...Continued from page 1

The 'Anything For a Fan' Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Last week's Club Meeting of the Week last Thursday took place with 400 percent more members than the club's secretary has come to think he deserves to expect. Bring yourself up to date with a sweaty report of this warm meeting which was adroitly titled, Anything For a Fan. There was no cool air to go with the drinks and nearly no drinks but there was a welcome repeat of the Semi–Important Notice, continuing its numbing repetition.

photo, snacks at paul's, paris plageElegant dining, sans candlelight.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on the last Thursday of July. The upcoming 'Saint of the Week' will be Sainte–Nathalie. She shares the date with a mess of other folks, such as her husband, Aurèle, Felix and his wife Liliose and a Palestinian guy named George. All were bumped off in 852 by the Caliph of Cordoba, a certain Abderrahman II.

The hardly less entertaining legend of the club is on a page of considerable wonder so cleverly called the 'About the Club' page. Challenge your belief system with a frivolous challenge by glancing at the club's schmutzig and shoddy hand–crafted membership card before its impending oblivion.

Club Secretary Hits the Road

There is no reason why I intend to take a holiday this summer except I feel like using the ticket I bought and the way I see it August is a better month than any other to toss aside my business habit, forsake my light duties and just run crazy rotten wild, like seaweed on a rampage. I have to have a grilled garlic–flavored chipolata smothered in garlic mustard now!

photo, sign, raspail metro map

For this 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 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 another free one.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

This feature continues to be unavailable this week for climatic reasons, partly because 'Ed' is the decider here but mainly because it continues to be hot, and these keys are so sticky that the letters stick to my fingers instead of the page, this thing you are looking at.

Café Life Lite 1O1

Lest We Disremember

Today's illustrious anniversary reminds us of the fifth year – in 311 – of the reign of Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus who was called the Great for short. It was Christian historians, writing a long long time later who gave him the honorific. In reality Constantine was a major leader who won many tough battles, whole wars, had Constantinople named after him, and even regained important territory lost to Rome. When he died in 337 he was thinking of tackling Persia. His conversion to Christianity on his deathbed was a common practise at the time and was in no way retroactive.

Pataphysical Beer Strike

There are a mere 160 days left of this year, the same number that 1487 had when the hardy residents of Leeuwarden went on strike to protest against a ban on foreign beer. This may not be true even if the source is normally reliable. This smells like the kind I history I might make up. I could not verify it. However, this Leeuwarden is located in Friesland, now called Oostfreesland and it was once part of Napoléon's empire. The folks there spoke Frisian which has become rare, but may survive in pockets on the islands, such as Wangerooge. But the main thing about the beer is that Frisians are known as heavy drinkers of tea. They drink tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and for all coffee–breaks in between.

photo, sign, pietons traverse obligatoire

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 205 days, the same number that 1915 had when the SS Eastland sank in Chicago in calm summer weather while it was still tied to the dock. It had been chartered to take Western Electric employees to a company picnic in Michigan City, Indiana. Boarding began at 06:30 and by 7:10 the passenger capacity of 2500 was reached, and then it stared to list. At 7:28 the ship began to roll over, and ended up lying on its side in 20 feet of water, 20 feet from the dock. Four of the crew and 841 of the passengers perished. The Eastland was raised in October and re–commissioned as the USS Wilmette. As a result of the Titanic shipwreck, the top–heavy Eastland had been retrofitted with extra lifeboats.

No More Florida News At All

On this date in 1967 Canada had been enjoying a rare visit by Charles de Gaulle, the very tall President of France. On the occasion of something or other a half–million Montréalers turned out at the Hôtel de ville to hear the famous statesman's remarks. In a long–remembered 'quote of the week' he said, "Vive Montréal ! Vive le Québec! Vive le Québec libre! Vive le Canada français! Vive la France!" For some reason this upset some anglos in Ottawa, but De Gaulle cut his visit short before anybody could ask him what he meant.

photo, sign, porthole, door

In a Class of Their Own

This date may be remembered, by some, for several anniversaries worth noting, including one for Alexandre Dumas, in 1802. He wrote the Three Musketeers which was made into a mini–series many times. Then there was Frank Wedekind, born in 1864, who wrote Lulu and Pandora's Box. Thanks for letting me sit on your platzl– in 1964 Frank! Finally there is Robert Graves whose birthdate was in 1895. Besides giving us Claudius, he once quipped, "The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good – in spite of all the people who say he is very good."

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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