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Murder at the Café

photo, cafe odessa

Busy working in Montparnasse last week.

Beach Boule Bingo

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 17. October 2005:– I think it finally tipped into autumn. Last week's gray cloud of a windshieldwiper never showed up, at least not while I was awake, so the good weather continued day after dreary day, with warm air, light winds and a lot of sunshine. What good is all that stuff we brought in the last Soldes d'Hiver if it isn't going to be seasonal – rotten – enough to wear it?

But according to tonight's TV–weather news coming temperatures will fall well short of 20 degrees while staying comfortable at 17 or 18.

In the sky department there will be some confusion tomorrow. I mean I am confused. I have to separate out the useless information but it was all splotched and sloppy. As near as I can tell there will be westerly winds of about 60 kph and the weather guy said dense clouds for the morning, will drift towards the east while losing some density, or something. We might not even notice it here.

Let's skip it and move on to Wednesday, when the 60 kph winds will still be blowing. As near as I could tell it is supposed to be partly cloudy and maybe mostly sunny here, with 17 degrees, and further east it will be mucky.

Pretty much the samephoto, pickels of the week thing is foreseen for Thursday, but without the winds. It seems to me it was only last night that the TV–weather news guy gave us a week–long forecast and Thursday and Friday were mostly sunny, with an 80 percent likelihood, and whatever he said for next weekend was likely too by 80 percent.

So if you happen to be here, just remember that whatever weather we get next weekend is supposed to be four–fifths likely. If it turns out to be something else, then it is the one–fifth chance contra–prediction.

Read about the Russian 'Pickles of the Week' on the Au Bistro page.

Our full–house weather ace, Météo Jim over there in a drenched Pommeland, is having technical problems with his life raft. He sent this advance report on Friday.

Jerry Lee Expected To Return

Jerry Lee Lewis and his Great Balls of Fire are expected to return to Pommeland possibly on Sunday. This will be followed by partly sunny, windy and cool weather for the rest of the week.*

*Disclaimer The entire eastern seaboard has been caught between a low pressure system in the Atlantic Ocean that is bringing moisture from as far away as Jamaica and a high pressure system from Canada. The two systems have been clashing for more than a week and the resulting gradients between the two systems have caused high winds and beach erosion. The systems may like it so much in the greater Pommeland area that they will stay and become illegal guest workers.

Bonus Friday observation:– After 10 nonstop days of rain averaging an angloinch a day, Pommelanders were treated to a fiery spectacle this afternoon of a blazing yellow ball of fire in the sky that lasted a few minutes and then just as mysteriously disappeared. CNN sent cameras and reporters to the scene and hosted scores of UFOologists to discuss this mysterious phenomenon. In the meantime, the creeks and rivers keep on rising, roads are flooded and New Hampshire is being washed off the map.

Café Life

Murder at the Café Corona

So far only a few Café Metropole Club members have mysteriously disappeared from the café Corona where the club meets on Thursdays. I can't say anything about the would–be membersphoto, cafes, mouffetard who didn't like our looks and buzzed off, becoming '404' before signing up – but there have been one or two who remembered they needed something from the bar or the tabac after arriving, and they never reappeared.

Typical Cara Black murder location, this in the Mouffetard.

For the club's second meeting of its 7th year, mystery writer Cara Black is expected to be on hand to talk about how she came to write her first book, 'Murder in the Marais.' According to Cara it was based on the experiences of a friend's mother during the Occupation.

As many readers probably know Cara is responsible for a considerable crime wave in Paris, having set her private eye Aimée Leduc to catch murderers in the Marais, Sentier, Bastille, Belleville, Montmartre and most recently, in Clichy. Mark your calendars or agendas with this date – Thursday, 27. October and set yourphoto, petanque america watches to 15:00, eurotimes.

Beach Boule Bingo

Metropole partner Philippe of Petanque America has just written to let us know that he is organizing the 'first ever' International Petanque Tournament in Miami. This is Petanque America's second tournament, open this time to all comers. This could be pretty interesting because it will take place on South Beach where folks casually wear next–to–nothing for the climate, which is very unlike Minnesota or Helsinki.

Tune in to Petanque America Open International for tournament details. To take place in Miami on Saturday and Sunday, 12 and 13. November. And if you haven't got your French boules yet, get a set of Obut pétanque balls from Petanque America today and start practicing.

Trouble in Paradise?

You may have bought your dream château in France, or at least a cute little Louis XIV barn, and now you feel you need a simple apartment by the seaside instead. But your dream has turned to nightmare as buyers shun your treasure. Is this your story?

Britain's Channel 4 is producing a new series of their successful 'House Trapped in the Sun' programmes.photo, bread shop, mouffetard The show's producers are looking for vendors with problem properties to take part in three full–length episodes to be filmed late this year and early in 2006.

It's a boulangerie, without frills.

Andrew Winter, presenter of 'Selling Houses,' will be in France to assist vendors selected to appear in 'House Trapped in the Sun' with expert tips and advice. The programme, watched by 3 million viewers, has helped sell all featured properties in the past and expects to repeat its success with the new series.

