Happy Birthday, Oscar!

photo, fountain de medicis, luxembourg Mystery and romance in the Luxembourg.

Sunday Window Washer

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 16. October:–  Since it was mentioned recently, I think I'll cool it with the weather a bit. It's just stuff in the air. I don't want people to think I'm obsessed with it. I don't need to explain it to everybody. Damn the cools and full speed ahead! But first, let's put the weather out of the way. Please turn to page 2, elsewhere on this Webpage.

Page 2

Look, it has no bearing on what follows but tonight's TV–news did say – and show! – that folks with time on their hands were on the beach today near Marseille without clothes on and one dude was even in the sea. They didn't ask him about the water and I didn't see a lot of goosebumps, but my TV reception is lousy and even very big red zits don't show. You could see blue sky and happy babies crawling around on the sand like blond lobsters.

photo, sailboats, luxembourg Piracy on the Luxembourg's pond.

The sun was even shining here and the pharmacy sign said 19.5 degrees at 16:04 this afternoon. Tomorrow some clouds are expected from the west but it may be semi–sunny, mostly, here, with a tidy high of 20 degrees. On Wednesday the ocean clouds stack up near the Channel in the northwest and if they don't come this far it may be semi–semi again, with a high of 19. It looks like a stalemate for Thursday with about the same thing, but with the high only expected to get to 17 degrees. Oh, yeah, tonight's weather–dude said it would be unstable but maybe he was referring to the Golfe de Lion.

True to custom, Météo Jim turns the weather into total bop talk. In his very own skat –

New York's Long Shadows and Short Days

Having been shunned for so much of October by the Warm and Hazies, the Cools finally decided that enough was too much and returned to the October stage in mass protest.

First they sharpened their skills by dumping 2 feet – 60 e–100ths–meters – of SNOW on the Buffalo area in western New York which left a record for October. Then they moved south to Pommeland on Wednesday night with the Downpours and the Drenchies as an opening number.

photo, lips of the week

On Thursday the Cools swept out any traces of the Warm and Hazies and began putting their own style on the season. October truly arrived on Friday with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 50s a–grad and has remained this way over the weekend and into the first post Columbus Day Monday of the season. In addition, the Frosts have been performing a few late late late–early early morning concerts leaving windshields and cars white and sparkling under the rays of the waning moon.

Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly Thursday of next week will see rain and slightly warmer temperatures in the mid 60s a–grad. Friday will see the new group the Drys and Cools start their weekend performances.

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

Café Life

Fun and Games To Return

The government, full of wisdom, has decided that people who used to smoke in bars and cafés will forget that the government has decreed that they can't smoke in cafés and bars anymore, and vote for them in the elections coming along next spring. The government has just announced that the huge tax that it used to levy on flipper machines and baby–foots, will be reduced to just 5€ per machine.

Some of these friendly pastime units were being taxed at a rate of 300€ per year per machine. There's supposed to be 40,000 of them sitting around idle in warehouses because of the high taxes. The first reaction from the typical man on the street has not been too enthusiastic. One woman said she wouldn't welcome noisy flipper machines and the kinds of ilk that play them.

photo, interior, fac biology, cordeliers Secret garden at the Cordeliers.

Of course nobody knows what wisdom was operating when the government decided to place such a high fun tax on the pinballs, darts and table–top football things. One day we were flippering away like crazy and the next day we were standing around with our hands deep in our pockets looking at old, soggy coffee grounds.

What the government doesn't know is that most of us have gotten out of the pinball habit. Most of us have been content to merely puff on a flaming butt while taking our nourishment, but a lot of the younger ones never got in the habit. Yes, that's right – they went straight from kindergarten to the video game joints. Now even those are somewhat passée and kids by the zillions are staring at game screens in Internet parlors.

Listen up! We don't care about your damn pinball and the kids are not going to tear themselves away from their screens just to go out and vote for the loopy kind of stuff loosely called wisdom these days. It's much too little and far too late.

But who knows? Governments that want to be reelected can do all sorts of things. The smoke ban has not even started yet, and if they put back the pinballs before the balloting, we just may be in a fine mood next spring. Rescinding the pinball tax might just be the opener. Golly! Think of the tax they could reduce on gasoline. It could become cheap enough to drive to Spain to smoke.

Sunday Window Washer

photo, phyllis cohen, berkeley books Sunday chore: Phyllis does the windows.

Pick any street to walk down on a Sunday in Paris. It could be full of mass rollers or marathoners or simply a lot of folks squished together like sardines sitting on the terraces of the Deux Magots in the Quartier Latin, or the street could be completely empty except for wary cats and slumbering automobiles.

On Sunday, you have probably guessed, I was on one of these streets – man, I saw those sardines too! – and there wasn't a soul around, except a lady on the sidewalk washing a window. You are going to have to peer at your map closely to put your finger on the Rue Casimir–Delavigne. I bet this was the only street in the entire Quatier Latin with a window washer on Sunday afternoon.

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