No Darn Rain In New Mexico

photo, sharon, elliot, sandy, group of the week Sharon, Elliot and Sandy, today's members of the week.

Does It Sound Like Here?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 29. June:–  This town is at peace with the world today, the sky is as blue as dusty wheat near Chartres with a gentle breeze riffling the awnings and the air is warm as a bath in a mud puddle. The only thing missing is a lazy afternoon watching the nags at the racetrack, but that season is over except for a bit of buggy trotting out at Vincennes tonight.

So I carefully watch tonight's TV–weather news in the pause between football games. It's the Joe's turn, in one of his suits with eight windowpane stripes, and to test our patience he stands in front of the weather map for the known world – La France! – ah, because he is hiding a rare version of the map, featuring as it does, One Big Sunball. Colossal. Actually he is standing in front of the map because he wants to tell us about the ozone first. Something will be wrong with the ozone tomorrow.

I am wracking my brains trying to remember if ozone is a good thing or a bad thing. Isn't a lack of it at the South Pole dangerous for penguins? So what if there's too much here – won't the penguins at Vincennes love it, if there are any penguins at Vincennes.

Le Parisien doesn't believe in ozone alerts so I can't verify this with the paper. Tomorrow then, there's an ozone alert for Paris. Otherwise if you happen to be outside you may notice that the sky is cloudless and it is all sunny all over around here. Elsewhere not anywhere near here there may be little clouds, acting as décor in an all blue sky, which should be worth 29 degrees here.

photo, seine of the weekClear sky and Seine of the week.

Same boring thing is expected for Saturday except no little clouds have been predicted for anywhere, near or far. The temperature is supposed to edge up one degree, increasing thirsts considerably. On Sunday, when some clouds float into western France far from here, and a few others gather near an Alp, around here it will be all sunny again, with the temperature touching 31 degrees.

Metropole distances itself from this forecast, coming as it does from Météo France and France–2 TV–news. First off, the ozone is a wild card meant to distract us from questioning the One Big Sunball. Secondly there's the elevated temperature – if true, expect wackily stability. Thirdly, finally, Saturday will be 1. July and it is against Paris Rules to have a summer day begin July.

The 'Does It Sound Like Here' Report

Since last week I am no wiser about how I am to begin one of these club 'reports.' I thought of doing mankind a favor by watching all of tonight's movie on Arte. What I have missed, what mankind has gained, was the 1957 Billy Wilder classic named 'Love in the Afternoon,' featuring Maurice Chevalier, Audrey Hepburn – gasp! – Gary Cooper, and Paris' Hotel Ritz. The very place Hemingway said was clean and well–lit.

Here's the plot. Ol' Coop plays a coureur de jupons threatened by a toady husband with a tiny European pistol. After he was saved by Audrey, I went out for cigarettes and when I came back I wrote the detailed weather report above. But you all know Billy Wilder – as a Viennese whenever he wanted to make a movie too smutty for Hollywood, he always had Paris. Don't we all?

photo, drinks of the weekMore liquidmania of the week.

Today's club report actually starts out like so many other club reports. So I'll skip it. Before I knew it I was standing on the Pont Neuf admiring the sky, while walking towards Samaritaine which is not having any Soldes d'Eté this year. Lots of other places are having sales but they are not near this bridge, and besides, I did my shopping yesterday. Does anybody know when they stopped using cotton to make summer shirts?

A lot of people must think the summer holidays are here because they nearly filled up the two terraces of the club's café, La Corona.. On the other hand it is a treat to see folks throwing money around with abandon, sucking down cocktails and frites under the red Coke parasols. With the traffic thundering past their open toed sandals it almost reminded me of high summer in Saint Tropez, the town that solved its parking problems in Marseille. Er, just kidding!

Besides the eternal old man reading the paper the café's 'grande salle' was reserved entirely for club members. Somebody had been eating porridge at the club's tables so I chose a handy substitute, and settled down with today's Le Parisien. All the news in it was two days old, on account of France winning over Spain late on Tuesday after the presses went to sleep.

photo, panache of the week Not the 2nd beer but a panache.

Member Sandy Brent interrupted my doze on page nine, the first news page, reading about Dominique de Villepin lying low in the Assembly National. The first thing Sandy did was mention walking around for days since this morning. Together we attracted the attention of Patrick, the waiter of the week, and asked him to bring food and drink toute suite before Sandy passed out.

I would have thought he would have been more stalwart in our weather because he coms from Santa Fe but maybe the ozone is already acting up. On the other hand, for all I know, walking is illegal in Santa Fe. Sandy had to eat a whole piece of apple pie before he could say anything – like, about what he's been doing since his last club meeting.


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