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Some Remote Places

photo, heather, member of the week

The unique 'Member of the Week' is Heather.

Here and There

Paris:– Thursday, 11. August 2005:– As is more or less usual the weather prediction done on Monday for today was off the mark by more than six degrees of connection. Practically the only detail that was correct was the sunrise at 06:39, which I did not actually forecast because I was pretty sure it would happen some time between six and seven.

After giving it a bit of time to get settled in the heavens I was disappointed not to see the sun. Instead it chose to rain at 13:00, for about five minutes. Then the sky staggered around before the clouds separated enough for beams to hit the earth, and the temperature crawled up to 27 degrees – somewhat more than forecast.

This evening, keeping in mind my miserable 0.13 percent batting average, I venture a new forecast, based on tonight's TV–weather news from both France–2 and Arte. This forecast is based on 'average–guesswork,' or the combined strength of two networks of weather gurus.

With no reference to highs or lows, to winds or barometres, the word is that Friday will be cloudy in the morning and semi–sunny in the afternoon. It might be a lot sunny on the afternoon but the prediction was a bit blurry. The low tonight will be 13 or 15 and the high tomorrow will be 23 or 24 degrees.

You can use this forecast for Saturday too, except that there might be fewer or thinner clouds, andphoto, terracians the sunshine might be a little stronger or brighter, more assertive. Count on a high of 24 degrees.

Sunday is expected to be more cloudy than Saturday and maybe just as cloudy as Friday might be, and the temperature may reflect this by being no more than 22 degrees. A flip–side is expected for Monday when it will be as sunny as Saturday and the temperature will be right up there again, at 24 degrees. Actually I think if the sun gets a chance the temperatures will sneak up to 27, but I do not want to come right out and say this will happen in case it flubs again and leaves egg yolk on my best tie.

The 'Some Remote Places' Report of the Week

Another flub I did not want to make was forgetting to get a paper on the way to the club so I bought Le Parisien at a kiosque on the Boulevard Saint–Germain after leaving the Métro at Odéon, which I had to carry the whole rest of the way. With this snappy beginning I am confident that I can skip the usual senseless blah–blah about passing the cemetery and riding the Métro.

The result is that after leaving late I arrive at the club's café early. There are a lot of loungers on the café's terraces and many people are in the 'grande salle' finishing their lunches, which I suspect consisted entirely of burnt toast. It's what it stinks like.

Luckily the windows in the club's area are open again, for the second time in the whole history of the club meetings. But rather than breathe deeply I enter the meeting statistics in the club's booklets. Then, not seeing any club members present, I begin to read the paper by squinting at it, holding it up to the light, closer and further away.

Headlines are easy. '12 millions de Français au régime sec' Le Parisien's front page says. It means that 12 million French people are standing in line for free bottled water in the drought areas and the other 49 million are standing around outside the drought areas laughing at them, with their heads under the cold water tap.

Obviously that's an exaggeration. True that there is a drought, true that it might be as severe as the one in 1976, andphoto, glasses, terrace, quai do louvre it's true that some farmers have been told not to water their corn and grow sunflowers instead, but according to the map in Le Parisien the whole country isn't colored red for total lack of water. Not yet.

Traffic spasm allows dangerous crossings.

In fact half the country has no water restrictions at all. It's not anybody's fault that many of the places that the French go on holidays have water shortages. But take Corsica – it has no water restrictions. It's a fine place too!

Meanwhile it is the silly season back here. The Chinese have made so many pairs of jeans and pullovers that French importers have reached the European import quota and are trying to make us think that there will be shortages of these vital clothing items for the return–to–school. No mention is made of the non–Chinese manufacturers who shipped these same items last year. I suppose they've all retired to Ibiza.

As you've probably guessed by now there are no new members or other club members to make me waste time writing notes about the 'City of the Week' or the 'Cocktail of the Week.' I read that Paris is one big building site and motorists are ready to commit something sillyphoto, 4x heather rather than subject themselves to another traffic jam. They are in for a surprise. Bonne chance, Jacques!

Heather, avoiding the camera, four ways.

