How Many Firsts?

photo, terrie, yoko, sandy, group of the week The group of the week, Terrie, Yoko and Sandy.

Over the Fence, Every One

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 5. October:–  Tomorrow the weather will be anything but wistful. Mark the date – Friday, 6. October, 2006 – for it will be windy, from the southwest, and it will be cloudy and there will be precious little sunshine, and the temperature will not rise above 18 degrees. Herewith, I wrap myself in old furs, crawl into my cave and prepare to snooze until next May or June.

Don't you wish? Meanwhile the chipper TV–weather news lady gets to the end of her description of heavenly activities for tomorrow, and almost as an afterthought, she added that it will rain tomorrow night. "Nearly everywhere," she said. It has been a long time since nearly everywhere happened in France.

photo, teapot of the week The teapot of the week.

The TV's map of France for Saturday was pretty confusing. Before I could absorb it I noted the forecast temperature as 17 before returning to puzzling it out. The closest I can get is to say that it will be cloudy for most of the day, perhaps for most of France, but near the end there may be some twinkles of sunshine here or there. Just maybe. Remember that this is how our Nuit Blanche will commence.

Then on Sunday, with a 50 kph wind from the south, it may be somewhat sunny if the clouds part enough. It means that your final impression of the Nuit Blanche may be one of hope and optimism, hope that there's a croissant left, and optimism that they've saved a café for you. If you stick it out you may notice a high temperature of 18 degrees. This may carry over into Monday if you have continued to think positively.

The 'How Many Firsts?' Report

Everybody knows by now that I flubbed last week's club report. The club meeting took place with two members assisting the club's secretary, but they didn't get their write–up. Thus have Terrie Blazek and Larry Mann been part of another fantastic club first, worthy of joining all the other momentous firsts that together compose the official legend.

photo, cafe, double espresso The swampy double–espresso.

I do not know why Larry was not at today's club meeting but Terrie certainly was, and she wasn't shy about letting me know what she thinks about club secretaries who mess up. What could I say? Instead of concocting some lame excuses that no one would credit, I propose to let bygones be bygones and proceed directly to today's club report.

About this, Terrie had other comments. She said she skips the weekly weather report. She says that if she isn't here the weather report for Paris is useless for Chicago. She said the sub–report of my weekly trip to the club is boring, so she skips it too.

photo, terrie's guide  architecture, paris Terrie's Paris guide.

I did not point out that Chicago may have terrible weather while here it is merely crummy. I did not point out that my weekly trip to the club is boring for me too. Why not share it? As for the weather, as crummy as it is, I share it freely. Many readers only turn to these pages for the weather – they say – probably thinking that reading about crummy weather is a lot better than being in it.

Whichever it is, the sky was not sunny today and the temperature was not high. Many people were in the club's café pretending to be having lunch when I arrived, although Monsieur Ferrat said it was very calm. My take was that they were tired of the crumminess and hadn't yet decided to go shopping instead.

Into the calm came Sandy Hague from Seal Beach, California to start out today's meeting with a City of the Week right at the beginning. Sandy arrived on Saturday right in the middle of thunder and lightning and gushers of rain – none of it forecast – and it knocked her lights out. At least she wasn't flooded like the people out east around Metz. They got a month's worth of rain in 30 minutes yesterday.


Then I learned that Seal Beach is 90 miles north of San Diego. After wondering if it is around Hollywood Sandy told me it is nearer Long Beach, where the Queen Mary is resting in peace. Seal Beach has a small beach and a pier in case you are interested.

photo, the secretary, sandy's canon The secretary, captured by Sandy's Canon.

Sandy has been in town long enough to take a tour on a Segway. People come to Europe and right way they do things they would never do at home. Other club members have taken these things out and have claimed they had a good time. Not Sandy. She said it scared her. She said that when you get off if you don't lean it against a tree or a stone monument, it will fall over. Well, em, so will a bicycle.

Then Terrie Blazek joined the meeting. She took out her Panasonic camera and pointed it around to make sure it was warm. She said she is taking artsy–fartsy photos. She didn't say this last week but I better not bring it up. Then she grumbled about the last club meeting report. See above

photo, the kiss you cup Another club first.

Sandy said she had just come from Siedice in Poland where she was teaching English with Global Volunteers.

We would have heard more about this if Yoko hadn't picked the moment to arrive. Then, since we were a four–pack, we decided to engage the waiter of the week and charge him with supplying us with some drink. He was back in a jiffy, but as he handed me my double–espresso and I noticed that it had only one refined white sugar lump, and requested another – the blackboard with the menu on it fell on my head.

Another club first! And a highly amusing one for all concerned, except the unwary victim. Then Terrie sorted through her lumpy bag, looking for a special lipstick. Finding one, she proceeded to apply it generously. Then she lifted her café cup – ooh! it's hot isn't it? And landed a big smooch on it. It was, she said, a private message.

It was also another first of sorts. Yoko said that Terrie's lipstick is too dark – was too dark? They were on some crazy excursion to the Bon Marché. Then Terrie was admitting that she was once a nun. No, she said, it doesn't matter who knows. Well, I think, the club knows and it's certainly another first. How many is this?

photo, cafe creme Café–like soup of the week.

Sandy, who might not know that Yoko is in the entertainment business, told us she is going to the Comedie Française to see a performance of Le Cid.

"Comedie Française!" Yoko snorted. "Boring! They have perfect diction, that's all. Nothing happens!" We all stared at her. She was dissing the Comedie Française. It's a huge monument. It is La France! Yoko looked like she was ready to punch somebody out. We cringed.

Another of today's firsts was me manually setting the camera's white balance to something not quite white. But I didn't know this when we finally got ourselves out on to the café's terrace for the group photo of the week. Sandy, Terrie and Yoko kept saying that I shouldn't get too close with the lens because – ah, it doesn't matter. Instead of all the photos coming out too red, they came out too blue. It took a while to get out of that one.

About the Café Metropole Club

Easier to believe than you may think but this is a club meeting 'report' representing a fraction of some of the lively events today. Cast an eyeball at the true and authentic story of what might have been going on here, found as usual on the About the Café Metropole Club Webpage, containing its old words reeking of garlic. Isn't the Internet wonderful? And forever, more better frites.

graphic, club location map

What This What This?

Truly spontaneous club meetings often unrehearsed, begin at 15:00 on Thursday and continue until 17:00 every Thursday. These times are equivalent to 3 pm to 5 pm around elsewhere. These meeting are held around here. Whatever you say will be truly appreciated by the other members present if they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always – and if it should by rare chance be written here.* Your other stories are welcome too.

Caution – if you have a personal need to remain 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 other ways to become unfound.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the extraordinary amount of true firsts in this report, completely unrehearsed and totally spontaneous, every darn authentic one of them.

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, 12. October.

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