Wrap the Cat with Frites!

photo, ramona mcdaris This proves, even to Ramona, that Ramona is in Paris.

Is Nothing Appropriate?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 11. January:–  I see I was last here the day after searching for last year's Beaujolais Nouveau. It was warm and breezy and felt like springtime in Norway. Well, I got over the BJ by going to New York for a long time. Frankly I am a little surprised that it still seems to be like springtime in Norway around here.

Tonight's TV–news showed very impressive scenes of big winds, especially up along the Channel where the ferries had to stop running and all the trucks had to go through the Tunnel instead. To demonstrate how terrific this might be, TV–news showed us some video scenes of the normally out–of–sight refugees who would like to hitchhike to Britain rather than hang around in France forever.

photo, beer of the weekYellow cocktail
of the week.

Other than this one traffic sign was blown over in Calais and my hat would have been lifted in front of the club's café La Corona but luckily I wasn't wearing one. This is another way of saying that it is windy in Paris today. There is a high in the Irish Sea and a low somewhere west of Portugal and we are in the middle. No, I don't understand it either.

By tomorrow it may all be blown away except for a 50 kph aftermath, whistling towards the northeast. The good news is about how mild it still is. Tonight's low is forecast as 8 degrees and Friday's high is supposed to be 14 degrees. As for the sky, well this isn't New York is it? Expect it to be gray gray gray. It looked so depressing on the weather maps I forgot to use the magnifying glass to look for the telltales of rain.

For Saturday you can expect the same winds to be shooting through here, perhaps blowing fresh air into Germany. The thrilling high for the day may be a respectable 13 degrees but all the rest will be gray gray gray. But wait, there's Sunday. Exchange the gray–gray for semi– sunny, whack three degrees off the high to get 10, and imagine it is what Le Parisien says, "Douce folie." Ah, well, they are talking about the Riviera where it will be 16 and sunny.

The 'Is Nothing Appropriate?' Report

Before leaving for the club today I put on a new and clean shirt even though I doubted that prospective new member Ramona McDaris would be there. The rule, which is not a rule, is – any person who writes to say they are coming to a meeting is very unlikely to turn up. It has something to do with the rule of fives or global warming – even though it happened often enough before there was any global warming. Maybe it was the hole in the ozone layer.

photo, drink mix of the week Cocktail mix of the week.

Ramona wrote to me a long time ago to say she would be at today's meeting and then she sent some updates. One said I should get ready to meet her cat, Sheba. A following note said that Air France refused passage for Sheba because she was too heavy. Actually, Sheba was the right weight but Sheba's cage was too heavy. So no Sheba. On that low note I thought Ramona would scrub the junket.

Anyway the wind blew me past the cemetery and across the Pont Neuf and almost tore the camera out of my hands while shooting posters in front of Samaritaine, which is not having any Soldes d'Hiver on account of still being closed. Somewhere along the way to the café I noticed no folks about, and the café looked deserted when I arrived, completely wind blown.

Patrick, the waiter of the week, jumped out the door to say that the club's area was full of fans. I am not making this up. Full of fans is what he said. Going past the bar, to the welcoming whoops from the café's front end crew, I was handed, with ceremony, a letter too – from club member Terrie Blazek. Wow! Thanks for the card, Terrie!

After rearranging my blown–to–hell hair I entered the café's grande salle and spied a lady sitting in the club's area at the back–of–the–back, cozy but alone. On greeting, Ramona said I could excuse myself, to, "Go downstairs and freshen up." But I had already rearranged my hair so I sat down.

I quickly learned 1. that Ramona's flight landed this morning, 2. that Sheba is being well looked after and 3. that this week's City of the Week is Boerne in Texas. According to sketches made later, Börne – in its German spelling – is somewhere near San Antonio, and maybe Paris, and maybe Arkansas.

As a welcome back – from the centre of the world? – Ramona presented me with a really nifty and genuine Corona cap. My size too! Patrick, in passing said, "C'est joli!" A sewn–in motto says, "Mas fina," which is Spanish for "Make the next round a double."

photo, corona cap of the week The – official? – cap of the week.

