...Continued from page 1

And then she answers some of our questions. For example, Pétanque is not played with any old metal balls. For example, dropping in on the Pétanque guys in the Luxembourg does not get anybody an automatic invitation to join the play. "Women players are rare," Judith says. Plus she mentions that players bet a lot on the games they are playing. Nobody wants to win guests' money.

And then Judith mentions that she started her Pétanque life in Oakhurst, David's old home town. Well, this causes a big natter about Pétanque locales there.

But David is getting ready to go so we get into a modified 'Group Photo of the Week' mode, before learning a great deal about Judith's former life as an attorney in the movie business – meeting Roman Polanski at the studios in Boulogne – and other tasty scraps and tidbits of filmville lore.

In between the secretary even gets another geography lesson, regarding the location of west LA. Apparently it is not the same place as West Hollywood, nor is it Santa Monica. If you ask me Los Angeles sounds like it is bigger and more complicated than Luxembourg, the country.

Then exit David and exit Judith, which makes way for the arrival of long–standing members Susan and Doug Fuss from Savannah, and then Kathy exits too just as Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' brings red waters for Susan and Doug and a fake orange juice for me. Remember – the real thing is orange pressé, squeezed right on the spot in the café.

Doug wants to know about printing Metropole pages. When he says the 'print' function always uses two extra sheets of paper, I am at a loss. My printer works but I never use it. My suggestion – in the browser open the page you want to print, select 'save as...text only,' and save. Then open it with a text–editor and do 'print.' It won't be fancy, without styles or photos, but it will be compact.

photo, batobus, pont des arts Missed chance – a Batobus cruise.

Then we discuss the mysteries of portable phones. These are handy for travellers because they are supposed to work anywhere. But, on visits here, you often need some local chip, card, thingee. Whatever it is, it costs 30€. Tip: in the Forum des Halles find the Orange shop and tell them what you want to do – use the phone! – and they will know what's needed, install it and test it for you.

Finally, we find that we agree about the huge scam the world is playing on all people who have somehow managed to live to the ripe old age of 60. All those 'half price' or 'age–discounts' you were told you would be entitled to, are phoney. They used to exist but now that so many folks are eligible, they have vaporized. Gone. Poof. Welcome to full–price!

What with increasingly frequent 'senior moments' this is a bitter pill indeed. Susan says, "At least we are mature." Yes, obviously – except for club members everybody else under 60 is immature.

Try David's Free Da Vinci Quizzes

Club member David Pitt has been reading recent club reports and noted that Yoko was reading 'The Da Vinci Code,' in anticipation of the movie based on the book, which is being immensely ballyhooed in anticipation of its showing during the Cannes Film Festival.

photo, fresh strawberries The fresh 'Strawberries of the Week.'

Starting a week or two ago, David's Tricolors Web site has a daily quiz located in a section called 'Common Denominator.' This will continue throughout May and June. For 'Da Vinci Code' related tidbits take a look at David's 'Cowboy In Paris' pages. You can test your knowledge now or wait for a French version from Orange, to be online after the Cannes Festival.

Important Moon Note

In today's Le Parisien the moon is shown as rising at 19:44 and setting at 05:10, and it is a quarter–moon. Just now, at 01:08, from my bathroom window, the moon is full, complete, round as a bright silver disk in the night sky. As good a reason as any to include a photo of juicy strawberries, shot at the marché earlier today.

About the Café Metropole Club

Hardly credible, but if this wreck of a club meeting 'report' leaves you perplexed, help yourself to a look at the fabulated explanation on the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page, for its many titles, sentences, paragraphs, graphics, scribbles and photos.

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

Club meetings as these events are called begin at 15:00 every Thursday and continue until 17:00. These times, chiseled in granite, are equivalent to 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where the next meeting will be.

graphic: club location map

Take off a hour or two, kick off your shoes and waste a whole two hours with other club members pretty much like yourself. True 'firsts' are welcome and real stories will get a sympathetic hearing. Other stories will depend on your skill. 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 true chance be written here.*

Caution – should you 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' tangoing in one of these musicalical club reports.

The 'ex–rules' that the club once had are still 'ex.' Talking to other club members during meetings is perfectly fine rather than otherwise. There are always some empty chairs, so sit. Lounging is fine too. Attend as many free club meetings as you are free to.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the discontinuation of age discounts for many club members, except for the club itself which has discounted its membership fee 100 percent for all members from zero to 107.

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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