. This week they are making remarks about these good weather forecasts you read here.

I have never tried to present myself as a bona–fide weather dude. I have done my best to make you disbelieve in weather 'facts.' Everything is relative – to absolutely nothing! Today's weather has no relation to yesterday's, or last year's on the same date. It's all a random lottery. Not even the house has fair odds in the global weather poker.

Take today for example. Forget whatever I forecast on Monday for starters. Today was sunny and it was hot and gradually it got cloudier and hotter, and more humid, and hotter. The streets became deserted. Dogs sought cover, and all Englishmen disappeared into the officer's mess to drench themselves with gin.

At 17:00 precisely it began to rain and one minute later the wind began to blow and a minute afterwards lightening slashed the dirty sky over the Institut de France like a fiery icepick slicing the Opéra's curtains to shreds, and 90 seconds later thunder crashed like an empty Airbus landing in the path of a speeding TGV. Then five centimetres of rain flooded Paris in 20 minutes. None of this was in anybody's program!

And summer had such a nice beginning only two days ago on 21. June. It was clear and warm to hot and all of Paris had its windows open and its sleeves rolled up. On Tuesday we all went out and had about the best Fête de la Musique in its 24–yearphoto, orange juice history. We voted for swing.

In case anybody slept through today's heavenly spectacular, I have good news for you. The forecast is for more of the same tonight and more of the same tomorrow. Storms will be moving east, where the sun will be shining, and the pressure will drop as the moisture in the air rises, and you will think – if you can – that we have a Brazilian kind of tropical whatsit here. Friday's high has been forecast to be 34 degrees.

Oranges mixed with oranges makes a yummy orange cocktail.

On Saturday all of this circus is supposed to have passed to the east, leaving this area either partly or mostly sunny, with a high of a reasonable 26 degrees. The same is predicted for Sunday, perhaps a bit cloudier, but with the same temperature. Now, I want you to remember the opening above, and do not fail to take an umbrella.

The 'Honolulu 'First' Report of the Week

When I get to the bakery today the ladies who work in it are out on the sidewalk waiting for customers because it's a bit warm inside on account of the oven. In winter it's the opposite – people go in the bakery just to get warm and buy a loaf as a thank–you. Now you know why there are so many bakeries in Paris.

I do not turn on my fan when I get back to Metropole world headquarters because I left it on when I went out. It's a good fan but it's so small it only moves a cubic metre of air around in circles. It is more like a psycho–fan.

Soon there isn't any excuse for not going to the club meeting today so I heft my heavy black bag and trudge off to the Métro at Raspail, which of course is like a sauna underground. Soon I know what 'exhausted' means. Too many people are breathing out. I hold my breath until Odéon and then jump the train.

The sidewalks are nearly deserted on the way to the bridge. The sidewalks are also more narrow than usual because the few pedestrians are trying to keep to the shade. At the bridge there is no shade unless you jump off. It's a long way across today.

Samaritaine is very closed. A sign on the display window says the closing is temporary, and employees should check in somewhere around the corner. The old lady is still in the newspaper kiosk so I get Le Parisien from her. The tiny place is like an oven.

At the club's café, La Corona, waiters are looking like they are in shock. Patrick, the 'Waiter of the Week,' says there are no customers on the terrace because it's too hot and there'sphoto, water, cafe cup too much pollution. The Quai du Louvre is solidly clogged with cars, scooters, trucks and buses, about like, normal.

I stand for a while to dry off. The windows are closed in the club's area, but I decide not to sit by the open window and door. Of the two I decide the other is the lesser, and sit in my usual secretary spot and fill in the meeting's data with the 'space' pen Dan gave me.

Not gin, not vodka, but pure H2O, cold and good.

Olga and Dan arrive shortly after. They look hot. They are hot. Dan orders two small cafés and an orange juice for me. They nearly missed the Fête de la Musique because they forgot about it, until late in the afternoon when they kept stumbling on musicians on every corner. About going to see Tomoko and her 'Beatles Story' they forgot completely, not just because it was out of town in some place like Courbevoie.

They found themselves listening to classical music in a cellar at the Czech cultural centre. "It was really good, but it was really hot!" Dan says. Then they came across an old guitarist who does 'American jazz.' But first, "It all started out in the café," Dan explains, telling me about the circuit of cafés he's made into a daily route on this visit.

Then there's this member, in trekking gear, and I remember his first name because it's Sandor Brent, from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sandor sets my misconception about Santa Fe's desert climate straight by pointing out that the altitude is 7200 feet. I don't remember anybody mentioning this before.

