For Uncle Den–Den Anything

photo, after match, champs elysees, sunday Fêtards at loose ends after Sunday's game.

Zizou Scores, Butts, Leaves

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 10. July:–  All of us who have been envious of Florida's beautiful weather but have not been able to do anything about it because of the high price of gas and other consequences of the global geopolitical situation, have found that doing absolutely nothing has paid off.

For Florida's weather has come here without the annoying side effects of alligators and hurricanes, super–sized malls, and stultifying flatness. Yes it is true there is a nearby Disneyland and as I will mention below an increasing number of Starbucks, plenty of crash–and–burn movies in VO and portable phones. For a backward place in Old Europe we are pretty well up–to–date.

photo, sun setting, champs elysees Sun sets on French dreams.

So it is the weather's turn. Tomorrow which would be Tuesday if it wasn't already, will be variable. This means there will be clouds in the sky, blue sky between the clouds, and some sightings of the sun itself are expected. According to tonight's TV–weather news the low will be 20 degrees and the high, 27. The low is one degree short of the Orange Alert heatwave warning.

Wednesday which is not far in the future will be mostly sunny, and the high will be 28 degrees. Count on the same for Thursday, with a slight uptick in the temperature, officially to 29 degrees. Tonight the weather expert do not say anything about the ozone levels in the coming days, but it was probably an oversight. No winds were mentioned and today's Le Parisien prints the dreaded word, sauna!

Les Temps du Tomates

Sometime yesterday the following message was received from Pommeland. Météo Jim reports, using his trusty plastic to scratch letters and whole words:–

As the semi–week–long Fête de la vie, de la liberté et du Poursuit du Bonheur Bergère comes to a close and the month–long world–wide soccer vacation ends today with Napoléon invading er, France playing Italy, a review of the weather is in order. Mama Natur let loose with fireworks of her own on the official day, knocking down power lines and sending trees into houses and onto cars. In other places she waited until night to let loose her display of pyrotechniques, thus canceling the man–made ones.

As for the upcoming week, it depends on which weather channel you believe in. Both channels show that the temperatures will be in the mid to upper 80's. However, one shows dancing thunderstorms for every day of the week – maybe the show is sponsored by Radio City Music Hall – while the other channel has them occurring every so often. Also, since channel 2 keeps changing the dates of their appearances, it's difficult to say when they will break out into song and dance.

Nevertheless, it will be good weather for Pommeland's tomates. One tomate plant in Météo Jim's non–official, non–EU–approved garden is already 5 feet high and blossoms appear every day.

Café Life

Anything for Uncle Den–Den

Sunday, 9. July:– On the first day of the joyous future I was awoken by the telephone's raspy tingle. John Wayne's voice summoned me to a café for a jump–start café, as soon as it had had lunch and I had breakfast, for I am still on the two meals a day regime. "That's perfect," the voice that terrified a thousand bad guys said, "I'll have time to have my only meal of the day."

I had my delicious breakfast, checked the latest email entries and ran down the stairs. Outside it was not very sunny but it was not very much anything else either. Uncle Den–Den was already waiting outside the closed café when I arrived and I didn't mention the email but I did wonder about this meeting's purpose, it being a 'first' this early on a Sunday. I mean, before sundown.

Down the street Matt the Art spotted us and tried to enlist us in a horse race at the Fondation Cartier. Without having the least intention to, we said we'd consider it. Made Matt's day. He left us to have a so–so café at the Rendezvous while we went to other way, down the avenue to the tidy café next to Starbucks.

You know you are in Paris when you can sit on a café's terrace next to Starbucks, get a table and have a waiter come and take an order and watch the beautiful people pass without having to do anything other than stir the café. Of course Uncle Den–Den had a glass of chilled wine which I don't think he could have gotten a door further on, but what do I know?

photo, spectators, cafe george 5Fans gathered for TV news.

Uncle Den–Den had called this meeting to complain about Metropole, the very magazine you have in your hands right now. The type is too small he said. I think this often myself. It's probably got the wrong default typeface. Easy to change if I ever get up early enough some day. Also, Uncle Den–Den thinks the 'front page' is not lively enough. He thinks it needs a photo – a 'photo of the week' at least.

While I was being profoundly shocked – a bell or a whistle on the front page? – my uncle told me what this was really about. After asking many questions about the World Cup tournament, he seemed to be saying that I should go to the Champs–Elysées to report on the final game, and the ensuing celebration – perhaps to be the biggest in the history of mankind on the Champs–Elysées.

There was no need to buy me a café for this. But it stressed the extraordinary interest this event has excited here, in France, throughout the world and on ships at sea. It was, as they say in the Internet reporting business, a Web 2.0 moment, which, arcana and jargon aside, means the greatest thing since the invention of the electric toaster.

Finished with our wine and cafés, finished with sneering at Starbuck, we walked a block to check out Le Comédia, where Uncle expected to pass the evening, in Portuguese company. "Hey it's open," he said when we weren't quite close enough to see otherwise, "we could have had café here instead the the café next to Starbucks!" But the two older ladies sitting out front were sitting drinkless in front of a closed café.

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