...Continued from page 1

The members trade tips about seeing current exhibitions. Both say Orsay with its Russians is great because nobody goes there, and both say that success is killing the Grand Palais because too many people are there for the Austrians. Neither saw the balloon races in another part of the Grand Palais.

Then, about Paris traffic, we are discussing how to take shortcuts in Rome by walking along the Tiber, which Dennis says is not a bit smelly. For some reason, not explained in these notes, he cannot remember the 'Hill of Pots.'

Then in the wrong part of Haussmann, we are describing an apartment we have not seen, but Nigel has. Unclephoto, nigel Den–Den will be exchanging his apartment again early next year, but he mentions not buying the one above. "You could see the Panthéon and Val de Grace," he says.

No, no, Uncle Den–Den is not a rich property speculator. After passing up his chances by taking holidays on a farm in the Ukraine, he now dreams of getting 'a little shack, one hour from Paris, simple, with a garden.'

Why is this man laughing?

About 500,000 people living in Paris have the same dream. More likely is getting your hands on $47 million, offered regularly by emails from the African syndicate who had an unlucky uncle die in a plane crash you can read about. Little 'shacks' an hour from Paris cost a big pile of euros, without a garden.

But are we depressed? Not a bit. The 'Waiter of the Week' brings drink, the soupers slurp, the sun shines in thephoto, dennis café with a brief burst of orange light, and we do the 'Group Photo of the Week' before the subject turns ever so naturally to Buffalo grass.

This does not actually start with Uncle Den–Den saying, "I have a good Ukrainian joke," and then ruining the secretary's day by adding, "You won't be able to print this."

And this guy – what's funny here?

Uncle Den–Den finished off the last batch of Buffalo grass vodka and put the empty bottle with the Buffalo grass in it on his kitchen floor and the cleaning lady found it and tossed it out. "Last summer I went to the market in Kiev to look for more but the old lady who has it wasn't there," he explains, without saying why he spent a month there, eating cucumbers.

The upshot is – we are looking for Buffalo grass again. It grows – like weeds – in Russia,photo, st germain, marche noel in Texas, maybe in Canada, possibly in Argentina – and the Daguerreotypistas need some to put in their vodka. It has a wonderful flavor.

Until we get some Uncle Den–Den says, "We are running on empty."

Saint–Germain right now, tonight!

Then we leave the Corona, hit the wind rolling along the river, and get across the Pont des Arts and up the Rue de Seine – now 'found' just for Nigel – and walk into the Marché de Noël at Saint–Germain, splashed with glittering lights strung like beads in the trees and beamed from cars hurtling along the boulevard, racing towards the mysterious east.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This typical club meeting 'report,'photo, cd, paris musette regardless of how it was produced, may leave you perplexed. To learn the truth lurking behind the mystery have a gekko at the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its blurry photos, juvenile words and membership card made in Malta. You can join the club too in any year containing any of the rest of the 'Thursdays of the Week' in December. All of them, save one, are still hot.

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

Club meetings start at 15:00 and continue until 17:00. These times are recognized in distant lands as 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere other than Paris is seldom where meetings are held. Come to the café La Corona. Bring a friend or two. The wild bunch in the rear of the big room are us, not other folks.

Attend a meeting – by coming to one. Pass a hour or two or a whole meeting with other club members pretty much like yourself. Real 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' being equivalent to 'true' even if 'real' is likely, and if it is an alternate form of fact with any sort of connection to fiction,graphic: club location map like cucumber stories. Attending multiple club meetings is not discouraged.

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 once had continue to be former. These discontinued rules are total nonsense even if you can find them. Otherwise you can, in theory, learn that this honestly real club of harmless talk and tall stories seldom institutes new rules because nobody cared for the old ones, which explains why they are obscure.

Talking to other club members at meetings is okay rather than optional. There are always dozens of empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Sprawling is okay too. 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 by freak chance be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because it is winter, my feet are cold, and I need to go to an all–night pharmacy to get a hot water bottle before morning.

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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