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Superpanne

photo, group, bob,edna

The whole 'Group of the Week,' Bob and Edna.

Our Université d'Eté

Paris:– Thursday, 1. September 2005:– After having a bit of weather that felt very like the first twinges of autumn – which should have degraded into very foul times, according to the usual scenario – the weatherman has instead booted us back to summer. Oh glorioso! Yesterday, 32 or 33 flaming degrees, blue sky all over, not one cloud, not even over the horizon.

Was it fine? Was it great? Was it luxurious? Yes, yes, yes. Was I out in it? Affirmative. Did I see the gold of the sun striking the gilding on the bull at Trocadéro. Mais oui. And there were the purple shadows belonging to the Tour Eiffel, to match the green of the Champ de Mars. It was the banana bird time!

Well, that was one day in the life and tomorrow is another day. One that, according to tonight's TV–weatherphoto, last day of august, trocadero news forecast, is not going to be so lined with silver. It should be cloudy out west and here it may be mostly sunny, and the temperature is supposed to be an unseasonal 26 degrees.

Last day of August, at Trocadéro.

As soon as Friday is out of the way more sunshine is expected for Saturday, for all of France except some parts to the east. If we are good the temperature will hike up to 28 degrees, if not more.

By Sunday a cloudy front will be harassing the western extremities of France. If this holds off, stays out there long enough, it will be mainly sunny here. Again the high temperature is expected to be 28 degrees. This whole solar business may continue on into Monday. Can we take it? Yes, like ducks.

The 'Superpanne' Report of the Week

Perfect weather too good to be true is also too good to last, so today has been a bit cloudy. If anything it was a bit overbright yesterday and maybe a bit warmer than it needed to be, but all the same it could has eased into semi–sunny instead of looking like it might rain. Luckily this has been an idle threat and nothing more.

So I do my routine that I'm sure all readers and club members have read so many times that they are sick to death of it. I am just about as fed up with doing it and I don't understand why I don't take the Métro to someplace different, like Rép!ublique for example, and begin my spiel from there.

One good reason for not doing it is because I'm late again. I get up hours ahead of time and hours later there's no time left to spare and whiz out the door I go and down the stairs and past the cemetery and into the Métro and ride ride ride and hop out at Odéon, and you know the tiresome story.

What was new today? Why, not for the first time, I noticed how smooth the stone blocks are on the Pont Neuf. Just think. You get a bunch of stone and cut it into big blocks, and you build aphoto, cafe lunch table bridge out of them. Three or 400 years later, all those shoes scuffling across the bridge make the stone nice and smooth. Even barefoot, probably comfortable.

But all the rest is the same as usual. The kiosque has a paper for me, the dog place on the Quai du Louvre stinks like dogs in a dog place, the snack joints are trying to attract customers, ditto the trinket boutiques, and the club's café is squatting in its hallowed spot like the red–awninged sultan of garlic.

Other people ate, but not the club's 'Food of the Week.

In the café's 'grande salle' there are even two club members waiting for the club's secretary, who is not late again, due to a fast watch. These are, from left to right, Edna and Bob Bradley, from a place in Orange County that is not Santa Ana. It's close but no prize.

As has happened in previous weeks with the Bradleys Edna has questions for me before any of us are sitting down. There is nothing wrong with asking me questions while upright but I do not feel like I am the club's secretary until I am sitting down. I think it has something to do with balance.

With my gyro in tune, I listen. An immediate problem is what Edna has. She must write a note but she has left her collection of note paper in Costa Mesa. It is a big, fine collection too, she says. The only paper that comes to hand is a notebook so full of Paris notes that has no room for an extra one.

I rip a page out of my professional reporter's notebook and hand it to Edna. It has many empty pages andphoto, cafe corona I won't miss it. And besides, I always have scrap paper in another pocket, for instant notes. The last one I wrote was 'plats 8€.' You can write your own note right here – 'there's no free paper in Europe.'

Lest members forget – the 'Club of the Week' meets here.

Right. Now where were we? Bob explains what his filters do to junk email. If they get through the first filter the second takes over and if they survive, the third chews them up, and Bob says there is often nothing left. I explain that I can't do this.

Edna wants to know where she can get a battery for her watch. The easiest to find is the watch repair section in a department store, but she might have to wait. The cheapest and fastest are the places that make keys, often fix shoes, and do odd little jobs – like have every kind of battery available.

