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photo, group, kate, pedro, heather, lena Today's group of the week – Kate, Pedro, Heather and Lena, of course.

Cute Pompiers

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 8. June:–  Long–suffering readers, club members, visitors and residents have received their reward today. On the 8th day of June the sky is blue, the air is warm, the breeze is soft and the sun is shining like a neon tangerine, as if it is the month of June. Let me be the first to say the wait was worth it, because now it is my pleasure to present what comes next.

Herewith the combined efforts of France–2 TV–weather news' Patrice, the weather maps in today's Le Parisien – in mere black and white! – and this magazine's 'Ed,' with the dubious aid of the club's secretary – the weather forecast:–

Friday looks good with a deep blue sky and one big sunball for the whole country, with a slight ripple of wind amounting to 50 kph from the east. Not a darn thing to worry about except thirst with a forecast high of 28 degrees.

Saturday looks good with a deep blue sky and one big sunball for the whole country, wit hardly a slight ripple of wind from the east. Not a darn thing to worry about except thirst with a forecast high of 28 degrees.

photo, sky of the monthBest, biggest, sky of the month.

Sunday looks good with a deep blue sky and one big sunball for the whole country, with a slight ripple of air from the east. Not a darn thing to worry about except thirst with a forecast high of 28 degrees.

The negative news amounts to the usual – weak, thin clouds along the west face of France below the nose, which is not near here, and this on Saturday. On Sunday this may be advanced a bit more, maybe as far east as the Paris area, but pay it no heed. Sun–block may be necessary if you have fair skin, or it has only been exposed to the climate here since the beginning of the year. All others will be dancing in the water jets at the André Citroën park.

The 'Cutest Pompier Ball' Report

This morning I had to stay in to wait for the plumbers to come and replace a weak washer. They – two plumbers were required to replace one washer –  they came within a half hour of the agreed time, which is pretty fantastic. The other plumber, I've been waiting for him, for four months. He left town so I contracted with the new ones.

photo, miracle focus of the weekPhotos include this one with magic focus.

They completed their hydraulic project in about eight minutes. They said, "This is a pretty feeble tap. It won't last long." I knew it was cheap but 'feeble' was news to me. "Turn it off softly," was their parting advice. It's been dripping so long I was hesitant to turn it on. Sure enough, it dripped some more. I must have turned it off too softly. Who wants to place bets on the length of time before I have to call them back with a new tap?

On a sunshiny day starting it off with a major victory over the elements is a good sign, I think. I put on a summer shirt, one of my 12 year old favorites and the new jacket that seems to be made of fuzzy rubber but is really genuine plastic and nylon, and set off for the club with a long stride that ate up the metres all the way to the Métro entry at Raspail.

Some of the rest of the voyage was routine and other parts were normal. The Pont Neuf was in especially good form, and being on it – suspended over the river – amazing isn't it? How all that stone keeps from falling in. It's really heavy too. The rebuilding is almost finished and they've done a great job, those stone Joes.

The club's café looked terrific, with all of its awnings flying, all of its shortstop parasols in place, in nearly matching reds. Club members should remember this – to dress appropriately for the general rosy glow. Wearing purple or dark green might clash with the club's color ambiance.

In the grande salle there weren't many, in fact, none. The door was open and the fronds were waving around. The 'waiter of the week' – another total stranger – seemed annoyed when I told him I'd order later. He corrected my French for me. This has been going on for 50 years now but I am not going to dwell on it.

photo, drinks of the week Misc. drinks of the week, tilted.

I can do the club statistics in my sleep, but then, anybody could. I turned to Le Parisien but there wasn't much interesting news. None in fact, other than one of the French stars got a leg fractured twice in a 'friendly' match with the Chinese last night. This is something that could really depress the French team. If they weren't already totally depressed because they have to play against Switzerland first. The poor babbos.

I was rescued from these morbid musings by the arrival of member number one, Heather Stimmler Hall and junior members Pedro and Lena, who I didn't notice at first. Heather will later tell me they are modified Dachshunds – or Dackels if you prefer. She says they have longer legs. I think they have shorter bodies too, but what do I know?

Heather says she is taking a day off from her 'Naughty Paris' endeavors. She says it is hard work because the 'work' part often doesn't begin until after midnight. Or is that the 'naughty' part?


For this vein she mentions an upcoming event that she says will feature male lap dancers, pole dancing, with seminars on hair, makeup and nails. All of this is supposed to be at the Pink Paradise – at 20:30, no date, maybe 35 euros but with an open bar, and, "You can Google it for details," she says.

"Male lap dancers – women might laugh at it," she adds. But when I ask her to tell me what this might be – and the pole dancing – she thinks I am trying to entice her to be naughty. "Sometimes it's just stupid."

photo, member lena, possiblyIs this the 'Lena of the Week?'.

Actually she's more interested in the pompiers. This is about the Bastille Day balls at fire stations in Paris on Thursday, 13. July and Friday, 14. July. Heather is calling this scheme the Cutest Pompier Ball and she wants everybody to send her photos so she can put them in 'Naughty Paris.'

At this juncture member Kate Ernst arrives, stepping in from the sunlight. "It's like New Years except it's warmer," she observes. Heather has already said that until yesterday she was wearing her trench coat.

Lena has given up scouting the floor for stray frites, and along with Pedro these two short club members are perched on laps, those of Heather and Kate. Nobody says anything about girls going out at night to see Dackel–like dogs with longer legs, lap dancing. "That dog loves you," Kate says.

Besides that they are well–behaved, like most club members. Because I have asked, Heather tells me what 'open bar' means, besides being open. Same for 'wet bar.' You have either a sink with running water or a pool. Heather says her parents had a sunken living room with a wet bar. She said it wasn't an indoor pool.

photo, cafe awning of the week Easily the awning of the week.

On the naughty, Heather says she's thinking of laser lipstick, or is it light sabre? I think I hear 'life saver,' so I draw a lifesaver in 3D and write 'lifesaver' on the rim. Which reminds all three of us that it's a long time since anybody has seen any Lifesavers.

For the group photo of the week the ladies pack the dogs out to the café's terrace, to sort up the members count. All goes well and later one of the photos is picked, to represent today's meeting and its members.

When asked Heather admits to no sports. "If the pompiers were playing boules, I might join in!" she says. Kate has to go, Heather has to go, and I have to do this report. We finally track down the 'waiter of the week' and foist our money on him. I think Heather would prefer it if cute pompiers were the 'waiter of the week.'

Club Members On Stage

On the way back to 'Ed's' paradise I encountered member Bob Symonds who explained he isn't at meetings because he in rehearsals for Faith Healer by Brian Friel. Also in this are Leslie Clack and Patricia Kessler. To be at the Théâtre de Nesle in the Quartier Latin on the following dates – from 24. to 29. June at 21:00, with an additional matinée at 17:00 on Sunday, 25. June. No performance on 28. June. For tickets contact Helen Later via email or InfoTel.: 01 46 34 61 04.

What this is about:– It is an epic tale of Francis, a drink–sodden faith healer who has a sordid but hilarious, somewhat chaotic voyage towards fateful destiny in Ballybag, a notorious jar town. But if you think Francis sounds a bit unsympathetic the story is also told from the viewpoint of his wife Gracie and his manager, Teddy, who has an accent. I think Bob must be Francis, but I haven't ever seen him being sodden at the club. But he is an actor so don't miss it.

About the Café Metropole Club

Just as credible, but every true word in this club meeting 'report,' especially the ones left out. You can give yourself a look at the explanation about what's going on here, on the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page, for its few morsels of wisdom, frites, morals, garlic, poems, exhaust and beanpoles.

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

These club meetings, as they are irresponsibly called, begin at 15:00 every Thursday and continue until 17:00. These times, according to clock hands, are equivalent to 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where to find these meetings. 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 rare chance be written here.* Other stories will depend on your skill.

graphic, club location map

Caution – should you have the personal goal 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.' Not becoming a club member is another way to remain unfound, but it is less fun.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of my wonderful new system, which with several minor 'firsts' of miniscule proportions, routinely looses control of the keyboard, randomly substituting gibberish for garble.

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