With these formalities out of the way we got down to business. Ramona pulled out her new Olympus camera and asked me if I was ready for the Question of the Week. "Here comes the question!"

Did I know how to put a memory card in her camera? No problem! All of these cameras are made by the Xzing Xzingo camera and phone factory in downtown China so they are all the same except for the logos. With the new card in it looked like we lost the initial ten photos Ramona had taken, but we had already looked at the photos of Sheba. Her cat doesn't look like it is 18 years old.

The next 45 minutes were exceedingly boring as I explained how to print photos. I have never done it myself, so I was monologuing pure theory. But first, I felt that I had to explain how to get the photos out of the camera even though it seemed like we had just vaporized ten of them. Well, I guess everybody knows this, so I'll just skip it, with yatta–yatta–yatta–yatta – you get the idea.

"Fine," Ramona said, "Well and good all that yatta–yatta, but how do I print my photos?" Instead of just saying that she could take or send the memory card to a photo finisher – or even upload them to an online digital lab, I babbled relentlessly for 44 minutes until I said, "Click on print in the filemenu."

photo, josef schomburgJosef brings a 4th camera to the party.

We were saved by the arrival of Patrick who asked if we wanted anything to drink, and the arrival of Josef Schomburg, who ordered a beer, but not a Corona. Or we were saved even before this when I decided that there was no better time than then to wrap up the Group Photo of the Week. Ramona was very tolerant for this – outside on the café's terrace – where the wind was howling past much faster than the usual traffic. Ramona almost went flying off sideways.

"Drumroll" is a word in my notes indicating the place on the page where the conversation drifted along to bank robber families, Florida, unclaimed bodies and crematoriums. You know, the kind of stuff folks are always saying about Florida. Josef had just come from some massive photo shoot he was on, and he was blitzed. Did he say something?

And Ramona was jetlagged. This is not a judgement. Folks who fly the Atlantic all night and then land at Roissy's terminal 2–E and live to tell the story, are usually in a shaky state. I thought my goose was cooked there a week ago.

photo, ramona and ricRamona and Ric, captured by
Josef Schomburg, photo.

Ramona had other cat tales. One died on her on the first day of a long, hot summer weekend and the vet wouldn't do anything about it until Monday. Living in Paris, there is no place selling those bags of ice you find on every street corner in the USA. "The fish merchants won't sell their ice!" So Ramona put the dead cat in the bathtub and packed it up with frozen frites.

Well, it wasn't the Idea of the Week. Hot weekend. That bathtub, by Monday, "Cremacat!" Melted frites. Dead cat. Ohhh, the odd stuff that goes on here.

Listen. There was only the three of us but we had a good meeting. This club doesn't have any rules and half its members seem blitzed even when they aren't jetlagged, so we can waste our time at club meetings having drinks and conversations with subjects that would be classed as not appropriate if you tried having them at home or at bingo night at the local casino.

About the Café Metropole Club

Medium difficult to believebut this is an ordinary club meeting's report. It's like a slice of real life if you just happened to live in a live reality show called life. Twirl an eyeball over the dubious story of what might have been going on here, to be found as usual on the About the Café Metropole Club Webpage, containing its delicious words, tasty photos and lip–licking other good stuff smelling of fresh garlic. And forever and ever, sure more better frites.

graphic, club location map

What this Stuff Is About?

These spontaneous club meetings, totally unrehearsed, begin at 15:00 on Thursday and continue until 17:00 most Thursdays. The next meeting will be on Thursday – no less than – 18. January 2007. These times are similar to 3 pm to 5 pm around other places but these meetings are held around here. Whatever you say might be truly appreciated by the other members present if they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always – and if it should by freak chance be recorded here.* Your other, mainly true, 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 sure way to become unfound.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because life as it is, is just one big, long reality show. This is exactly what the club's secretary is going to be doing all this year. Reality to the max!

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, 18. January.

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