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Note – Thrift Shops!

photo, group, rita, edna, bob, kathy, sherry, ellen, ralph

'Group of the Week' Rita, Edna, Bob, Kathy,
Sherry, Ellen and Ralph.

''Has Anyone Seen 'D–Coils?'''

Paris:– Thursday, 15. September 2005:– Eagle–eyed readers will have noticed that there was no weather forecast on Monday. This was because of a total failure to do any of the weekly 'Café' column, but had I done it, the weather would have been a total failure too.

The weather continues to be dodgy. We are, we are supposed to be, having summer slip its grasp. Sunny days give us nice temperatures and now they are humid too, signalling that autumn is blowing this way.

Tomorrow it'll blow some down the Channel, then it'll blow down on us from Belgium. By afternoon the morning's rain will sweep east and leave skies semi–sunny here. Ofphoto, granizada of the week course this will require perfect timing, and exact timing is always in doubt. The strangest aspect of tomorrow's weather times will be an overnight low of 15 degrees – not shabby at all – but tomorrow's high has been forecast as – 15 degrees!

If it were Spain, I'd say it's the 'Granizada of the Week.'

Yea, that's right. The temperature is going to fall off a cliff. It is going to fall so hard that on Saturday, which will be mainly sunny with clouds, the temperature will get up to no more than 15 degrees again. Is the needle stuck?

Then Sunday comes along, on one hand surging up from despair to be mainly sunny all day, on the other hand expect a vast leap in temperature – up to 17 degrees. Some of this has to do with low temperatures falling from a balmy 15 tonight to a seasonal 8 to 10. My advice – keep a scarf handy to put on when you wake up on Friday. Or stay in bed until Sunday.

The "TARZANA!" Report of the Week

Tomoko 'Yoko' Tokomitsu will not be at the club today. When I saw her last, after midnight last night, she was hanging around with her Beatles replica guys after their gig at the Petit Journal. For over two hours they played and sang all the Beatles stuff you could want, and Tomoko did her Yoko Ono turn. I can recommend the show, but they don't have many playdates. As a club, the Petit Journal in Montparnasse is comfortable and the sound was good.

Luckily most of the 30 photos I tookphoto, tables of the week turned out to be black duds, so I didn't have to stay up until 05:00. But writing a bit and then reading a bit made it five, so when I woke up I felt that my brain have been replaced with moldy rum–soaked felt. It's not fair. Next time I'll have café instead of orange juice.

Moody club tables strewn with glass and shadows.

I stagger around and then lurch out the door and get dizzy going down the stairs, and then outside a breeze is pushing along soggy clots of warm air. I barge through them past Chez Papa and the cemetery and down to Raspail where my personal Métro train arrives to haul me down to the Quartier Latin in a humid jiffy.

Here I add a transport note – the Vavin station is closed for renovations. If this is your favorite jumping off point in Montparnasse you are going to have to use a substitute for several weeks. Maybe it's a good excuse to go on the wagon, or buy a flat in Montparnasse and walk to your troquet.

Going past Samaritaine I miss seeing the weekly employees' demo protesting against its closure. The latest rumor has it that the Conforama store is going to close too. The old lady in the newspaper kiosque was on the TV–news tonight, saying that her sales are a 'bit off.' I know for a fact that she sold one copy of Le Parisian today.

After my personal protest against the luxury chain's indecent closing of my favorite rooftop lookout, I find the rest of the Quai du Louvre to be deserted. Oh, the cafés along the way are doing some business, but the street is empty.

In the club's area of the café La Corona the brand–new 'Waiter of the Week' meekly buzzes off when I tell him I'll order later and snitches to Monsieur Naudan, who tells him that he'll surely become rich off thirsty club members, yet to come, if he has a little patience.

I turn to Le Parisian. Its headline says, 'Roissy, the network of the baggage robbers.' All over town visitors are reading the headline and wondering how they can get out of France some way other than via Roissy.

Sloppy, sloppy, Le Parisien. The real story is about the roundup and jailing of the usual 22 suspects that the flics have nabbed. I turn to page two but then have in front of me members Ellen and Ralph Campbell from Rogue River in Oregon. That was the 'City of the Week' at the meeting on 22. September of 2002, which was a Thursday, of course.

The Campbells are in town for their first 20th wedding anniversary, and they are on their way to Avignon and Nice, because they thought it looked nice when they were there once. Later Ralphphoto, rita, ralph, ellen will say that their Rogue River is not as wild as the nearby Salmon River, which is infamous for one–way trips – 'river of no return.'

Rita, Ralph and Ellen, all with 'Smiles of the Week.'

Without much warning member Kathy Garrison, from Pittsburgh, is joining us, saying, "I saw Martin Parr in that beautiful building," meaning, the European Maison of Photos. But before I can remember this, Kathy needles me for being so tardy with the events columns, and reminds me that she is still looking for 'thrift shops.' "I haven't found one yet," she says.

Hm, er, well. I try to remember the name of Emmaüs, which was started in 1954 by the Abbé Pierre. Uh–oh, there's seven addresses but none in Paris. All out in the suburbs.