Well, in this town we have Everglades weather today. This is when new members Lennie and Doug Carlson walk in, not quite directly from Honolulu, Hawaii. In fact they are coming from Lyon, and its pollution alert. No, they were up some mountain near Megève – was it Mont Blanc?

Anyway, Honolulu, is 'City of the Week.' You know the Hawaiian Islands are so fantastic that youphoto, carafe d'eau, plastic bottles hardly ever meet anybody from them. This time is a near thing too because Doug says they had to buy summer clothes here because they dressed to suit my cool weather forecasts.

Many brands, many flavors, of waters.

"The weather is boring in Honolulu," Doug says, "It's always 75 to 85 degrees." Patrick comes by and Doug orders some white wine, then he adds, "There's a pronounced lack of trade winds in Paris."

Then all members, nearly all, engage in some 'secretary bashing' about the fanciful weather forecasts I add to these club 'reports.' I don't understand why this hasn't come up before. I don't believe them when I write them, but I thought all readers knew this.

If I'm wrong you just take off some clothes. It's not like being so misdirected that you need to buy a fur coat when you get here. Lennie remains calm when I ask if they are aware that the 'Soldes d'Eté' start tomorrow, except at Samaritaine.

Then member Vince arrives. He is hot and damp, says hello, and leaves without officially signing the members' booklet, again. When I return to the conversation Doug is saying, "The very short history of Hawaii in the west..."

Apparently Hawaii is so far west that everything happens there last. We can't get far with this so Dan and Doug try to find out which is the greater paradise – Sydney or Hawaii.

This brings up a clarification about the ocean–going crocodiles. I thought they were up Brisbane way – certainly not anywhere near Honolulu – but Dan insists that they are out in Western Australia too. You can stand in the vineyards and see crocs cruising in the ocean.

photo, wine, sancerreLennie says a lot of people in Hawaii regularly go to the shore to watch the whales and the submarines. We used to do this in Vancouver too, especially for the subs, at night. It was kind of like being at a free drive–in without any movie.

So we learn that Honolulu means 'gathering place' and Canberra means 'meeting place.' Aside from the weather, members cannot say there are no interesting facts at this club.

Much tastier, Sancerre from the Loire.

Tomoko Yokomitsu comes in, wilted. She says the 'Beatles Story' went over fine out wherever it was on Tuesday and lets Dan off the hook for forgetting all about it. Then everybody except Sandor and me, is talking about the fantastic Japanese weddings in Hawaii. Apparently it's the Pacific version of Niagara Falls.

"We got married on the beach," Doug says. But Tomoko is remembering all the weddings she hasn't been to in Hawaii so I can't get this vital story – did they wear shoes?

No, actually Tomoko is explaining that most of the sushi joints in Paris are run by Vietnamese. She also knows that the sushi in Japan comes from a fish company in Seattle. What this means is that we are melting.

The sky outside has darkened from hazy white to dark grey soup and just before five some windshield wipers on the cars outside begin to sway. A gust of sodden wind blows through the café's 'grande salle,' making the fronds tremble.

Then it gets hairy. The trees across the street flatten, the rain hurtles past, driving lights go on, unmarkedphoto, wet terrace police cars howl by, Patrick begins battening down the café's hatches. Dan and I go out on the terrace and stand under the awning. The weather is completely unhinged, deranged.

Today's 'Drenched Terrace of the Week.'

Lightening bolts are driven into the Quartier Latin like hot nails. Rain, tires in running water, splashing puddles, little rivers, police sirens, thunder overhead, buses lurching past, gusts of wind grabbing the awning, the café doors being blasted open, drowned rats – a scooter girl – diving into the café for shelter. We stand there for nearly a hour.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report' with enough members for a water party, probably doesn't exactly clear up what this is all about. Take a glance at the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its collection of words, but you can skip most of them and still not miss the membership card. You can join the club, with or without one, on any 'Thursday of the Week.'

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

Club meetings, as these affairs are called, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, always on Thursdays and continue for two complete hours until 17:00 the same afternoon, usually in the western European Time zone, now in its summer version. Known in other rare places as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings are held. Be sure to show up in the café La Corona's 'grande salle.' The folks drinking waters in the rear are us.

Enhance 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 likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'reality' with any sort of connection to true life, fact or fiction.

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 Throw your name into Google if you have doubt.

Former 'rules' continue to be former week after week after week, month after month, year–in year–out, forever and moreover beyond the plains, divides, meteorites and stars. Nevertheless these may still be consulted so that you know the past of this historical social club making it rare 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 surprise mention of Perth's dreaded ocean–going crocodiles.

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.
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– unless stated otherwise.
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there is no such thing
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Waldo Bini