...Continued from page 1

Besides talking about other club members we have a moan for the closed Samaritaine. It is still closed, it is staying closed for years to come, and it is sorely missed. It was like the club's 'home' department store. Members returning to their real homes could waste their time at club meetings until beyond the last minute, and do the catch–up practically next door.

Unfazed by big, black, bazooka camera, Scoop.

We talk about Paris and I have only one tip for this time of year. Berta, as she does every year, asks if there will be fireworks at the Tour Eiffel at midnight on Saturday. Every year, except for 2000, I say the fireworks are on 14. July – regardless of whether the city sneaks in a fireworks display between now and year's end. It has happened before.

Instead I point out that there are two ferris wheels inside the Grand Palais, and they are going to be there for two extra days. The problem with this is that they are the super popular hit–of–the–season and the waiting line is long.

Gradually we manage to get the 'Group Photo of the Week' in two versions. Berta is for the inside version but since it has been left late they put on their duds and we do the outside ones on their way out. Parting, they wish all members a Happy New Year.

The Italian gentleman whose photo I've taken with his portable phone is guarding my coat from the waiter when I return, and we exchange seasonals, if he was in fact, Italian.

Then, loaded up and off to the bar for the rest of the seasonals I pass two ladies in the booth next to the passageway.photo, group 2, mussette, barbara I almost pass, because one looks familiar, so I stop. Hey! Yes, they are prospective club members – who have accosted some other Joe pretending to be the club's secretary – except he stoutly denied it.

Mussette and Barbara catch club secretary, who captures them.

As the real club secretary I induct Barbara Fee and Mussette Richey, both from Austin Texas, into the club. They are pleased to hear that they aren't the only members hailing from Austin – in fact they know some of them. It could make Austin the 'City of the Week' if it didn't already have this supreme distinction.

But all the same this last chance encounter results in today's sole 'first' – Barbara and Mussette are not only new members of the week, but also the last new members to join the club in 2005. All together now, we dance from success to success!

*Soldes d'Hiver begin on Wednesday, 11. January.

New Year of the Week

As has happened in previous years, Paris area public transport will be operating all Saturday night and Sunday morning. The best part may be that from 17:00 on Saturday until 12:00 on Sunday, all rides will be free.

Within Paris all buses and Métros will be operating normally up until the regular times. Then a special all–night service kicks in. For the city it means Métro lines 1, 2, 4, 6, and 14, plus RER lines 'A,' 'B, 'C' and 'D' run all night. Somephoto, neon, grande salle SNCF suburban trains will also be operating, to compliment the RER trains.

Sign translation – 'this way to the club.'

Then, not least, buses will be operating to and from hubs in Paris, at gares Saint–Lazare, Est, Lyon and Montparnasse. For example, if you have to eave town suddenly early on Sunday morning, take the buses 120 or 121, or 140, from Gare de l'Est, to CDG at Roissy. The extra all night RER 'B' trains only go once a hour to Roissy, until regular service resumes in the morning.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This highly informative club meeting 'report,' including costly fur hats, may leave you perplexed. Illuminated behind the mystery true facts are on the 'About the Café Metropole Club'photo, last cafe of the year page with its low–rez photos, bloated prose and farrango of a membership card made of recycled bike parts suitable for beer can lids. You can join the club in any year containing at least 52 remaining 'Thursdays of the Week' left next year.

Last café of the year.

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

Club meetings usually begin at 15:00 and normally continue until 17:00. These times, fixed in cement, are termed in some lands to be 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not often where meetings are held. Substitutes are unreal. Bring yourself to the café La Corona. Come with a friend, relative or stranger. The folks in the rear of the big room is ze club, or more exactly, we.

Attend any meeting – by being at one or more. Pass a hour or two or a whole meeting with other club members pretty much like yourself. Real 'firsts' are welcome. True stories are will get a hearing. Other stories will depend on your skill. Attending more than one club meeting is optional, and 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'graphic: club location map by Web search engines before becoming 'found' in one of these illiterate club reports.

The 'ex–rules' that the club once had continue to be former. These rules were mostly nonsense, even if you can find them. Otherwise you may, in theory, learn that this club features talk, cracker barrel philosophy, unlikely stories that are true, and never institutes new rules because most members are self–secret Anarchists.

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

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because now that it is winter the count–down to the first instance of 'Onion Soup of the Week' is over, as of today. Smells like... garlic!

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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