Reds In the Pool

photo, red sub, jardin des tuileries, saturday Red sub delights Parisians and your Ed.

Sortez the Mufflers

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 30. October:–  Now that I have totally forsaken my fascination with the weather we are about to be assaulted by winter. It will be wet, it will be cold, overcast, miserable, and it will be freezing and miserable. So what? So I had better stick some in here anyway. Please turn to page 3, elsewhere on this Webpage.

Page 3

Last week and as late as the weekend the TV–news was teasing us with images of happy campers sprawling on the golden sands of the Riviera and splashing with abandon in the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic surf off the coast by Biarritz. Here in Boggleville les temps were also clement and a zillion Parisians were out in the Tuileries, to rub elbows with art on Saturday and Sunday.

photo, tree in sunlightTree in today's sunbath.

This has been going on week after blinking week. The leaves are hanging in there, only dropping as solitaires, looking like doubloons d'or. Yesterday the pharmacy sign was reading 18.5 degrees and today the sunlight was basting the trees across the street. Tuesday's high is forecast to be 18 too, but that's it!

Cold air is going to stop lurking up north and begin blowing this way on Wednesday, in a 60 kph flow. While it may be more sunny than not, or vice–versa, the temperature is not expected to exceed 12 degrees – hardly higher than tonight's low. Thursday was no easier to decipher as far as the sky goes – maybe a bit sunny, at times – the temperature will be in the cellar, not expected to be more than 11 degrees. Sortez the mufflers.

photo, sign, pharmacy, 18.5 degrees

Ever ready for a fête, Météo Jim issues an invitation for Fall in New York, to turn from a soggy coach into a distressed pumpkin. In his very own jargon –

Les Petites Monstres

The Longitudes and Latitudes of October arrived in Pommeland this past week. Temperatures were in the low–to–mid 50s a–grad which is about 10 degrees below normal.

This weekend has seen the Drenchies and the Downpours striving to outdo each other with rain, rain and rain. Did I mention rain? If I didn't I should have. They were immediately swept away by the Gusties, with sustained performances of 25 miles per hour – 40 e–mille–metres an hour – with individual solos of up to 50 mph – 80 e–mille–metres an hour.

Despite their ferocious demeanor, they are the forerunners of milder weather that will arrive Monday and continue into Tuesday. For those who have forgotten, Tuesday, October 31 is la Fête des Citrouilles in Pommeland as well as the Rest of Non Pommeland. Les petits Harry Potters et les petites Hermiones may have found the weekend weather excellent for broom riding, but Tuesday is predicted to be warm – about 68 a–grad – but not hot enough to melt the candy of les petites monstres et revenants as they go about Tricking et/ou Treating.

As for the remainder of the week, temperatures will begin to fall. Why not? This is the Fall. Highs on the weekend might be around 50 a–grad.

As usual, all disclaimers are claimed, disclaimed, vexed and hexed, as the season warrants.

A la prochaine et une bonne Fête des Citrouilles à tous, Météo Jim

Café Life

All who were freaked at the unusual layout of Metropole for a while last week can quit holding the fire escapes. A technical thing happened that was somewhat unforeseen, involving some very new software, and it took one of the gurus a couple of minutes to figure it out. Until the next time it happens, we are in great shape. Thank you for all of your concerned cards and letters, and offers of asylum.

Does Kuzka's Mom Know You're Here?

That was the stressed life. On Saturday I was in the Tuileries because the weather was still fine – they were swimming on the Riviera, playing hopscotch on the sands, did I already say this? – and some hustlers were having a big art expo and they borrowed part of the state garden to show off some of their bigger pieces.

photo, pile of pails, tuileries Art fans gawk at pails.

They borrowed the Grand Palais and the Louvre's Cour Carée too, but neither were outside exactly and neither were free to enter either. So, like a great number of fellow citizens, I took the free show with sky high fresh air.

A big crowd was watching a tall pile of shiny pails. It just proves over again that when it's a free show folks will look at anything. There was a chromed beer bottle opener the size of a small whale that was just as interesting. Maybe it was a chromed small whale. More arty than the pile of pails anyhow.


The piece, as they say, de resistance was this Russian submarine in the round pond. It looked like maybe it came up the Seine from the sea and made a wrong dip and surfaced in the garden's pool, and got trapped there. And of course, all these Parisians are sitting all around, patiently waiting for the sub races. We used to do that in Vancouver in the old days on dark nights.

photo, red star, red sub, tuileries Red star in Paris.

I tell you it was eerie. There was this black submarine, red star and everything, just sitting there in the water. Its navigation lights were on and it was leaking water from near its tower. When I got about halfway around the pool the sub's aerials and radar mast and other antennas shot up, and a hidden sound system began to transmit navy orders in Russian, mixed with patriotic music and the weather report from Archangel. "Yo Ho Ho Fifteen Men On a Deadman's Chest" in Russian, maybe sung by the naval cadet chorus from Saint Pete.

Actually it was neat as hell. "Here I am, a jolly black submarine with a red star, got my aerial up and MTV from Moscow and the reception's fine. Break out the Krim Sekt and the caviar, grill some shishkabob and sardines, and at 04:30 we'll go the the Saint Malo for some rum and hot oatmeal. A sailor's life is not all tears!

photo, pool in tuileries Watching the art crowds.

But imagine how we would have freaked out if the Wall was still there. Short–cutting through the Tuileries from Concorde to the Louvre and here's this evil, sinister, crazy–looking black U–boat, red freaking star and all! But, hey! We've been dancing in the streets for free since the Wall fell. The Commies ain't going to take us, turn us into robot slaves, make us watch the boring Moscow peace parade every May 1st.

Somebody mentioned that crazy French Wall. It cost a fortune and it didn't work because Heinz Guderian just drove around it like it wasn't there, just like it was made out of old garlic. I don't know the whole history of it, but that Humpty–Dumpty dude fell off the Wall and all the King's horses and the King's men couldn't put him back together again. Walls are a Middle Ages thing. They used to work, sort of, but they don't any more.

Meanwhile the girls who like sailors were having a good time Saturday night with the Reds on shore leave. We don't get many sailors in Paris, but the girls do know what to do. Submariners are cool. The girls go, "Hiya sailor, got any gum?"

The 'Nine–sided Wonder' Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Several members and the club's secretary found themselves together last Thursday for the fourth meet in October. Many members posed for the famous photo. Other members in the picture didn't know it was happening. The global report of this fantastic meeting is online, like clockwords. It was a Nine–sided Wonder of a meeting and the subhead was, "Who Needs Brakes?" – in honor of Alex getting some, for his downside ride over the Alps.

photo, la corona, club's cafeOur modest little clubhouse.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on the first Thursday in November. There is no Saint of the Day on 2. November because it will be the Commemoratio omnium fidelium defunctorum, or the Day of the Dead for short. This day is always on 2. November even if it is a Sunday. Those who weren't all that good when they left, get this day as a catch–up, with a little help from those left behind, in this cruel world.

The infinitely more lively legend of the club is on a singular thing concisely named the About the Club Webpage. Test your logical powers of deduction with very few true facts, much idle speculation, and don't oversee too hard the club's in–focus hand–fashioned membership card before its doom, now impending for the past 18 months.

photo, sign, rue remy dumoncel

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

Once immensely popular, this feature has fallen by the wayside after being updated every week for 9 years. It continues its unavailablity this week for historic reasons, partly because Ed is no longer as frisky as a little Bambi. He is, in fact, an ancient, Halloween goat. Baaaa.

Café Life Légère 102.3

Lucy In the Sky With Egyptians

photo, sign, poulet cuit, 5 euro

Today is hardly the anniversary of when Christopher Columbus, writing in his journal, wrote, possibly in his own hand, "I have always read that the world, both land and water, was spherical, as the authority and researches of Ptolemy and all the others who have written on this subject demonstrate and prove, as do the eclipses of the moon and other experiments that are made from east to west, and the elevation of the North Star from north to south." It just goes to show that big thinkers can be just as lost as any Flat–Earth sailor who thought the earth was a cube in a crapshoot.

More Bigger Pataphysics

There are a mere 62 days left of this year, the same number that 1961 had when Nikita Khrushchev gave the go–ahead to test an impossibly large atomic bomb. The Russians decided to go for 50 megatons instead of 100 because they feared busting all the windows in Moscow. They also left off part three so that all the comrades wouldn't get zonked. It was called the Tsar Bomba, in honor of impossibly large things such as the Tsar Kolokol, the Tsar Pushka, and the ultra–heavy Tsar Tank which sank in a swamp in Gorky Park. At the time it was called, "Showing somebody Kuzka's mother" in Russian, which meant it was the biggest blast, ever. The Berlin Wall was built in the same year, as another stunning Kuzka's mother project.

photo, sign, presse

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 303 days, the same number that 1894 had when Domenico Melegatti got the first patent for a procedure for making industrial pandoro. This, and its counterpart, panettone, is an Italian sweet yeast bread. Actually it is cake. It is most popular around Christmas and other special occasions, but is eaten all year round by rabid pandoro fiends. Typical pandoro is shaped like a starry fez, or frustum, and can be stuffed to overflowing with zabaglione when it is the true Il Pandoro Veronese.

photo, sign, no problem, neon

It Happened in America

It was tonight in 1938 when War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells was enacted live on CBS radio by the 22 year–old genius about town, Orson Welles. The show, broadcast nationally, was produced with so much flair that many listeners mistook it for the real news of an invasion by Martians. The Halloween broadcast caused some panic and Wells was forced to offer an apology a few days later or end up being tarred and feathered. It could have been called "Listening to Kuzka's mother" if it hadn't happened in America.

A Question of Schleswig–Holstein

In 1864 the world was agog with the implications of the Schleswig–Holstein question. In those days land–grabs were called questions but you shouldn't believe everyone was fooled. In fact it was no less than Lord Palmerston who said, "Only three people understand the Schleswig–Holstein question, and of these, one was dead, the second had gone insane, and the third, myself, has forgotten what it's about." When the dust settled Prussia and Austria had annexed Schleswig–Holstein and then it was Austria's turn two years later.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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