...Continued from page 1

While this has been transpiring the 'grande salle' has been filling up with chilly–looking folks of all sizes, from babies in buggies to oldsters in power chairs, settling in to take on grub, many in the form of onion soup. The café gets more crowded than it's been in weeks or months.

Having read all of yesterday's news again I am just about to turn to Le Pen in the front of the paper when Dennis Moyer, with plastic sacks, is taking up residence – making a club session the before–last chapter of a Christmas shopping trip.

Like Tomoko, he says, "There's nobody here!" Then he shows me his wonderful treasures – confession, I ask to see them. This report needs newbies!

The star of the show is obviously the splendid litho of a bison, a buffalo, un buffle. He says, "I canphoto, where's the grass buffalo use it to make a label for Buffalo Grass Vodka." Club members are not only wonderful people but many of them are really smart! Up until now the Buffalo Grass Vodka has been created in any handy empty bottle – what a cachet it will be to have its own label.

The one, the only, 'Buffalo of the Week.'

Then, of course, we must discuss the speech made by the Nobel Prize winner, Harold Pinter, as printed in full in yesterday's Guardian. Too bad I haven't read it, but I will, someday.

Uncle Den–Den then tells me his shopping secrets. He looks around Paris in odd places, looking for objects that are not made in China, not mass– produced, not made of plastic, not electronic, not expensive, and are kind of neat, like the buffalo litho.

When five o'clock turns up on the clock dial we are still talking as we drift out the café's front door and cross over to the Louvre side and get set to brave the Quai, full of the usual charged brigades of tin cars pushing east against the inertia of the traffic lights. The surface is black with wet but the sky is undecided about its humidity, while the Seine's wavetips glitter in the lights from the Quartier Latin.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

photo, cafe of lifeThis atypical club meeting 'report,' including a great deal about not very much, may leave you perplexed. To divine the true facts behind the mystery cast a glance at the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its rusty photos, puerile words and kitsch–like membership card made of cotton balls. You can join the club too in any year containing any of the several unused 'Thursdays of the Week' left in December.

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

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 foe. The fee fum bunch in the rear of the big room are ze club..

Attend any meeting – by being at 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 cricket 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 literate club reports.

The 'ex–rules' that the club once had continue to be former forever. These rules were total nonsense, even if you can find them. Otherwise you can, in theory, learn that this true club of aimless talk and unlikely stories never institutes new new rules because everybody axed the old ones, which explains why they are obscure.

Talking to other club members at meetings is okay rather than optional. There are always some empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Lounging 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 astonishing chance be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because even though it is winter, I have Tomoko's return with Chinese medicinal snakes to look forward to.

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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