horz line

Shut My Mouth

photo, cafe la tournesol

Saturday night in... Montparnasse, again.

Going To Camp

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 25. July 2005:– Sometimes the key to a whole weather forecast is a very tiny phrase only spoken once almost in passing and if you miss it, then you miss the whole essential sense of it and what's coming is a true mystery.

Put another way, if it had slipped by me, then this would be a totally different set of predictions. Tonight the TV–weather news man, wearing a light gray suit with prominent chalk stripes, off–handedly happened to mention that there's a serious low hanging over the UK.

This means, I think, that the northwest corner of France is either going to be covered by nasty clouds or it's going to be threatened with them. The result will be a kind of stormy beginning to tomorrow with maybe a little rain. This might give way to a partly sunny afternoon, but with the temperature expected to hike to 25 degrees, the whole effect may be humid.

This seems to be more likely on Wednesday, with another temperature climb to 28 degrees. In fact Le Parisien is predicting this too – heavy air full of wooly weight, even though the sun may be shining.

And it's a big ditto for Thursday, when there may be sunshine with a high of 28 again, and this thick air,photo, grocery bound to cling like a soggy oven mitt full of corn oil. Okay, so the weather is strange this year – there's no need to be alarmed if it seems a bit tropical, unless you are coming here as a relief from Florida.

Météo Jim, located contra–trans– Atlantic, sends a short weather note about sand storms, which I have included simply because it's not total fantasy, in Arizona at least. Although initially inappropriate, this is the remainder of Météo Jim's forecast for Pommeland weather this week:–

Boss Haboob in Arizona

Until last Wednesday the temperatures were in the mid 90's anglograd – 35 eurograd – with pommaise humidity. Then a dry front came through. The temperatures fell a few degrees but more importantly, the humidity nosedived. But there has been no rain and les gazons de Pommeland are turning brown from the drought and the soil is hard and dusty. The temperatures will go back up to the mid 90's until Thursday when a cold front will bring cooling temperatures and some isolated photo, sign, mais si, nonDonnerboomer– blitzeneargesplitten.

The weather center the other day, as strange as it seems, issued an alert for a 'haboob' in Arizona. This is an Arabic word for sandstorm and parts of Arizona were definitely haboobed. This comes from the distant and exotic country of Namboobia where rain does not fall for centuries at a stretch. It is a land where the nearest water is a two day march past your final exertions, where the sun beats forever, the nights are unceaselessly cold and haboobs get in your eyes and up your nose. Just to see how long it would take, someone put an ice cream cone on the sidewalk – if there were any sidewalks – it melted in eight seconds. Not a record!

Café Life

Shut My Mouth

All this talk of 'citizen journalism' that constitutes the latest buzz–phrase makes me feel a little bit tired. Here I am, hacking bravely away for nine or ten years, wearing out keyboards, tip–tapping almost on auto–pilot, filling up this Metropole with somewhere around two million words, and now citizen journalists are going to come along and write the same amount, collectively, in a week at most.

I didn't start out to do this for nine or ten years and I haven't been aiming at getting two million wordsphoto, creperie recorded on a hard disk. I thought I would be finished long before now. Somehow I survived the 'dot–com' boom and bust, mainly by skipping the 'boom' part, even if I secretly hoped I could skip the 'bust' part.

Street dining nearly in the dark.

How many other hot trends have I skipped? How many have ignored me? If I am to become an overnight success, I am beginning to wonder if it's going to be in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest 'overnight' in history. If it gets any longer, send the prize to the Golden Gables Oldfolks Camp for really senior dummies.

I can see it all now. All the other old folks are sitting around playing dominos or Snakes and Ladders – not that! That's one of my un–games. Always at the bottom of the ladder because of all the snakes. Yucky slimy snakes. Maybe they are playing ping–pong, anything without animals.

Aides are serving them lemonade and cookies, changing the channels on the TV, turning up their hearing–aids, iPods, samba classes, cha cha cha. While I pump out words, words, words, the oldest geezer 'citizen journalist,' going on 103 and hitting five million words, getting paid in negative, like minus a nickel a word, like living the future in reverse, day after day into the past.

You know, I think I'll skip the 'citizen journalist' scam. It sounds like more work for no pay. I don't know why everybody is so down on the French and their 35–hour work week. So long as you are not being paid, why work longer than 35 hours a week at it? Working 70 hours a week will just throw more people out of work.

Maybe I should take up blogging instead. Naw. Blogging looks like work. This is not why there are a million blogs now. It is because blogging looks like avoiding work. It's the hardest grind of all. I better think of something quick before I grow up.

Send This Boy to Camp

Without additional aid, Metropolephoto, snack, creperie is still in danger of expiring. Please take a look at the support facility today and dump in all you can stand. Your 'Ed' is not out of the weeds yet.