The Salvation Army, here the Armée du Salut, is another one she tried to find. It does have a sales outlet in the city, at 13 Rue Cantagrel, Paris 13. Metro: François–Mitterrand. Except Tuesday, open about 11:00 to 18:30.

By now we have been joined by members Edna and Bob Bradley, and by Sherry Quayle from, she says, Atlanta, Georgia. Alpharetta is in the members' booklet. Kathy tells us about her indirect flight from hell, punctuated with missed connections and separate destinations for baggages, and post–flight service in India.

Which reminds Edna of the chaos at Roissy, reminds somebody else of 30 phone calls, to talk to somebody on the other side of the world about a problem 30 kilometres north of here. And it reminds Bob of the 'baggage strike' which is really about a gang of thieves, now under lock and key in the dungeon.photo, beer of the week

Wow. This is nothing! On the ground, here is the city of light, there's worse. Kathy has a TV with cable but when she pushes the buttons, no matter how many, she gets one channel. She says she wants Noos, meaning the cable operator, and if she could get news she would like that too.

Edna and Bob have a problem like this as well. Two remotes, satellite, cable, hundreds of theoretical channels, and all they can get are the standard, local, five channels. The good side of this is going out to Chantilly to have some cake with chantilly on it. Not all rosy, of course, because they had to go through Gare du Nord, but I don't hear the details about this unavoidable miss–mash.

Only one, so it's... guess '****' of the Week.'

There are not only complaints because the members have discovered that they all grew up in California, within about 500 miles of each other. To add to this, Rita Martinson arrives. Rita has been in Paris a really long time on her visit, living up on Montmartre.

Rita heard that Noos isn't the most reliable, so she signed up for France Télécom's TV–cable. Rita has too made the 30 phone calls, possibly many to Dakar, and still only gets the five local channels.

Ralph says, "I think the United States is the greatest country on earth but..." and he is drowned out by my attention being overtaken by Kathy saying she grew up wearing Birkenstocks.

At home I have no cable, no satellite, just an apartment antenna and the five local channels, three of which are wobbly. So I read books and I have come across this word, Birkenstock, and think it is some mountain climbing accessory, perhaps for downhills.

So, about shoes. Bob puts his on the table. These are the round front and back ones, comfortable, but a bit unstable if not on shipboard. Somebody says, "Has anyone seen the 'D–Coils?'" These are supposed to have steel coil springs in them. Kathy says, "Mini–trampolines!"

Have I mentioned that the 'Waiter of the Week' came by and supplied the members with drink? Should I mention that, since I winked him over, he tossed the bill for the whole thing onto the members' booklet. I push it into a puddle from frosted glasses.

The best is, after we return from a hilarious so–called 'Photo of the Week' session out on the café's terrace, we get the incomplete story of the 'Tarzana Reunion.' This is the name of some good old town, named thusly because Tarzan used to live there, sophoto, sherry, bob, kathy, edna beloved by its current and former residents that they have a reunion there. Dates, frequency, unknown.

More 'Smiles of the Week' from Sherry, Bob, Kathy and Edna.

The official history, all versions of it, is brief. Edgar Rice Burroughs settled there in 1910 and called his spread the 'Tarzana Ranch' because it was the local name. Two years later he created 'Tarzan,' but it was some years later that the book was published. In fact, Tarzana was supposed to be called 'Runnymede.' Imagine, instead of 'Tarzan of the Apes,' he wrote 'Runnymede of the Apes.' Tarzana was incorporated in 1930, but despite everything, is not a legit 'City of the Week.'

As we are leaving the café Edna is remembering the Turkish toilet in the Champs–Elysées McDonald's. She is outraged that they charged for its use, in 1985.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This club meeting 'report,' today's, hammered out on filthy keys, gives slight clue to what this is about. If you have a half a minute to waste skip your blues over the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its silly fandangle of color photos, boring words and the tired wreck of a membership card. You may join the club too, without fuss, bother or shame, on any 'Thursday of the Week.' There are a short month of Sundays of them left this year.

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

Club meetings, as these things are termed, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, always in the western Euro Time zone, now in its downhill slide into autumn modus. Known in semi–foreign places as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings happen. Come to the café La Corona and its 'grande salle' and bring a friend. The folks in the rear of the 'grande salle,' sprawling around, are us.

Attend a meeting – by being at one. Hang out for a hour or for a whole meeting with new friends. Real 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' being equivalent to 'real' even if 'first' is more than likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'true' with any sort of connection to reality, like fictional facts or true lies.

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' ingraphic: club location map one of these club reports. Try Google with your own name if in doubt.

'Ex–rules' we used to have continue to be former. Nonetheless these former rules may still be accessed so that you can learn that this less than hypothetical club of high reason repeats them seldom as they are already on record.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional. There are usually several empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Standing is okay too. Whatever you say will be truly 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 uncalled for but spontaneous 'Tarzana of the Week,' regardless of whether it is true or not.

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