To Catch a Mouse

photo, tomoko yokomitsu takes a call Tomoko handles a ding–a–ling with aplomb.

Checkered Cool Shoes

Paris:– Thursday, 2. March:– Unless they sleep until noon, folks who have been in the city since Tuesday know that my forecast last Monday of an Orange Alert involving snow was off the mark a bit, unless it snowed before noon and was gone by the time I looked out.

So it with some misgiving that I pass on tonight's Orange Alert from the TV–weather news. They said, quote, Expect 5 cm of snow!!! unquote. This is not my prediction, I am not making this up, I don't want to mislead you, truth at all times, but realistically I have to doubt it, this fox who the kid said barked, and didn't, and then all the little piggies got gobbled up. Take anything but my word for it.

photo, cafe of the weekIt must be the 'Café of the Week.'

Now the so–called facts, from the TV–weather news. For tonight and tomorrow there's the official Orange Alert for most of northern France, with winds coming down the Channel at 80 kph, while here there will be winds from the southwest – the totally opposite direction! – of 90 to 100 kph, and the low temperature tonight is supposed to be 2 degrees with a high tomorrow touching 9 degrees.

If there is snow I'm sure it will be gone before noon on account of the heatwave. The forecast for Saturday is a little more sensible. It is supposed to be partly sunny, partly cloudy and all of 4 degrees, while snow falls somewhere not around here. On Sunday add a wind from the northwest of 60 kph, and the rest is ditto, ditto and ditto. For you language fans reading this, 'ditto' spelled backwards is 'ottid' of course.

Tomoko's Mouse Deal

Metropole has been having a ripe old time jumping around like crazy as a result of the mad experiments of crazed coders. As soon as I fix something and upload it, it goes blooey. Then Josef sends me a correction and I fix that, and it goes blooey. It's a good thing Josef has more patience than one of José Bové's goats.

photo, painting osaka, by harami yokomitsu Dotonbori Bridge by H. Yokomitsu, shown
in the Grand Palais in the mid–1970s.

After four or five days of it I am really happy that it is Café Metropole Club meeting day and I can get away from his cryptic emails hinting that I'm seriously unwired. At the moment he's off seeing thin hotties wearing funny clothes so I can just traipse off to the club free as a bird.

And here I arrive, after climbing through the Pont Neuf under construction, fight through a horrendous traffic jam, absolutely broke. My Visa card expired from age and I forgot to take the new one out the envelope from the bank, so I have to pass on getting a Parisien. The good news is that I remembered to bring my glasses to read it.

Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' greets my arrival at the café and its grande salle greets me with silence, and one young lady who is smoking a cigarette and eating soup. I write a note about the weather. I don't know why. This afternoon's weather is ancient history now.

Then I have no paper to read with my glasses so I leave them in the bag. I turn the 'reports' booklet upsidedown and backwards and write some notes about how the 'Goodblognight' is going to look in Metropole. I know it is illegal to use club property like this, but I can't afford to buy any spare paper from Patrick.

The babe who was sloshing around with the soup finishes some dessert and leaves. On the way out she tells two other nifties to skip the soup. She has made a terrible stink in the club's area too. If people have to smoke back here at least they should smoke good stuff.

I get about 17 km down the road with the blog notes. Now it's called 'Goodblogweek' with 'Day' and 'Night' versions, snazzy typo, flashing lights, bells, and archives from here to the beach in Deauville. The character who's going to do this is 'Radio Ric,' who will join 'Ed' and the 'Secretary' to form a crew of three. We fought too much when we were only two.

photo, corona sign, neonSee this and you are at the club.

I almost fall on the floor when member Tomoko Yokomitsu says bonjour! I forgot I was at a club meeting. Tomoko has brought copies of her dad's paintings, and I chose the 'Osaka' one to show here. It is of the Dotonbori bridge in central Osaka. Harami Yokomitsu was a high school art teacher who did what he taught.

