That's 'Hair' not Fuzz!

photo, group of the week, francene, mark, sally Today's group of the week includes Francene, Mark and Sally.

Onion Hot Dog Soup of the Week

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 22. June:–  With yesterday being Midsummer Day and Eve all within 24 hours, and with a sunrise at precisely 05:49 and sunset at 21:56, mostly during the 25th annual edition of the Fête de la Musique, I was going to explain why today has less daylight on account of approaching winter, but today's Le Parisien tells me that sunrise today was scheduled for, precisely, 05:49, and sunset has been at 21:56, officially. It can only mean that Global Warming is here and no winter is scheduled for 2006.

The other thing that began yesterday was Eté so before we can get to the winter that won't happen we have first live through the major heatwave coming this summer. I am not forecasting or predicting this heatwave you understand, but we are getting ready for it. All the shops are full of electric fans right now. Get yours today because there's no time to put in air conditioning, and besides, as Yoko said last week, if everybody turned it on, it gives off a lot of heat. Have I mentioned the drought yet?

photo, cafe babylonia, fete de la musique Last night's Fête de la Musique at the Café Babylonia.

There is no need to worry about this in Paris because of the new swimming pool, floating in the Seine. Yes. The city has cleared out those wonderfully scruffy drink–and–dance barges tied up beside the super–huge bilbiothèque in the 13th arrondisse– ment, and joined it to Bercy with a footbridge, called Simone de Beauvoir. To be open for Paris Plage, at the Port de la Gare which is the same place that used to be called Quai de la Gare.

But you probably want to know, so about the weather – as is usual in summer, the weather is doing a yo–yo. Tomorrow will feature light clouds, and sunshine with a variable sky – whatever that means – with a temperature forecast of 13 degrees at 05:49, and a high of 24 degrees, probably about 13:55.

On Saturday we will have the upward part of the 'yo' with a high of 27 forecast, under slight clouds – or is it sloppy? – and mostly sunny, with bad things being not near here. Sunday has been advertised as being even more sunny with a fair amount of fewer degrees, only 23, for the downward half of the 'yo.' Clouds and possible thunderstorms await you to the east, along the Alps, if they are your beer. More of it on Monday, for true fans.

The 'That's 'Hair' not Fuzz!' Report

I never know how I am going to start one of these 'reports' and sometimes I think I could do mankind a favor by just skipping the whole thing and watching Aïda on Arte–TV instead. But once I have written the weather I feel that I have so much invested in it that it matters not a bit if my glasses are falling off and there's pain in my back, my hair is falling out, and I feel like getting drunk quick.

photo, onion soup of the week The onion soup of the week, month, season.

With the first paragraph hurdle out of the way I can proceed directly to the Raspail Métro station, ride the train, walk through the Quartier Latin, cross the Pont Neuf and rant about the traffic on the Quai du Louvre that still has the same name, this week at least. And finish with a rave for the club's café, also ditto.

This week, being in a rotten mood, I will skip all that and be happy instead. Before I reach the club's area two new members leap up from behind a frond and we gather in the club's area while summoning the 'waiter of the week' who would otherwise be morosely regarding the traffic jam outside, which looks like a cloned copy of last week's traffic jam. In fact, for this 341st club meeting, the traffic jam looks like the first week's.

We have with us today – 'I' is 'us' – not 'I' R 'us' – give us some credit! – introducing Francene Kaplan and Mark Soden from Costa Mesa, California. While we are dealing with that waiter to get a couple of the café's more wonderful specialities, I learn that Francene and Mark lived for a long time in Huntington Beach until they decided to become human beings and live up on the plateau in Costa Mesa where the sun shines.

I have never seen California except in movies so it was news to me to hear that Huntington Beach lives under a cloud, nothing too much to do with global warming, but, ahem, there it is, fog on the beach in California. But, since I know everything, I have seen this cloud, in Spain, a long time ago when Franco was still the jefe there, so I believe it, and besides the new members live in Costa Mesa now.

I am glad to see Mark dressed as a human being. He sent an email asking if the tips in Metropole about 'what to wear in Paris' were really real. I forget the details of the tips, so I probably replied that folks who dress like human beings in Paris probably don't stir up too much excitement, but in summer it's probably better not to look like a Berlin taxi driver from Kreuzburg.

photo, hotdog of the weekLooks like the hog dog of the year.

Francene quite rightly asks, "Are you a member?" I am going to let this question stand. I can't make out the fourth word. Francene teaches, Francene asks the waiter if there's gruyère in the onion soup, and the last time Francene and Mark were in Paris was 1988. Me, I don't remember 1988 too well.

Without a guide, without a program, they found the Fête de la Musique last night at the Tour Eiffel, in a light rain. The 14th arrondissement avoided the rain, but I knew about it because it was on TV, from the Grande Arche out at La Défense.

Francene is deep in her soup and Mark is doing engineering things to his hot dog when Sally Johnson arrives, not quite directly from Scottsdale, Arizona because she's staying a month here. Almost the first thing she wants to know is where are we intend to watch the game on Saturday.

This question never gets properly answered, on account of, other questions. Such as, from Sally, "Have you found Paris to be changed?" I listen carefully – it's been a long time since 1988. Franco died, for one thing.


Mark doesn't have to think too long and hard. He hasn't been too overjoyed seeing the Quicksilver outlet on the Champs–Elysées. "Surfing," he says, "was invented in Orange County. It's the home of Quicksilver."

photo, cafe and paper of the week'Ed's morning café and paper of the week.

Before I can remember the last time I saw surfers on the Champs–Elysées, Francene has led us to a 'psychotropic' discussion, triggered by Sally's dog – not actually a club member – and Sally's story is rending, tragic, and is a harsh reminder that some of the club's canine members probably have charmed lives. Mark admits that they have a 'pound' dog, named Red because they couldn't think of anything shorter, and besides, it's got red hair. And that's 'hair' not fuzz!

If you think I'm making this up, you should listen in on these meetings. "I saw a woman with four dogs," Sally says, "And they were toeing the line!" But then she mentions the convent boutique near Port Royal and all the wonderful hand–made articles that can be found there, and then there's an exchange of notes about last night's music fest.

Francene and Mark's stay will be shorter so they are touring museums in the evenings too. According to old info, possibly in Metropole, you should forget that the Louvre was open late on Thursdays, because the late nights are two and are really Wednesday and Friday. If in doubt, go to the Musée d'Orsay on Thursday evenings.

Thus it happens that almost as soon as the 'group photo of the week' is safely lodged on a memory card, all of today's wonderful new members – it's a long time since there's been some true 'food of the week' – and a 'quote of the week' is always handy – well, they must be off, must they not. And who knows, maybe they will find the new museum on the Quai Branly. Promised by Jacques Chirac in 1995, it opens for the first time tomorrow.

photo, empty drink of the week The drink that was of the week.

See Bob On Stage

Some weeks ago 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. Opening on Saturday 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 the epic tale of Francis Hardy – no relation! – who is a faith healer who is drink–sodden and has a sordid but hilarious, somewhat chaotic voyage towards fateful destiny in Ballybag, a notorious town of jars. 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. Bob told me he plays Francis. I have never seen him being sodden at the club but he is an actor so don't miss it.

About the Café Metropole Club

Far less credible, but quite true as far as this club meeting 'report' goes, especially the 'food of the week.' You can take a peek at the explanation about what might be going on here, found on the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page, despite its few morsels of wisdom, raw fish, baguettes, garlic, green peppers, snails and frites. Always frites.

graphic, club location map

Why, Why, Why, Why?

These serious club meetings, never as silly as they seem, begin at 15:00 every Thursday and continue until 17:00. These times, signalled by clock fingers, are equivalent to 3 pm to 5 pm around elsewhere. Around somewhere else is not where these meetings are. Whatever you say will be truly appreciated by the other members present if there are 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.

Caution – if 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.' Not becoming a club member is another way to remain unfound, but it is far less fun.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of my wonderful new system for garble that I have finally mastered by using the laptop as a warming plate for refried beans, overcome by a fit of imaginary Brazilian brilliance.

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