Outside there is a wail of police sirens closely followed by several motorcycle cops flying by, followed by three copcars stuffed with cops, at lightning speed. Could be the revolution.

On another subject that I have forgotten, Bob observes that men's pants are only sold with the purpose of making one need to buy a belt. He thinks it is a trick. Personally I have never seen underwear with belt loops, so I guess if you want something to hold a belt in place, pants will do it, although you could hang it around your neck and have cool knees.

Edna then observes that the Paris Tourist Office in Pyramides has an excellent selection of hotel brochures. Bobphoto, boat cruise of the week looks at Edna. I look at Edna. Somebody has to ask, so I do. "Edna," I say, "Have you forgotten that you're staying in an apartment?"

Not yet attempted – the 'Boat Trip of the Week.'

"The hotel..." – name of a well–known chain – "...doesn't have them at home, so I get them here." With this we are back, sort of, with the scrap paper issue. No scrap paper in Europe but lots of hotel brochures, lots of scrap paper in America but no hotel brochures. The world is clearly wobbling on its spindles.

Outside there is a piercing wail of police sirens closely followed by a squad of racing motorcycle cops, followed by three copcars bulging with cops, at warp speed. Could be the revolution–bis.

Meanwhile the interior of the café is drifting sluggishly past the mid–point of the afternoon towards the part of the day sometimes referred to here as 'cinq–à–sept.' The 'Waiter of the Week' carefully avoids our half of the café. Out of my upper eye I see Willy the Bird scrounging around in the overhead lights.

My notes say Bob says, "Superpanne." This is exactly what I have here. I mean I am broken down because I only have this one word and I don't remember what it refers to. It means colossal break–down, like the coming near–general strike we are promised sometime soon.

We go out on the terrace for the 'Group Photo of the Week.' Nobody bothers us while we do this. Some weeks people passing by think we are famous people doing this, but it is merely a hallowed tradition of the club.

I am unable to tell Edna when the first day of school is because there are two 'first' days and they are changed every year, kind of depending on the schedule for voting for president, which is in 2007. The kids going to schools on four–day weeks have already begun, so that they can put in equal time by the end of next June.

The rest of the kids, about two–thirds of the total in France, return to school tomorrow. Somebodyphoto, edna, bob, going to louvre on tonight's TV–news was silly enough to let this secret slip out. Please do not ask me why the major return– to–school is on a Friday.

Edna and Bob on their way to the Louvre.

I also do not remember the conversational subject that has led Bob to telling my that he has had a very large portion of pot–au–feu for lunch. It was followed by a huge, he says, rhum baba. I have never had either, singly or in combination. I think they must be dishes only loggers would eat, if they were at a sponsored political convention, which are called Université d'Eté here. Please don't ask.

Alarming News

Alarming news is reaching here about the hurricane that struck the United States gulf coast on Monday. Details, as sketchy as they are, show that we should be concerned for all who live in the area, and this includes several club members. This particular hurricane has been one big number greater that the ones that routinely plow through the vicinity. I for one, am thinking about the fine people who have graced meetings here and hope they are all safe and sound. Without waiting for me, Jacques Chirac has already offered France's aid.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' hacked out on sticky keys, scarcely clears up what this is about. If you have a second or two to spare twirl your orbs over the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its ridiculous hodgepodge of mangled photos, tiring words and the woeful tatter of a membership card. You can join the club too, no fuss or bother, on any 'Thursday of the Week.' There are lots of them every year.

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

These club meetings, as these spiffy affairs are called, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, always on Thursdays and continue for a couple of hours until 17:00, always in the western Euro Time zone, now in its getting shorter slide into autumn modus. Known in semi–exotic places as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings are conducted. Be sure to come to the café La Corona and its 'grande salle.' The folks casually dressed in the back, some wearing pants, are us.

Attend a meeting – by being at one. Hang in for a hour or a whole meeting with new friends, 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 invents facts or true fiction.

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 onegraphic: club location map of these club reports. Treat yourself to a Google session if unsure.

'Ex–rules' continue to be former rather than latter week after week after week, after months, after year–in year–out, after forever and far beyond the present and the after the past. Nonetheless these former rules may still be accessed so that you can learn that this truly traditional club of major reason repeats them seldom, as we tend to say repeatedly.

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 omission of any 'Drink of the Week' or any 'Other Thing 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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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