Times are difficult for Tomoko these days. She says that Franprix has the best prices for her. I shopped at one too for eight years, and now I can't go back. She says she thinks Monoprix is too expensive. I suspect it depends on the quartier. My Monoprix regularly beats the local Franprix on prices, and has exotic stuff that is '404 – not found' in the Franprix.

For several months Tomoko has not been cooking at home because of the mouse that lives in her kitchen. But restaurant life is taking its toll too, at the bank, so she is buying the cheapest TV–guide to see what Arte is showing. But it's far too much, paying 50 cents for two week's worth. The TV–guide with Friday's Parisien is only 20 cents.

"Last week I got Téléstar for 5.95€" she says. As my eyebrows float up towards my receding hairline, she adds that the issue contained a DVD with Beethoven. It's the latest scam – buy a TV–guide to get a movie, or the radio news says to check the Web site for the details, or the telephone operator 'gives' you a free photoalbum to enhance your long–distance experience. Or is it a free telephone?

photo, 5 pm, tomoko leaving meetingTomoko leaves, taking bacon for mouse.

Back to the mouse. Tomoko says she asked a friend how to catch it. This person, an animal expert, told her to try to trap it with cheese or bacon. While waiting for something to happen the EDF metre reader showed up and almost let the mouse escape by leaving the door open.

A neighbor said she would rather not lend her cat to the chase because the cat didn't like to eat mice. Undeterred, Tomoko says she still wants to borrow a cat, but not an ugly one.

Animal talk naturally leads us to a thorough discussion of the bird crises, with Tomoko accepting my description of Mallards without a retort. According to the news all of France's edible birds are locked up under cover, except for the birds that are inedible unless they are running around outside, eating worms and stuff.

Tonight, on the TV–news they said one supermarket was offering two chickens for the price of one. This is a much better deal than Henri IV ever offered but they didn't mention the name of the place.

By the time we get through all of the day's important subjects it is 17:10, and I am trying to figure out who I can touch for money so I can go to the bank tomorrow and ask them what they've done with my new Visa card.

photo, shoes, members priscilla, bob, dennis, in venice, caSome members with their cool shoes.

By the time I get home I've remembered a pile of bread put aside for Josef, and I find the new card, still in its envelope under a pile of other bills. But it was too exhausting to go all the way down to the Monoprix, partly on account of the Orange Alert, but mostly because there's a little grocery shop much closer.

Checkered Shoes of the Week

Club members Priscilla, Bob and Dennis sent a photo of their snazzy checkered shoes basking in the sunrays in Venice, California, as a reminder that these Orange Alerts will soon be history, especially with spring just over the horizon and the bitter snows of Easter not far behind.

Ding–a–Ling, Bong Bong of the Week

Tonight as I left the Café Corona Patrick caught me up to alert me of the café's closure next week. The famous renovation, scheduled about four or five years ago, is to be completed next week, and the café will be closed all week. The next club meeting there will be on Thursday, 15. March. Those liable to miss out next week should write to me, to arrange a possible fallback.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

Since this so–called meeting 'report' probably leaves you perplexed, treat yourself to an explanation by reading the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page, for its worthwhile insights and worthless bumpf.

Where, How, When, Who, What, Why?

Club meetings begin at 15:00 every Thursday except the coming one and continue until 17:00. These times, fixed in cement, are also said to be 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where the next meetings might be. See 'Bong Bong' above for the reason for this rare change.

Pass a hour or two or a whole meeting with other club members pretty much like yourself. Real 'firsts' are welcome and true stories will get a sympathetic hearing. Other stories will depend on your skill. Attend as many club meetings as you can stand.

graphic, club location map

Caution – should you may have the personal mission of remaining unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines before becoming 'found' gamboling in one of these fantastic club reports.

The 'ex–rules' that the club once had are still former. Talking to other club members at meetings is kosher rather than optional. There are always some empty chairs, so sit. Lolling 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 pure hazard be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since years ago because of terminal inertia, required for capturing mice in traps without harming them, if only they liked bacon.

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

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini