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 Starbucks, 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.

photo, champs elysees, sunday While the game was still undecided.

Eventually Uncle went his way and I mine, back to the Ed's office to train a bit more for the evening. I dithered about whether to get to the Champs–Elysées hours in advance and decided to watch the TV–news instead, which began just as the match between France and Italy was starting in Berlin. Seven minutes later Zizou scored a goal. I sensed the Champs–Elysées vibrating.

Wait! There's More – please turn to this week's Au Bistro page, which, while not adorned with real 'news' has more for sportsfans in the form of 'Ed's version of sportsnews.

The 'Nuit des Bleus' Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last Thursday's Club Meeting of the Week last Thursday occurred with somewhat fewer members than the club's secretary often expects. Update yourself with the credible report of this solo meeting, which, with a ray of pink hope, was titled, 'Nuit des Bleus.' There was no food subheaded because there was a 'Semi–Important Notice' instead.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a day of quaint importance, a plain 'Bastille Eve of the Week.' The coming 'Saint of the Week' will be Saint–Henri II le Saint. He shares the date with Saint Joël for some reason. Henri was born in Bavaria in 973 and was crowned Holy Roman emperor in 1014. Henri married Sainte Cunégonde who made a vow of chastity. They had an interesting life together, ending up in Bamberg.The saying goes, 'when Henri shows up on the calendar you are supposed to plant your celery.'

photo, fiat 500 of the weekBy popular acclaim.

The equally interesting legend of the club is on a page inexplicably called the 'About the Club' page. Treat your belief to a strong challenge and flick a glance at the club's original and hand–crafted membership card before its renovation.

The reason why I intend to take a holiday this summer is because I feel irresponsible and the way I see it August is as good a month as any to throw off my formal office clothes, abandon my pressing duties and just run wild, crazy rotten wild. I need a grilled chipolata now!

This is the reason there will be no meetings of the Café Metropole Club for the following Thursdays of August:– 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. Meetings, with or without members present, will be held on 13, 20 and 27. July. After August the first Thursday in September will be a meeting day. Mark the 7th on your calendar. For a free club noted for rare and unusual 'firsts,' this is the second one.

photo, sign, neon tabac

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

This feature is again unavailable this week for dictatorial reasons, partly because 'Ed' is the decider here but mainly because it is hot again and these keys are getting sticky.

Café Life Lite 1O1

You Thought We Forgot

Italy's gift to mankind the Vespa scooter had its 60th birthday on Sunday, 23. April, but it was celebrated a few days later, and some months later, here. A new black one of these is Matt Rose's favorite ride and it is quite a sight to see him dressed for tennis, unchain his rig and put his space helmet on, hit the electro starter and slowly glide past Le Bouquet as if the rue Daguerre is the world's centre of La Dolce Vita.

Pataphysical Métro Tickets

There are a slew of 174 days left of this year, which means there is only about a week left until Paris–Plage opens for sunbathing. This is exactly the same number of 'days left' as in 1925 when Meher Baba quit talking. This he did until he died on Tuesday, 30. January 1968. Before he fell silent he gave us "Don't Worry, Be Happy!"

photo, sign, neon dome

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 191 days, the same number that 1900 had when the Paris Métro was inaugurated. The Vincennes–Porte Maillot line was opened to the public on 19. July to take passengers out the the Olympics in the Bois de Vincennes. The Métro system is 210 kilometres long and has 297 stations, with the average distance between them being 300 metres. Note:– your used Métro ticket can be re–used if it is less than two hours since you popped it in the turnstile first.

Latest Florida News

On this date in 1821 the United States purchased Florida from Spain for an undisclosed sum. Although it wasn't lost, Juan Ponce de León 'found' it on Saturday, 2. April 1513. The highest place in Florida is the lowest high point altitude at 105 metres in the United States. Despite the long ago purchase, 16.5 percent of residents speak Spanish. Why French is Florida's third language is your guess, while German is fourth and Italian is fifth.

Also World Class

This date may be remembered, by some, for several anniversaries of note, including those of Marcel Proust in 1871 and The Beatles, for the 1964 release of their album, A Hard Day's Night. This day in 1999 also well known for the triumph of the United States' women's team, during the 3rd World Cup soccer tournament held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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