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''It's Cold, Dearie!''

photo, group, edna, bob, tomoko

The entire 'Group of the Week,' Edna, Bob and Tomoko.

'Auvergnat of the Week'

Paris:– Thursday, 8. September 2005:– I should have used last week's headline Superpanne for today's weather forecast for a couple of reasons. First, the newspapers in Paris are having a distribution strike today. And second, tonight's TV–weather news decided not to say anything about the coming weather for the weekend.

As an experienced Internet roller I was not worried. I thought I could go online and find out what the weather has in store for us in a jiffy. But the MAJOR brand–name has no weather at all and the runner–up only has the weather for tomorrow, which I did get from TV.

So I surfed over to Météo–France and was doing pretty good – their weather unlike TV's, so what! – but when I tried to see the future I ran into a subscription thing. I can get a four–day FLASH for four euros. So I surfed around a bit more. I could do it all night, but then you would get no club meeting report.

Aside from 169 mm of rain falling on Nîmes today, it looks like it is going to be a bit wet here. If tomorrowphoto, window on quai du louvre starts out a touch sunny and cloudy, then tomorrow afternoon is supposed to get maybe a little damp, perhaps with actual rain. It might be stormy in a minor way later, while earlier the high will be 23 or 24 degrees.

Future doubtful – current weather better than it seems.

For Saturday we enter the realm of speculation. I have noted rain for the morning and nothing for the afternoon. I think there may be clouds in front with the sun behind, meaning that you and me might not see the sun at all, am or pm. Temperatures are crazy because I have 18 and 21 degrees as the forecast high.

Sunday may possibly be worse, with 'rain all day' noted. I have also written, 'hides sun.' On the way to today's club meeting I managed to grab a copy of Le Monde. This is a fine newspaper even if it is Friday's edition. As for all other weather forecasting here, there is a lot of detail for the Riviera and practically none for Paris. The storm Ophélia is supposed to stay offshore from Florida, but the outlook for the Ile–de–France is a mystery. Sunday may have a score of 22 degrees, with cloudy skies.

The "It's Cold, Dearie!" Report of the Week

Not that it does much good now, the weather for the past few days, since about July, has not been too shabby. I didn't see a forecast for today, and I certainly wouldn't waste time on the forecast that was in Metropole on Monday – but it wasn't quite as good this morning as it has been. Semi– sunny and maybe humid.

To go to the club I put on the pants I wear year–round, a summer shirt and summer shoes, and the summerphoto, ice waiting for water shirt–jacket that has a red stain on one shoulder I got from standing under an awning during a rain storm on the Costa Brava about eight years ago. Pyrenees have tricky weather at this time of year.

In fact I have had the shirt–jacket so long that the red stain has faded along with the whole rest of it. I would have worn it earlier in the summer but it was hiding, afraid of getting more faded. Otherwise it is like new.

Ice in Paris, 2005 version, plus swizzle.

The Métro had a fine collection of humid stale air in it. In winter some times you feel like riding it a long ways because the summer air stays down there but in summer, summer–bis, you feel like getting out of it as soon as you sit down and start to stew. I gritted my teeth and made it to Odéon.

To make a long, tedious, and boring story short, I arrive at the club's café a bit ahead of time, claim the club's area, shoo off the new 'Waiter of the Week,' chalk up the club's stats, and put on my glasses and open Le Monde.

I am on page two, after skipping the front page, reading Le professeur Kirchhof et ses idées "visionnaires," when members Edna and Bob Bradley roll up. I am surprised to see them so soon after having had dinner with them in Auteuil last night. It was so late when we parted that I'd given them a 'time–out' from the club meeting today.

Now I will never find out what the right–wing has in store for Germany. The new 'Waiter of the Week' is attentively on our case almost immediately – a change from the last 'Waiter of the Week' who we didn't see for two entire club meetings.

Edna wants to know why the 'Waiter of the Week' greets her with bonsoir. The short answer is because this is France and it is all I have time for because Tomoko Yokomitsu – the club's favorite film star – strolls in, after having a long summer pause in Japan. "I was in Japan," she says.

The 'Waiter of the Week' is still with us because Edna wants an assurance that the Coke on the café's menu is really Coke. Not Diet Coke, not any kind of Pepsi, not Dr. Pepper. "I want a real Coke," she says.

"Have I met you before?" Tomoko wonders. Club meetings are with real people, but Tomoko is also famous from these club 'reports,' so sometimes it is difficult to know where the borderline between real and virtual lies. Like when Tomoko isn't at meetings for one reason or another, everybody asks for her whereabouts. So she is on the air even when she is in Japan.

And while there, she says, she was taking a conversational course in English, where she learned thatphoto, hand of perrier English and American are two different languages.

But, "Japanese is not difficult," she says, remembering that member Josef Schomburg gets by with it. "It is not enough to have a girlfriend or boyfriend," she says, about the fast, classless method of language learning.

If ice is short, have a green drink.

Right here I should drop in a plug for the Beatles' Story, because Tomoko is in it, and you can see it next Wednesday at 21:30 at the Petit Journal Montparnasse in a one–night stand that will take you back to your Beatles days, or nights. Tomoko doesn't sing – as she is Yoko Ono – but club member Renaud does, as do the other Beatles look–alikes. At 13. Rue du Commandant René Mouchotte, Paris 14. Métro: Gaîté. InfoTel.: 01 43 21 56 70.

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