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 Perrier 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.

And this is where the club meeting notes do not exactly take a dive, but become extremely terse, blank, mostly non–existant. Who says, 'summer sales in Los Vegas,' and why? Then there's "Not so hot" but it has no context because the club's secretary is not writing down any of the connecting dots.

Susan went to watch the final rounds of the Tour de France on the Champs–Elysées last Sunday. It was a hot day, mostly cloudless, and about a quarter–million other fans of bikes and free shows had turned out, hours early, to watch the big circus whirl around the cobbles like they do every year.

photo, mess of the weekA bonanza for Wille the Bird.

It wasn't the best spot, somewhere around George V, but she managed to get closer to the edge of the street when some weaker souls gave up and left. The problem was this other fan who could not stand still. He kept bumping into Susan and then accusing her of bumping into him. She asks, "How do you pronounce cretin?"

Doug suggests, "Rat fink!" and he wasn't even there. But, before we could find out if Susan actually got the see any cycle heros, we have to start being careful with out feet because Willy the Bird has arrived to sort through the dead frites littering the floor.

A group of seven or eight have taken the window tables, and they have been ordering half the café's menu. With the window open it is pretty noisy so it is no trouble to avoid paying them much attention – but they are probably what attracted Willy. Even a pigeon shows up, chugging around the floor. Maybe it'll be seagulls next.

As cool as it is, the sky is still gray but it's not going anything, but this cool is not really any kind of fresh cool. Look, it is just a plain, ordinary, crummy cool – and it turns out to be 30 degrees at least. Doug suggests we do the group photo of the week, pay up, and scram.

So we do, and do, and do, and then I go and tell Monsieur Ferrat that there will be no club meetings in August, but he is counting tiny euro cents in the tabac and doesn't want to lose his place – there's millions of the dratted little coins – so the message may not be received, but it's okay because nobody ever tells the rookie waiter of the week anything anyway.

photo, seine of the week All quiet on the 'left' Seine.

What the Waiter of the Week Doesn't Know

I am taking a holiday this summer for no particular reason but the way I see it August is as good a month as any to throw off my formal Hawaiian shirts, abandon my pressing duties and just run wild, crazy rotten wild. I have an urgent desire for a grilled toasted cheese sandwich now!

There will be NO meetings of the Café Metropole Club for the following Thursdays of August:– 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. The first meeting after August will be on the 1st Thursday in September. Mark the 7th and underline it on your calendar. For a free club with many members and some unusual 'firsts,' this is not exactly one.

About the Café Metropole Club

Heat aside and street noise, this 346th club meeting 'report' represents a miniscule fraction of the actual meetings even if many others are in the online archives. If in doubt cast a glance at the phoney fable of what might have been going on here, found on the About the Café Metropole Club page, containing its tasty and rare morsels of delicious stinky words, boiled commas and steamed low–fat paragraphs. And always, more capital frites.

graphic, club location map

This About What?

These truly spontaneous club meetings, often more than the little they are, begin at 15:00 on Thursday and continue until 17:00 every Thursday. These times, check the clock fingers, are equivalent to 3 pm to 5 pm around somewhere else. Around here is where these meetings are. Whatever you say will be truly appreciated by the other members present if there are listening, and sometimes there are but not always – and if it should by rare chance be written here.* Your skill for other stories is actively urged.

Caution – should you have the personal goal of remaining unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be 404 – not found by Web search engines before becoming 'found.' Not becoming a club member is one of the few ways to remain unfound.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the club's secretary finger sticking to the sticky keys and the other finger sticking to the sticky mouse, making it impossible to wave away this Lady Bug here, some kind of Coccinellidae.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday, from 15:00 to 17:00.
Next club meeting on Thursday, 7. September.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini