...Continued from page 1

"Important party bigwigs decline to take part," Stephan is saying, still about Germany that nobody cares about, when Roman says, "I wish something exciting would happen."

Actually Roman says he feels like taking off his clothes and running out on the Quai du Louvre, to see what would happen. Then he changes his mind. Could it be on account of November?

The 'Waiter of the Week' thinks he spies paying customers so he comes around to gather orders. Tomoko asks for a double café alongé. I am sure she wants a photogenic green drink – having forgotten that she's switched to red – so she deorders the café.

By now Stephan is entertaining us with a description of his work – which I asked him about – by telling us about buying an artificial weather machine. Actually this started with him mentioning getting a free café at Printemps – note – there's free café at Printemps! All you have to do it look interested, Stephan says.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Tomoko wants to know if Marion knows anybody in the city hall. "There's to be a rock concert there on 31. December," she says. Marion looks dubious.

Stephan is now telling us about the 'Jacksonville Test.' Apparently, if you want to test car paint the best place in the world to do it is in Jacksonville, Florida, which is wherephoto, red drink of the week most imports from Europe arrive. But actually it is because of Jacksonville's corrosive air mixed with sunshine.

The other place where car paints are tested is Miami, where it is hot and humid, alternatively, collectively, constantly, or something. Of course, Stephan's artificial weather machine can do this stuff too, he says, but Florida is better for the longer, more extreme testing.

Back by popular request – the 'Red Drink of the Week.'

Roman is working his way through a week's worth of emails on his Palm thing. He's not listening to one word I say about the revisionist history of the Treaty of Versailles that I saw on Arte–TV last night. My account reminds Marion that on Polish TV movies are not dubbed, but have voice–over in Polish so you know what's going on.

She isn't supposed to know this because, as she says, "My TV is smaller than my computer monitor." This reminds us all of the German TVs we've owned that didn't work in France, back in the days before SECAM–PAL models. Who even remembers SECAM?

Speaking of Polish, reminds Stephan of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He says that Arnie is dubbed for German TV – in German – and he saw a lot of movies at home before being in America and seeing Arnie on TV there, and hearing his Austrian accent for the first time.

Marion, knitting furiously away, asks, "Did you ever hear somebody from Austria speak?" I think, er, maybe – 'other than Hitler?'

We are not taking the 'Photo of the Week' when I ask the members to pull their faces into the light, because Marion is going full blast with her scarf. But once I have full attention is it a simple matter to urge the members to motion and out on to the terrace where the weak sun is coming in flat from the Tour Eiffel.

Then Roman says he has to split, so I slot in here that you should try his mystery novel, Crepuscule, which I agreed to review – last April I think.photo, book crepescule, by roman payne Sometimes I'm a slow reader. Did I write this before?

Did I mention that I'm pretty sure Roman is the club's tallest member? If he didn't leave early he could have been the 'Tallest of the Week' but it's too late now. Not at the same time nor by the same door, Tomoko and all her shopping sacks are on their way too.

The 'Mystery of the Week,' by Roman Payne.

It leaves Marion and Stephan, who want everybody to know that they are interested in buying a small apartment, so they will have a place with closets of their own to stay in on weekends. This reminds me that number one member Heather has written to say that her apartment near Place d'Italie will be available for three weeks from mid–December.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This club meeting 'report,' tip–tapped out with an endless radio background staring Bob Dylan, gives a huge hint about what this is about. To find out actual details take a look at the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its fuzzy photos, windy words and mellow membership card. You can join the club too, without even thinking, in any year containing at least one 'Thursday of the Week,' most with a genuine saint of the week.

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

Club meetings begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, in the western €uro Time zone, now on its dreary slog through autumn to winter. Known in faraway lands as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings are held. Come to the café La Corona; Do not accept substitutes. Bring a friend or two. The folks in the rear of the big room, under the sickening yellow lights, are us.

Attend a meeting – by being at one. Pass a hour or two or a whole meeting with new friends. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' being equivalent to 'real' even if 'first' is more thangraphic: club location map likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'truth' with any sort of connection to reality, like true fiction. Coming to multiple club meetings is also permitted.

Caution – you may have a personal reason 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 one of these club reports.

The 'ex–rules' that the club used to have continue to be former.These discontinued rules may still be accessed if you can find them. You can, in theory, learn that this somewhat hypothetical club of slight purpose seldom repeats rules because nobody bothers any more, even if remembered by very few.

Talking to other club members at meetings is okay rather than optional. There are usually dozens of empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Nobody will mind if you stand either. Whatever you say will be truly appreciated by the other members present if there are any listening, and sometimes there are but not always – and if it should chance to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because during today's meeting absolutely nothing exciting happened, and nobody was injured by Marion's needles.

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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