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 Quartier Latin with a window washer on Sunday afternoon.

When I got up to the shop I couldn't resist asking Phyllis Cohen – what did I say? It's none of my business if she feels like washing windows on Sunday. Before saying something stupid, I noticed that the windows were attached to a shop named Berkeley Books of Paris and the door was open so I went in.

photo, sunday, quartier latin Quiet Sunday street in the Quartier Latin.

Phyllis followed, maybe intending to be helpful. I could see that the spacious shop was full of books, so I didn't ask. But there were too many books to look at all at once so I did ask – and Phyllis said, "Good literature and good poetry, maybe the best selection of literary journals," and so on – all used, all in English.

Not that I get around much but the reason I never noticed this shop before is because it's only been open five months. Inside, besides the books, I noticed that you can browse without getting whacked by someone with a Tati bag. On Sunday there was only one other book fiend. It's like a secret tip, this place. It's at 8 Rue Casimir–Delavigne, not far from the métro at Odéon, equally close to the Luxembourg.

The 'Not Born There' Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The secretary and some members got together last Thursday for the second meet in October. The secretary was there, I think, and and five members posed for the famous photo, excepting Yoko. The report of this this wonderful meeting is online, like usual. While it was the Not Born In Texas meeting the actual titles were "One In a Row" and First Red Shoe of the Week.

photo, sign, rue casimir delavigne

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on the next Thursday after the 12th in October which is the 19th. The Saint of the Day will be Saint–René Goupil. René, as he was called, was a pioneer missionary in Canada and he became a saint by having his head whacked by a tomahawk wielded by an angry Iroquois on 29, September 1642. René is also the patron saint of anesthetists

The equally folkloric legend of the club is on a page of total length cleverly named the About the Club Webpage. Challenge your aptness for logic with few true facts, and make note of the club's sharply blurred hand–fashioned membership card before its impending doom, now promised for the past 16 months.

photo, clock, palais luxembourg

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

This popular feature, once covered in moss and updated weekly for nine years, continues to be unavailable this week for technical reasons, partly because Ed has forgotten all that wonderful stuff that was in here ten years ago when he was young and frisky.

Café Life Lite 101.7

Smarty Pants

Today does not mark the date in 1887 when Oscar Wilde, writing in The Pall Mall Gazette, wrote, possibly in his own hand, "Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event." Luckily for us Metropole is not a modern calendar, so the sweet simplicity of our lives remains unmarred and clean as a stainless penny whistle. Happy birthday, Oscar!

Frist Patacatatonic Flight

There are only 76 days left of this year, the same number that 1856 had when Jean–Marie Le Bris pioneered flight, 34 years before Clément Aderand 47years before the Wright brothers. However, this is not exactly correct because it was in December of 1856, not October. We had Adler last week and thought that was the end of the matter, but TV–news had other ideas – by remembering the exploits of Le Bris. There's a piece of the original equipment at the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget. And there is a photo of Le Bris' later Albatros, taken in 1868 by a photographer named Pépin, who had a shop in Brest.

photo, sign, stone, rue hautefeuille

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 289 days, the same number that 1094 had when Philippe Ier, roi de France was excommunicated by Bishop Hugues de Die in the name of Pope Urban II for being naughty. Philippe dumped his first wife, Berthe de Hollande, in order to marry his cousin, Bertrade de Montfort. In Autun they called it bigamy and incest, but what did they know?

Mere Miracles Needed

Some years have passed since the New York Mets won the miracle World Series on this day in 1969. The Mets are considered by some to be somewhat hapless, due to fate, history, the stars, tides, and the sadly depleted ozone layer over their home stadium at Flushing Meadows in Queens. Their very first game, in Saint Louis on 10. April 1962 was posponed on account of rain. They then went on to lose their first 9 games, a dismal record. Only the Cleveland Spiders, playing in 1899, lost more games than the Mets in their first year. However, worse yet was the 1993 season when the Mets lost 103 games. This year the Mets are looking good. Gomets!

photo, sign, sculpture, bear, tile

The Rest of You

This day in the United States is celebrated as Boss's Day and it is not supposed to be mocked as some sort of cheesy Hallmark Holiday. Without bosses there wouldn't be any employees and everybody would be out of work, which might actually be more difficult for bosses because they are not entitled to the generous unemployment benefits. So everyone who is not a boss should use today to thank their superiors for being kind and fair all year long. Give your boss a small gift or a greeting card – a Hallmark card is okay – and be sure to treat your boss with extreme kindness, as if it were his – or her – birthday. The rest of you are requested to refrain from overt acts of sabotage today.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
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