...Continued from page 1

Because what we didn't know, standing in front of Le Dôme, is that most of the politicians who had joined this monster did so at its head – past the Vavin corner past us – and there they stopped to talk to the press, radio and members of the TV–news, the rats! This went on for 40 minutes or more, the same boom boom, horrendously loud – you could see windows vibrating, and young men were dancing on the bus shelters, confetti was flying all over the place, the flatdeckers were shooting water pistols – was somebody pissing on me?

photo, gai parade, odd trioOdd folks dressed odd in the right place.

The rotten politicos didn't pass. They snuck up Raspail and slinked east, while all the rest of us were clogged between Vavin and Rennes. My only score, the only presidential candidate I caught was Dominique Strauss–Kahn and his girlfriend Anne Sinclair, former TV news personality. They were on a Socialist float, I mean truck, trying to look like they were enjoying being deafened while waving at folks too young to vote. Who, if they could vote, would probably vote green not rose.

They all lurched past. Gay students, gay professors, gay doctors, gay nurses, gay flight attendants, gay police, gay train workers – hooray for 25 years of the gay TGV! – gay unionists, gay social workers, gay political supporters, gay power workers, gay city workers, gay grannies, sonofagun, even gay hookers, and I guess gay good–time charlies. Where were the firemen and the ambulance drivers? And the sailors?

photo, gai parade, rainbow flag waverLest we forget what this is.

Oh, it was all so wonderful. I had confetti in my pockets. I mean if these – Saturday night's news said 600,000 – could vote, where is Jack Lang who started it all? I mean, Jack, this was your week. Before this happens again the presidential election will be settled. Did you forget? Lost your watch? Gone deaf?

If you feel that you have missed something here you have nothing to worry about. Besides posters all over the place for more gay music – Solidays! 3 Days! – another poster was yelling about Tropical, scheduled for next weekend. There's time to hop a plane. If you think the fare is ridiculously high there's a good reason for it. Free loud music isn't totally free, unless you live here. If you feel otherwise, that's also why the fares are sky high.

Some News That Isn't

On Friday I went to record the abject dismay of French fans when the French team didn't manage to beat Togo in Köln – France had to win by two points in order to continue with the World Cup All week TV–news has been saying that Togo does not have any 1st–class players except for one mercenary playing for Arsenal, but Togo was mad with joy just to be on prime time against the French.

photo, gai parade, all men are dangerousThe sheer joy of confetti... of it all.

Meanwhile in France the French team is seen as total losers – like last time in 2002 – so I picked up the camera and ambled down to the café Rendezvous with the score at France 1, Togo 0 – by the time I arrived it appeared from the TV screen that France had gotten another point somehow – and the bands played on, yellow cards galore, Togo showing great spirit and the French, well, they filled their puny contract didn't they?

The bad news now is that the agony will continue. Hand–wringing, doubt, fear, loathing, impending disgrace – they might go to the very end always with a lead of one tiny point. While all the other teams get tired beating on and trashing each other, France smothers the survivor with boredom.

Let me be among the first 22 million to cheer Togo! You did a great job. It's not your fault you didn't shoot straight or often. Africa is proud of you, and so is everybody in the Goutte d'Or.

Update– Tonight Big Jacques said we should be proud of our team. Really, I would like to be, but they seem like such sad sacks. Everybody else looks like they are having great fun at the World Cup in Germany but all the French team does is jog. Getting ready for the match with Togo? They ride bikes. Getting ready, now, for the match against Spain? They've gone back to jogging. Boules players are more exciting.

The 'Not Fuzz But Hair' Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The most recent Club Meeting of the Week last Thursday occurred with three brandnew members, which was many more than the club's secretary often expects. Update yourself with the stunning report of this entertaining meeting, which, without a truckload of hearty hype, was headlined, 'That's 'Hair' not Fuzz!' and subheaded 'Onion Hot Dog Soup of the Week.'

photo, poster, carnaval tropical, ville de paris

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be a day of no particular importance, a plain 'Thursday of the Week' again. The coming 'Saint of the Week' will be Saints–Pierre et Paul, who began their sainthoods as simple apostels at the wrong time in Roman history, when the place burned down in 64 – remember Nero? – or in 67. There were a large number of eyewitnesses who wrote everything they remembered in the Bible, and another mentioning seeing Paul's tomb as standing in the Via Ostensis but being unclear about when.

The brandnew phoney legend of the club is on a page inexplicably called the 'About the Club' page. Treat your curiosity to a mental bonbon and cast a view on the club's original and hand–made membership card, before its threatened replacement, hinted at for many months but hardly likely.

photo, sign, rue nicolas charlet

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

This feature is unavailable this week for technical reasons, partly because it is unknown if anybody has ever read it, including 'Ed' who writes it by copying and pasting, sometimes pretty shoddily.

Café Life Lite 1O1

Pataphysical Doughnut

There are a heap of 188 days left of this year, which means there are only two days left until the begin of the Soldes d'Eté on Wednesday. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1963 when President Jack Kennedy made a few remarks in Berlin on the occasion of some wall building. He said, "Ich bin ein Berliner." A great number of picky people have chosen to have a problem with this, claiming that a Berliner is a jelly doughnut in Berlin, even if it is called something else, like in Hamburg where it is, in fact, called a Berliner. West Germans, I have been told, were amused.

photo, sign, back rub, foot rub, new york

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 177 days, the same number that 1819 had when the bicycle was patented in Germany by Baron Karl Drais. An earlier bicycle, invented by the Comte de Sivrac around 1790, is now thought to be a fiction put out by French bicycle historian Louis Baudry de Saunier, possibly in response to France losing the war in 1870. Bicycles are the only means of locomotion that require little more effort than walking, unlike jogging or SUVs.

False Alarm

This date is recalled, by some, for the first bombardment of Paris by Big Bertha during WWI. 'Bertha' was also said to be Gustav Krupp's daughter. In fact she was Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, married, happily one supposes, to Gustav. But Big Berta was never used against Paris – instead it was fired at the Liège fortress in 1914 and used at Verdun in 1916. The real 'Big Bertha' was none other than a converted navel cannon called the Paris Gun and it was first fired from Crépy–à–Laon, 120 km from Paris, at 7:18 on Thursday, 21. March 1918. The shells rose to a height of 40 kms before falling on the city, usually 400 metres short and 1350 metres too far to the side, on account of the rotation of the Earth. Only 183 shells found their target while the other 184 rounds missed the city, possibly smashing into Neuilly. As far as bombardment goes, today's date is a loser.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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