Squinting is giving me a headache and when I look up I am rewarded by the vision of member Heather Stimmler–Hall salaaming through the café, waving 'hello' from afar, a delightful sight for sore eyes, indeed!

Heather says that she was in the United States for a couple of weeks, a part spent riding a bus from Boston to her 'little' brother's wedding in Indiana. She says it was some place so remote that it would have taken three airlines to get there, while the bus only took 26 hours, partly because it broke down in some place I don't remember. It was better than the time she got stuck in a snow drift in North Dakota.

Heather notices that the club's window is open. If more members were here today I'm sure they would enjoy it too. It is a 'Highlight of the Week' no doubt. But Heather has not noticed the plague of pigeons in the city. I am beginning to think this has only been noticed by one of the Daguerréotypes even if I thought I noticed it too.

The 'Waiter of the Week' is busy with all the thirsty folks out on the terrace and does not come near our cul–de–sac, so we stay drinkless. After a bit more chit and chat and a couplephoto, table full of dirty non club glasses of paragraphs of malicious gossip, Heather scoots off with a typical excuse. "I'm going to clean my apartment," she says. Everybody says this but nobody ever does it. Well, Heather might be an exception, especially if pigeons start nesting inside.

Wreckage left by less than thirsty terracians.

Returning to the paper, in the back I find a page promoting 'Paris by night,' listing the various events of a serious free and party nature happening around town. Outdoor movies at Trocadéro and out at La Villette, music on Paris–Plage, tango on the Quai Saint–Bernard, or on Wednesdays, dancing at the péniche Concorde– Atlantique near the Assembly Nationale. Not to mention sitting around for nothing on the Pont des Arts having a star–gazing picnic.

Water Taxi Beach

This is the name of the Queens version of 'Paris–Plage,' according to a report in today's New York Times. Tom Fox, described as a 'ferry entrepreneur and renaissance man,' arranged to have 400 tons of first– class New Jersey sand dumped on a pier in Long Island City acrossphoto, paris version queens beach the East River from 34th Street. The beach can be reached via a $4 ferry ride, or possibly on foot, from Queens.

The beach faces sundown Manhattan views such as the Empire State building and the United Nations, and the thrilling traffic jams on the East River Drive, somewhat the same as the Quai du Louvre during club meetings.

Is this the future for Water Taxi Beach?

This 'free oasis' offers $2 beers, $3 kielbasa and exotic Elk burgers for $8. Like Paris– Plage you cannot swim in the East River, and unlike Paris–Plage there are no reported palms, fog machines, Brazilian drummers or baby grands for entertainment. But hey! It's a start and we all know Paris–Plage started silly too and everybody is still laughing on it.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' written with radio FIP playing ambient sound, possibly doesn't exactly clear up what this is all about. If you can spare time from your busy life pass a glance at the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its dumb collection of scratched photos, tiring words and the crude mess of a membership card. You can join the club too, really easy, on any 'Thursday of the Week' you feel like.

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

Club meetings, as these afternoon sessions are pompously named, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, always on Thursdays and continue for 120 minutes until 17:00, always in the western European Time zone, now in its getting shorter fast summer version. Known in other exotic places as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is seldom where meetings are conducted. Be sure to come to the café La Corona's 'grande salle.' The folks without pigeons in the back, but with their marbles, are us.

Attend a meeting – by being at one. Stay for a hour or two with new friends especially if you have the time for it. Real '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 fiction or fact.

A note of caution – you may have 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 Feel free to Google yourself if in doubt.

'Ex–rules' continue to be former rather than latter week after week after week, after month, after year–in year–out, forever and far beyond the present and the past. Nevertheless these former rules may still be looked–up so that you can learn that this extremely ancient club with scant reason makes it rare to repeat them, as we tend to say over and over.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional at no extra cost. There are usually enough empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Standing is acceptable too. Whatever you say will be honestly appreciated by other members present if there are any listening, 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 quite amazing lack of memorable 'Quotes of the Week' or any other deathless prose, poetry, wisecracks or singable lyrics.

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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Waldo Bini