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The 'Yoohoo of the Week'

photo, group, lyn, roy, janet, karen, fran

Lyn, Roy, Janet, Karen and Fran form the 'Group of the Week.'

When One Is Needed

Paris:– Thursday, 29. September 2005:– Members at today's club meeting tried to find out how I came to be fascinated by the weather. Actually I wouldn't give a fiddler's fingernail for it because if it's raining I can stay home, if it's windy I can stay in bed and if it's foggy I can watch TV, and if I really do have to go out, I can put it off to some other sunny Sunday.

The sole reason for producing these so–called weather forecasts is so readers, who, for whatever reason, may be curious about what passes for weather in Paris. Me, I can look out the window. In fact, I do look out the window. Too bad there's so many leaves that I can't see the ground.

The weather, by and large, is boring. It mostly comes from the Atlantic and goes east, to oblivion. There can be minor variations but you get the idea of the main theme. Mainly, the climate is mild, which means, fortunately, boring.

Now that you are good and complacent, here's the forecast. Tomorrow will be rotten, very cloudy, maybe raining – but because of some fictitious 'high' will not move fast, so it will lurk I guess. A wind will shoot up the Channel at 60 kph, but not here. They didn't say so on tonight's TV–weather news. The high for tomorrow may be 20 degrees, maybe.

Then this wind switches to blow on France Saturday, more dark clouds attack the coast and maybe dribblephoto, not the frites of the week over to here, and it'll be all gray, and feel rainy. If this isn't bad enough, a high temperature of 17 degrees has been forecast. Not jolly for the Nuit Blanche.

These are not the 'Frites of the Week.' We were friteless.

On Sunday there may be some random out–peeps of sun but mostly there will be clouds, being pounded in here by a 50 kph northwest breeze, and the whole rotten thing will be topped off with a 'high' of 14 degrees. Ski fans are alerted – some snow has been forecast for the Alps, around Haute–Savoie. Serves them right! Still September and already a grave danger of hypnothermia.

The 'Yoohoo of the Week' Report

Since it is Thursday I ready myself for today's club meeting. First I find a warmer jacket because the summer that was lingering around looks like it has flown the coop and gone wherever weather goes after we're finished with it. All other preparations are like usual, such as opening the door and going down the stairs and getting stabilized on the sidewalk andphoto, coke of the week pointed in the right direction, towards Chez Papa.

After this I turn on my auto–pilot and the rest is the habitual blur, right to the part where I am on the Pont Neuf admiring the stone Joes polishing the new stones, but without actually stopping to interrupt. Samaritaine is still closed. Hear me – Samaritaine is closed. For a long time. Maybe ten years! How long the newspaper kiosque lady right outside can keep open to sell me a Parisien on Thursdays – could be the 'Question of the Week.'

This week's 'Coke of the Week' is not the same as last week's 'Coke of the Week.'

I see Monsieur Naudan going into the café and he offers me a drink – a glass of Champagne? – but I regret I must refuse because there will be club meeting notes to note. I regret this all the way to the back of the café's 'grande salle' where I see vast amounts of leftover frites, barely uneaten.

The club's tables are sparkling clean except for traces of salt crystals. Before I can ready the booklets member Karen Scott, from Lodi, New Jersey, is present and soon to be accounted for. Karen says there is a road sign near Lodi that says 'Welcome to Carlstadt, 1st US home of a kindergarten.'

Karen then says it is not her birthday but it is Heather Stimmler–Hall's birthday, but Heather is not here because she is down on the Riviera testing hotels for a guide book. We both knowphoto, roy and janet she is not testing ferries to Corsica because they are either on strike or they are not running because other ferry operators are under the impression that Corsica is temporarily lawless. Lucky it is out of season.

From the Midlands, Roy and Janet.

As if by magic Janet Spencer and Roy Kenyon arrive and nearly instantly become signed–in members. This couple comes to the club today from Chatburn in Lancashire, which is on the Liverpool side of UK a little way up north. Other than these two new members being from there, Chatburn is remarkable for nothing, except for becoming the 'City of the Week.'

Chatburn used to have a great industry involving textiles but it because abandoned long ago, about the time everybody in China was having a Great Leap Forward by making iron in their backyards.

On the other hand Chatburn's sorry fate causes me to make a little speech about how jeans made in China are now for sale on the Rue de Rivoli, which has contributed to the bankruptcy of Guillaume Sarkozy's company, Tissage de Picardie. He is the brother of the short minister of the interior, who is in favor of worldwide competition.

