Drinks, Talks, Scrams

photo, doug, susan fuss, group of the week Doug and Susan, just before the 'Scram of the Week.'

Photos Not Photoshopped

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 27. July:–  Today's storm started two hours before midnight last night, fully living up to its Alert Orange status – almost for both high temperature and for high–jinks in the sky. After a day when the high reached 36 in the Rue Daguerre the winds came, bringing thunder, crackly lightning bolts like neon spiderwebs and sloshing buckets of hot rain.

This upset the storm plans for today and caused me to carry an umbrella needlessly. Under a gray sky we were treated to air advertised as cooler, that gradually became warmer than necessary due to of an absence of winds. Tonight's TV–weather news has compounded the false impression of freshness by informing us that this July has been the hottest on record, for the past 50 years of records.

photo, perrier of the week It says "Drink Me!"

Mind you the month is not exactly over yet. It would be too soon to end it now – now that we are all mobilized to fight the battle of the heatwave. Some people are drinking so much water that they have become waterlogged and need drying out by hospital emergency services. Even I have been drinking water!

The weather news tonight on TV was kind of sketchy, as if what's coming now is no particular challenge. Friday around here may just be somewhat sunny while being otherwise unstable, but no great events seem to be planned and a high temperature of 26 isn't going to boil much other than ice cream.

The monsieur said that Saturday will be generally sunny, soft, non–threatening, mild, cozy, warm teddy–like, with a high of 26 degrees. Sunday may be different with a line of gurk crossing the country from west to east. But if it is late in arrival it will be fine here and if it comes sooner than expected it will mostly likely be fine here. Easy to remember, the day's high is supposed to be 26 in either case.

The 'Drinks, Talks, Scrams' Report

Devil–may–care was my not mood, again, when I set off for the club this afternoon. This feeling was caused by thinking about the Métro and its particular climate. It can be nicely warm in winter and it can be cool at the beginning of a heatwave, but these days one is much more likely to land in a wagon full of boiled gaspers and futile flutterers of anything for a fan.

After wheezing along Dauphine, there was no cooling breeze cruising along the Seine. The air was sullenly camped over the river. The blue sails along Paris–Plages were as still as washing hung out in the Arctic. It is a rule here that if the opening day is not too brilliant the 7th day has to match it.

photo, gang of 4, group of the week The not Photoshopped
photos of the week.

You may wonder how it is possible to tell that all the traffic that formerly used the river–side speedway has crammed itself into the remaining and non–expandable Quai du Louvre. You can tell this by looking at it closely and seeing the same cars, trucks, buses, police cars and bun wagons, scooters, motorcycles and ambulances, as I mentioned here last week.

Well, te dum do do, it is cooler today than yesterday. I kept telling myself this as I got warmer, got to the club's café, got inside and took up a place near the windows in the back, miraculously open this week after being defect and closed tight last week. Oh! What class! What a delicious climate!

The new waiter of the week arrived promptly and agreed to bring me a glass of orange juice. I picked up Le Parisien and began to read about how France is in great shape this summer. The French, according to the paper favored by Portuguese cleaning ladies, are staying in this country this summer.

Why, right now as I write these words, half the residents of Paris are on this beach on the Atlantic, at some place named La Baule. It looks like one of the Costas from Alicante to Tarragona, with wall–to–wall apartments and wall–to–wall people and a small brown puddle to the right. Obviously Paris–Plages has more water, much bluer, and doesn't cost a crowded train ride.

But this isn't a well–formed thought. The idea is to be there with the 'there' not being here, where you live. 'There' you are on holiday – no washing dishes, no racing the kids to schools – so you are free and footloose, practically undressed, happy–go–lucky, with only 75,000 other Parisians standing in line for ice cream and overpriced pink wine, with a side–order of a scrap of lettuce.

After being so uplifted I turn the page and find myself in Rome with the diplos, with the FINUL in southern Lebanon, with 650 French Jews who immigrated to Israel on Tuesday, and finally, there is "Visite guidée dans "Hezbolland!" to round off all the square edges.

I am saved from this ghastliness by the arrival of members Susan and Doug Fuss who immediately want to comment of how much softer the weather is today. Of course after sitting down and not moving for a bit the past walking catches up, and Doug takes out a monogrammed hanky and mops his brow.

The waiter of the week is attentive and he is presently taking orders for lots of Perrie with ice and lemon slice and when it comes it looks darn good, like maybe the world's biggest vodka martini. I wanted to put my toes in it.

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