Even if you are not planning to sell, but have problems with flaky electricity or hungry termites or crumbling walls two metres thick, you may be invited to take part in the programme. Participation by state agents is welcome too.

For complete details you can phone 44 (0)1 27 32 24 800 or email housetrapped@ricochet.co.uk. Analog postal works fine too if you address it to: Housetrapped, Ricochet, Pacific House, 126 Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3TE.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last week's Thursday 'Club Meeting of the Week' was headlined as 'Does It Sound Like Gin' whichphoto, vespa of the week involved the 'Waiter of the Week' putting down a pot of gin with a slice of orange instead of a glass of Orangina. As for why, it was a warm drowsy day. It's not normal at this time of year, so we didn't complain too bitterly.

The 'Vespa of the Week,' with frills.

The coming Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday. This is not any old Thursday either because it is the first one of the club's 7th year, which is not too bad for a real virtual club. The 'Saint of the Week' will be Sainte–Adeline. This sainte du mois was the first abbess of the Dames Blanches, founded early in the 12th century at Mortain in Normandy. Although not a saint, it is also Arthur Rimbaud's birthday next Thursday. He would have been 151 years old if he hadn't died suddenly.

Other true and interesting facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page if you can see well enough to read fine print. If not, skip it. The carefully crafted design of the club membership card looks about as much like an informal chit as brown fish wrap, if you have ever had any. Certified hors d'âge, the free club membership itself is so valuable that you should never leave Paris without it, plus it's good 'for life.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 8.42 – 13. Oct 2003 – the Café Metropole column was titled, 'Fleeting Heat.' The Au Bistro column was on some sort of holiday. Reader Jefferey T. Spaulding sent an email to explain 'The Télégraphe Explained.' The repeat Scène column was a rerun with 'From Cocteau to Piaf.' The update for the 16. October meeting of the Café Metropole Club was a comedy for a change with the "Einstein is Worried About Us" report. There were sixphoto, sign, rue pestalozzi astounding 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was edgy with the nervous caption of, "Only 14 Cafés More"

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 7.42 – 14. Oct 2002 – the week's Café Metropole column was highly informative with, 'Fabulous Fictional Fall Weather.' The 'Feature of the Week' was something headlined 'Le Mois de la Photo 2002' is Coming.' There seems to have been no dismal repeat of any Scène columns, with only 'Constable and Jimi Hendrix' mentioned. The original report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 17. October was strikingly original with the 'Five Buck Water' report. There were four average 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week again mentioned soft news of little importance with the caption of, 'Nobel Peace Prize for Peanuts.' And Albert smiles like Mona.

On His Birthday?

For the 31th time almost in a row, this is not about some musty old saint, but instead is a clever 'Quote of the Week.' Oscar Wilde, who might have had a birthday yesterday, once said, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." On most nights in Paris, you would have to be hit on the head first. Next week right here, as a special feature, the 'Birthday Message' will be both in Italian and down to earth but not in a gutter.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the date in 1253 when Ivo of Kermartin, was born near Tréguier in Brittany. His dad's name was Helori and is mom was Azo du Kenquis. Ivo became a civil lawyer at the University of Paris and then he studied canon law at Orléans. Backphoto, sign, tiles in Brittany he was appointed as an ecclesiastical judge, of the archdeanery of Rennes. He kept his nose clean and climbed further, showed zeal and considered that the king's taxes on the church were excessive. Somehow he got into the charity business and became a patron of the poor. He was ordained and worked at it for a while before dying in 1303 of natural causes and was buried in Brittany right where he started out. Ivo was canonized in June of 1347 by Pope Clement VI. Ivo wasn't killed by Romans or murdered by the king or peasants, and wasn't burnt at the stake or anything dramatic. Saint–Ivo is another patron saint of lawyers. Folks used to say, "Sanctus Ivo erat Brito, Advocatus et non latro, Res miranda populo" about him.

Slightly Silly Pataphysics

It was on this date in 1722 that Parisians, in one of their irrational fits of rage, decided to burn the paper money issued by John Law's bank. They started a tradition by doing this in front of the Hôtel de Ville. The money had been issued as IOUs in return for investments in the speculative exploitation of Louisiana, and the whole swampy klotz went bankrupt. If Iphoto, sign, attention pietons remember correctly, after that the banks all moved to the speculative piece of real estate called the Place Vendôme.

Faits Divers III

In 1662 Charles II of Britain sold Dunkirk to the French for 40,000 livres, plus tax. On this same date in 1448 the Hungarian prince Janos Hunyadi affronted Sultan Mourad II at Korsovo. This was 50 years after the Serbs were defeated there. Hunyadi was beaten by forces numbering four times his own but he somehow got revenge some years later. However that is peanuts compared to the fact that one of the fighters against the Turks was Vlad Tepes, who would become known as Dracula.

Strange 'Co–incidental Dates of the Week'

There are only 75 days left of this year, which means this year has fewer than 80 shopping days left. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 1849 when Frédéric Chopin died young in Paris after nearly a decade of a liaison passionnée with George Sand. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 290 days, the same number that 1915 had when the Arthur Miller was born, the same number that 1918 had when the Rita Hayworth was born, and ditto in 1920 for Montgomery Clift.
signature, regards, ric

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