My speech is cut short, to everybody's profound relief, by the arrival of Fran Griffin, who comes to Paris from Neptune, New Jersey. Of course she knows Lodi, and now, Karen too. They form today's contingent from New Jersey. However they did not share the same transatlantic flight, via Detroit.

Shopping in Paris becomes a subject with Karen mentioning how much fun it is to stand in lines at Monoprix – "It's the Target of Paris!"

But, she says, she was ignored in a cheese shop. I make another speech about how it is necessary to be born in France and be brought up in a home situation full of French cheese. It is not enough to go into a cheese shop and point willy–nilly at cheeses – it is absolutely necessary to have an opinion about cheese, and be able to name them by name, and defendphoto, karen, lyn, fran your choice. Hasn't anybody noticed all the fistfights in cheese shops?

Karen, Lyn and Fran.

Fran agrees, although she has just arrived. She says she had a job on a cheese counter – perhaps in Neptune – and she had to jump–start by having a taste of all the cheeses. It's not like chocolate!

Another new member joins our little group, in the person of Lyn Briody, currently of Bellevue, Washington and formerly of Sunnyvale, California. In the course of introductions Lyn picks up on Yorkshire Dales, mill towns, smoking chimneys and cobbled streets.

Which leads, if you can believe it, to snowfall. In Lancashire, according to Roy, it doesn't snow much or often because of global warming. According to the club's missing notes, it doesn't snow much anywhere else, as near as I can remember on account of these notes which somebody has forgotten to write.

The 'Waiter of the Week,' again a new one, unused to club affairs, forgets to bring the drinks ordered by Fran and Lyn. He not only forgets, he disappears. Lyn spies him, back turned, and calls out, "Yoohoo!

When he does arrive, at my French–style signal, he says, translated – 'Oh, gosh, I forgot. What did you order?'

Unlikely. He forgot water and a Coke? What is complicated about it? These ladies have thirst. Theyphoto, water of the week are expiring. Doesn't he realize that we will be talking about the lines in Monoprix again if this keeps up?

When the water finally arrived, it sparkled.

Then in a welter of activity we all get out on the café's terrace for the 'Group Photo of the Week' and back inside I take more questions, for which most of my answers are dubious. The leaves do change color in France, but never when you expect them to – or never when you are here to see them.

If you do see them, it will only be in an off–year when the colors are so sublimely subtle that yellow, orange and red are hard to distinguish from brown.

Club–Bis–Bis

By now I have completely stopped keeping notes so there's nothing left to do except make public service announcements. This week these are two:–

Nuit Blanche happens on Saturday, and continues until Sunday morning. Details will be published in Saturday's edition of Le Parisien, and handy little transit maps are supposed to be available at Métro ticket windows. Dressing warmly will probably be a good idea this year.

Strike of the Year is scheduled for Tuesday, 4. October. This is expected to be an all–union affair involving both the public and private sectors. Expect the Métro, RER, buses and trains to be affected beginning on Monday in the evening. This strike will affect all of France, for 24 hours.

For fans of 'big deals in Paris,' getting a copy of Le Parisien on Tuesday morning might be useful for finding out where to find the day's demonstrations, parades, and other displays of the public's displeasure with the government. In principle, most cafés, restaurants and cinemas will be open. In fact, everything will be open because it's a working day, but there may be organized picketing.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This club meeting 'report,' today's, brutally hammered out with my own little fists, gives only misdirection to what this is about. If you can waste part of your life take a quick skim across the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its greasy photos, hack writing and the disgraceful parody of a membership card. You can join the club too, without credit or money, ID or plastic, on any 'Thursday of the Week.' Wednesdays, no matter if you prefer them, are not the day.

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

Club meetings, you can believe it, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, only on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, always in the western Euro Time zone, now in its trek through autumn to winter. Known in faraway locales as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings happen. Come to the café La Corona and its 'grande salle.' Bring a friend or two. The folks in the rear of the 'grande salle,' without the cheese, 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 'reality' with any sort of connection to truth, like true lies or fictional facts.

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. Dash your own name into Metropole's search if you are lost.

The 'ex–rules' that we used to have continue to be former. Nonetheless these discontinued rules may still be accessed so that you can learn that this less than hypothetical club of high purpose repeats them seldom as they are already on record, even if apparently missing.

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 spontaneous questions about weather, leaves changing and shopping in general and cheese in particular.

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