Snack dining nearly out on the boulevard.

Thanks also to those who have written words of encouragement, and with suggestions for resolving this situation. By this you have indicated you want Metropole to continue rather than see me retire to a life of idle camp–days, eating cheap daisies.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The report about last Thursday's club meeting was not entirely about 'O' for Oxygen.' We had no 'City of the Week,' no 'Food of the Week' and there was no 'Fiat 500 of the Week.' These all seem to have disappeared. Actually it was 'Tour de France of the Week' but nobody thought to mention it except Lucky. Members who are also Gumby fans should check out the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens for the definitive history of your hero, until 16. January.

The weekly Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be this next Thursday again, and for a change it won't be a holiday. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Venceslas.photo, tabac This 'Saint of the Week' shares billing with Saint–Samson – who? Anyway, Venceslas, crowned Duke of Bohemia at 14 in 921, was assassinated by his brother eight years afterwards. But as he was dying he forgave him, which is what christians used to do in those days.

As the sun dips behind the Tour Eiffel, poets form lines.

More likely true notions about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page should you happen to be looking in its area. The dull design of the club membership card on the page looks as tired as a membership card as any fish wrapper, but it isn't smelly. Just about free of cost, the club membership itself is pretty valuable without actually being anything worth much.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.31/32 – 26. July/2. Aug. 2004 – this double issue's 2nd Café Metropole' column highlighted the ever astonishing 'Summer Weather – Temperature. At Last!' The 1st Café Metropole' column had 'Dead of Summer, with Minor Rumors.' The issue's feature headline screamed, all green, 'Being Outside, Better than Camping.' The two Scène columns amounted to 'Art & Stuff & Lit & History' and 'Libération 1944 – 18 More Days of Paris Plage.' The update for the 29. July meeting of the Café Metropole Club was unbelievable as the "You Gotta Be Crazy!" report and true to life on 5. August with the "She Had Shoes On" report.photo, sign, rue vandamme There were six good old 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was sporty with the caption, 'Yellow Shirt of the Week.'

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 7.31/33 – 29. July/15. Aug 2002 – another double week's issue with the Café Metropole column blathering with, 'Surprise Holiday for 'Ed.' The Au Bistro column had local news again with 'Pedestrians Are Dangerous.' There were cheap links to old Scène columns, but there was a new Scène 3 too, titled 'Paris' Outdoor Summer.' The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 1. August was headlined by the sleepy secretary as the 'Vat 19 the 'Drink of the Week' report and for the 15. August meeting it came out as the "It Might Have Been In British English" report. There were four stunning 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was more upbeat than a week earlier, with "We're going back to Paris." Hello?

Another Shining Moment

For the 21st time almost in a row, this is not about some musty old saint, but instead is a famous 'Quote of the Week' about America. Emma Lazarus said, probably wrote, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest–tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" Amen, brother.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the date in 1547 that Henri II was crowned king of France in Reims. He spent some of his reign persecuting the Huguenots by burning them up or cutting out their tongues orphoto, sign, place dauphine tossing them in prison forever. So I say, forget Henri II, and remember today for Henri IV instead, because on this day in 1593 he converted from Protestantism to Catholicism. After the ceremony, overlooking Paris from Montmartre, he is supposed to have said, "Paris is worth a mass." Besides being parked on the Pont Neuf, Henri IV is also famous for having said, "If God allows, I will see to it that there is not a laborer in my kingdom without a chicken in his pot every Sunday." He was nearly as good as his word and is still popular because of it.

Old Patapsphysics

It was on this date in 1835 that Fieschi bungled the assassination attempt on the life of Louis–Philippe 1st. After this, in September, the King pronounced the laws against acts of rebellion andphoto, sculpt, artist hand the liberty of the press, and his regime evolved towards authoritarianism and consequent unpopularity, but who cares anymore?

Aviator of the Week

This was Louis Blériot, who flew his Blériot XI averaging about 75 kph from Calais to Dover 96 years ago today, in 38 minutes. But in a sloppy landing at the international airport at North Fal Meadow, he busted his prop and landing gear. The first man to fly across the Channel thus claimed the Daily Mail's prize of £1000. Another report of the event says the crossing took 37 minutes. Whichever, it was a true 'first.'

Other, 'Unique Dates of the Week'

There are only 159 days left of this year, which means this year is almost as good as gone. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1799 when Napoléon Bonaparte led a French army at Aboukir in Egypt which defeated some Ottomans. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 206 days, one more than 2005 had when Lance Armstrong won his 7th Tour de France without apparently breathing hard, and promptly retired. 'Vive Armstrong, forever.'
signature, regards, ric

horz line
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini