...Continued from page 1

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

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