Who's Got a Plumber?

photo, group tomoko, josef, hetti, bob, edgard, jane, richard, mark Yoko, Josef, Hetti, Bob, Edgard, Jane, Richard and Mark compose today's 'Group of the Week.'

Snowless Easter Forecast

Paris:– Thursday, 13. April 2006:– This being Thursday it must be club report day rather than being the day I report about my adventures in New York City over the past three weeks while guest 'Ed' Josef Schomburg stood or sat in as the able host of your club in Paris, which means that the weather must come first even if it is nothing to write about because it is Easter and I guess everybody knows by now that Easter in Paris has nothing to do with Hollywood's notion of April here.

On tonight's TV–weather news I could almost anticipate the cutie weather–lady perkily saying that she was willing to do her best even if the weather won't. The good news is on Friday when truly bad weather in the form of oodles of clouds will be up along the border with dark, northern Europe, and it might be semi–sunny right here where we all are. To be accompanied with a high temperature of 18 degrees which will almost allow comfortable terrace sitting unless there is a wind, about which mention was omitted.

photo, new, clean red awningThe clean, red awning of the week.

Afterwards, like on Saturday and Sunday, there is expected to be a crummy weather front passing through on the first day. The temperature is expected to be only a degree less, so I will forego my usual prediction of snow flurries.

No snow is also forecast for Sunday, which may otherwise be semi–sunny if not exactly warm with a predicted 15 degrees. According to advance information imparted tonight next Monday may have weather akin to Sunday, adding up to two semi–nice Easter days. Did I say 'for a change?' I should have because no snow is the prediction for the whole weekend. Let the bells ring but please, not too early.

Plumber, Who's Got One?

It has been a good move of a day with burbles of clouds piled up to the sky all around the horizon, quite unlike New York as I left it Tuesday glowing in sunshine with blossoms on the street trees in Queens looking like giant balls of fluffy cotton, in explosive contrast to the gloom cast by the thick iron of the elevated line seven subway that arcs across the barrio Roosevelt.

How drab in comparison is my path by the cemetery under naked sticks of trees, waiting in vain for spring's sunshine, their sap still sluggish while mine is at half–mast.

No, that is not right. I am eager to be going to a club meeting for the first time in a month. I am optimistic, full of hope, full of café and hunks of bread, yogi and orange juice, 100 percent pepped–up and ready to rock. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it's darn cloudy and the air is cool. But damnit, it's scooter time!

photo, salt, mustard, pepper Spice for today's meeting.

As if it has heard my innermost thoughts the line four Métro crashes into the Raspail station as I hit the platform and I join the other passengers downtown bound, zip through the tunnels, getting a show of the colorful new posters extolling the virtues of telephoning and TV via DSL, merely 29.99 for three months until it pops up to 45 a month.

Beating down the alley from Odéon I pass two young things tuning up their flutes, getting ready to play for the pigeons. Then on Dauphine with its narrow sidewalk I wonder why the dodg'em down it is easier than many wider sidewalks in Manhattan. Fewer craters is the answer I guess.

My bridge is in its usual marvelous state, lying like a set of stone planks between Left and Right Banks, overlooked by lonely Samaritaine which is still closed. There are not, I note, many folk around, other than one guy who has stood his girlfriend up against Henri IV for the photo of her life.

Further along the quay today's monochrome turns to technicolor when I arrive at the club café, La Corona. It has had its awning renewed. The old dark red and dirty has been replaced by glowing bright red and clean. It should shame the sky into acting decently.

Monsieur Ferrat spies me stunned and mouth hanging open at the sight, and we exchange glad hands. Inside all working hands are full of trays of orders which are being dispatched throughout the premises, and the café's grande salle glows with its new glory, with the tired red banished, replaced by the tasteful warm hues of fake buffalo.

photo, green, orange mentheMenthe for today's meeting.

Not only this but the café is full of animated folk, no doubt weary of the dreary day outside, just beyond the red banner of the awning that wraps the café like an Easter egg taking in a fiesta. The café has been transformed into a setting worthy of the club, your club in Paris, if I may be so forward.

Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' swings by with a tray loaded, calling out "Et, votre 'ot dog!" as if it were the finest plate of caviar and toast. Such gaiety, such contentment!

I have just read the opening paragraphs of Le Parisien's feature of the day about cops selling French ID papers to the truly deserving with money, when Hetti and Bob Wohlgemuth from Belmont, Massachusetts, announce themselves as candidates for club membership.



Their winning argument is nearly unbeatable. "Voted most boring town in Massachusetts," Bob says, without, he adds, being able to say 'voted by whom.' Assuming the spelling is correct, Belmont becomes a true and valued 'City of the Week,' which will probably cost it that earlier vote.

Before the finer details of the new award can be enumerated, Tomoko Yokomitsu arrives and immediately tells us that she is no longer Tomoko Yokomitsu but is now Yoko Kana. At first we are skeptical but she explains that her name written in Chinese characters is something or other unlucky, and her new name may be less unlucky. She promises us an update once she gets the new version verified.

photo, tomoko's handsYoko's hands at today's meeting.

But before we can discuss this startling news in depth Josef Schomburg arrives. Recent new members and already–members may recall that Josef ably hosted the last three club meetings in the guise of 'guest Ed,' took the photos and wrote the reports, and has come today because of unaccountable sleeplessness.

And before he can settle in long–time member Mark Kritz puts in an appearance, while waiting, he says, 'for a plumber.' But even before this another member has arrived from Antwerpen in Belgium, but at first the club's secretary is unaware of the fact – buried deep in past club reports – that we have discussed Edgard Hubert's notional diamond business already.

Meanwhile Mark is telling us how he came to acquire new glasses by way of talking to a limo driver near the Tuileries, who suggested that Mark could look 30 years more up–to–date with new specs.

Then in the midst of discussing recent student highjinks – "Who wants a bad job with low pay?" Mark asks, adding, "I had that for years!" – new members Jane and Richard Nystrom arrive from Chicago, Illinois, and offer to lend Mark a plumber.

Yoko says that French TV–news claims that a worker's paradise exists in Britain. She does not say that TV claims that there are work opportunities for former French prime ministers in Britain, but one can hope.

Then Mark asserts that he must see to his plumber and we all rise and pile out the door for the 'group photo of the week' which goes off without a hitch and only mildly annoys some passers–by.

On return to the club's square roundtables there is more talk, fleetingly of those Belgian diamonds, chocolates, the fashion Mafia, Chinese wives in Vancouver, the views in cemeteries, the 15 lousiest towns in Texas, the portable phone swindle, the Peace Corps as a club for oldsters, and the smell of horse poo in the Tuileries.

Amazingly this is one connected subject rather than nine unrelated subjects, as much as you may misbelieve how horse poo connects to the phone business, but they both stink, don't they?

photo, wine, beerToday's drink of the week.

Then Jane, who has lived in at least 45 different towns, displays her organizational skills by handing around variously–colored visiting cards, in exchange for visiting cards from those of us who are clever enough. The club's secretary goes without.

Shortly after the club meeting ends Josef and the club's secretary are taking a refreshment in Ernest's Café in the rue de Seine across the Pont des Arts, when Pic the Freak cartoonist drops in and almost before you can say Houston Ship Canal Pic and Josef are exchanging visiting cards as if they've got a hot hand of Texas Give'Em Up going.

Now that I remember the scene it comes back to me that I should have got the name of that plumber that Richard was offering Mark.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

It is hardly possible but if this so–aptly named meeting 'report' leaves you perplexed, treat yourself to an richly detailed explanation by reading the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page, for its many worthwhile sentences.

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

Club meetings begin at 15:00 every Thursday and continue until 17:00. These times, fixed in blue steel, are also said to be 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is definitely not where the next meetings will be held.

graphic: club location map

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.

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' cavorting in one of these fantastical club reports.

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

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the club's secretary too–hasty return from tasty spring in Queens to frigid Easter in Paris.

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