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More Bastille

photo, group, sam, rich, sue, jackson

Today's 'Group of the Week,' Sam, Rich, Sue and Jackson.

Fireworks Tonight

Paris:– Thursday, 14. July 2005:– This weather is too much! It's going to take at least 20 years to convince everybody who is going to hear about this year's summer that it's a fluke, a fraud, a once–in–25–years exceptional occurrence that only happens on odd–numbered leap years with no 'r' in the month when you're not supposed to eat oysters.

Last night, for example, at the big Brazilian party at Bastille – not a cloud in the sky as it got dark and when the streetlights were coming on, it was toasty and perfect and Brazilian and I was out there without sleeves. That alone, once in 30 years!

Then today, this morning on the Champs–Elysées, of the 4000 soldiers, sailors and fly boys of both sexes, only the Brazilians felt at home in the 30–degree temperature. The only thing in the sky was airplanes buzzing over leaving trails of green and yellow and red, white and blue. To be seen at all it had to be light blue against the blue blue sky. Whewee!

And this year, the 25 million visitors to Paris are going home and telling everybody who will listen thatphoto, water of the week Paris has this fabulous weather, no need to go to Rio, man, it's right here in downtown Europe, right here in old France. It's true this year. It isn't true any other year. Forget it!

'Water of the Week' was tap variety.

The really bad news was on tonight's TV–weather news forecast. Friday, sunny and 31 degrees. Saturday, sunny and 29 degrees. Sunday, rotten Sunday, sunny and 30 blinking degrees. Why is it doing this? How will this be explained next year? And the following 19 years?

The 'More Bastille' Report of the Week

At 13:00 the air raid sirens started howling, signalling two minutes of silence in memory of the bombs a week ago in London. Everything in France and Europe stopped and several hundred million ordinary people did nothing for two minutes but think about the futile things humans can do to fellow humans.

Then the entire continent started up again and the whole ball spun up to its regular rotation speed, and my café finished heating itself and the machine did its final wheezes and lurches, and the radio resumed its regular program with the Tour de France and the score from the president's garden party.

I thought I would save a Métro ticket by walking to the club but when I got outside it occurred to me thatphoto, gold bastille beer the day might be long and it wouldn't do any of us any good to get wilted early. The Métro wasn't as hot and steamy as I feared and it whisked me down to Odéon right smartly.

It's the Fête Nationale today so the only things that are open are the restaurants, cinemas and cafés, and everything between them expect places that sell Italian shoes and French mode. With the heat there were a lot of people sitting around in shade and under awnings, taking in ice cream and liquids.

'Beer of the Week' was the 'gold' variety.

By the Seine there were more people around, possibly to get the slight breeze there. The café terraces along the Quai du Louvre were well stocked with pausers, it being a day off for many. The army had a few military items parked outside the Louvre, showing off their machine guns to kids, and I think the police had a stand across the street in front of the church, maybe showing kids their handcuffs.

The café La Corona's terraces were well covered with loungers and the waiters were whizzing around delivering the café's wet goods. I took my seat in the club's area and panted. It felt like the heat followed me in and settled on my as soon as I stopped moving.

A little while after I put the meeting details in the club's booklets Monsieur Ferrat leads in nine students and they take the corner banquets. I hear them speaking English but I can't place the accents. They call for water.

Outside a bus with a sign saying 'officers training' goes by, and two ladies sit down and order big beers. It is the kind of day for taking a swim in a big, cool, yellow beer. Half the folks walking past are eating ice cream. Licking themselves cool.

The students in the corner finally get their drinks and dishes of ice cream, and they polish them off before they evaporate and I hear them muttering water, water, again. The waiter has become blind and deaf of course. After ten minutes I catch Monsieur Ferrat's eye and when he comes over I ask for water for me and for the students.

Military people are passing the café in twos and threes. A few are in summer uniforms but most of them look like 19th century affairs, with strange headgear, and serge I guess, with doodads. The naval officers look like airline captains though and the lady navals look like Sally Ann executives.

Two adults and two kids, possibly British, take the tables near the window. They are beat, thirsty and hungry. They order what turns out to be the wrong food. After tempers fray a bit more they switch dishes with each other, and three out of four seem content with their strange food, a sandwich, a hot dog, a bowl of spaghetti and some fancy sandwich that goes untouched.

I bet by now you think these are the 'Group of the Week' at the top of the page, a quartet that I've shanghaiedphoto, hawaiian cocktails, photo, doug carlson into the club. But nothing could be further from the spirit of the club – 'no rules!' – nossir. The four at the top of the page are real members, sent to the club by a member, Ron Bristol of Austin, Texas.

After some hesitation – Ron hasn't said anything about the club and its 'no rules' – brother Rich Bristol decides it is probably safe enough to become a member, and so does Mrs Bristol, Sue, and daughter Sam and son Jackson.

'Cocktails of the Week' were the Hawaiian variety. Photo by Doug Carlson.

And then, more good things, they are in Paris on their first visit, from the 'City of the Week,' which is Lone Tree, Colorado. I learn that this is a community of the 'south edge' of Denver, and is not a mining place or a cattle ranch or whatever else there is around Denver.

Sam and Jackson go to the front of the café to get some ice cream, but Sue and Rich stay where they are and order a couple of medium–sized 'gold' beers. When they are delivered I feel like swimming again, but I still have lots of water left.

I need it for lubrication while explaining some club lore but it becomes tiresome. It is too warm for sustained nonsense. I write the URL on a scrap of paper torn from a club booklet and hope it will speak for itself back home in Lone Tree.

The Bristols tell me about the trace of the Bastille that one can see on the paving at Bastille. I didn't seephoto, army, cafe corona this last night but I saw it on TV when they were talking about archeology. Imagine! The thing was torn down and disappeared 200 years ago and now you can see its trace at Bastille. I think it may be virtual. Rich shows me a guide book with a sketch of Bastille fortress.

'Army of the Week' was the French variety. Note club's café.

They are intending to see the fireworks at the Champ de Mars tonight. They are thinking of taking drink and a blanket, but I think there may be a bigger crowd there than usual and there might not be room for a blanket or even a towel. The drink will probably be useful.

With the beer almost gone I put in a quick pitch for the 'Group Photo of the Week.' This is agreeable to all and we scoot out to the terrace and get it done, click, click, click, and then it's goodbye until the next time, in Paris, Lone Tree, the Loire, wherever, someday.

Saving the Club's Secretary

The club is, perhaps more than the magazine, is a community consisting of club members and the club'sphoto, stage, bastille, lula self–appointed secretary. To be a member costs nothing once you pay for your education, your house, your airline ticket and your Paris lodging.

The club's secretary is, to put it bluntly, not getting any free lunch. He has no house, no plane ticket and is in danger of losing his Paris lodging, but insists that the club remain free. To keep this possible and exhibit a measure of solidarity, consider contributing a bit today to support your social club in Paris.

Brazil's 'President of the Week,' Lula, at the Bastille Wednesday night.

Use the support facility today and throw as much cash at it as you can stand without having to do without. There has been a positive and lively response to 'Metropole Submerges' appeal in this week's Café Metropole column. Readers and club members who have responded already have been acknowledged with personal emails.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report' with a unique and original 'City of the Week,' probably doesn't exactly clear up what this is all about. If you have time take a peek at the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its oddball collection of photos, words and the famous mess of a membership card. You can join the club too, with or without it, on any 'Thursday of the Week.'

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

Club meetings, as these afternoon gatherings are jokingly called, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, always on Thursdays and continue for two entire hours until 17:00, always in the western European Time zone, now in its extended summer version. Known in other exotic places as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings are held. Be sure to come to the café La Corona's 'grande salle.' The folks in the back, as usual, are us.

Decorate a meeting – by being at one. Stay for a hour or two with old and new friends especially if you have the time for it. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' being equivalent to 'first' even if 'real' is just as likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'true' with any sort of connection to reality, like 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 Toss your name into Google if in doubt.

Former 'rules' continue to be former week after week after week, month after month, year–in year–out, forever and far beyond the planets. Nevertheless these ex–rules may still be consulted so that you know that this historic social club makes it rare to repeat them, as we are fond of repeating.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional. 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 listen, and there usually are some but not always – and if it should chance to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of today's not so surprising lack of a 'Song and Dance of the Week.'

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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logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini