...Continued from page 1

Then we heard the little story about the dead dog flown to Tel Aviv, replaced with a live one, and Einar speculated about birds being the last survivors after the dinosaurs were wiped out. As a reminder, he brought a rare parrot to Europe from South America but it escaped into the nature preserve we generally call Paris.

photo, wine of the weekGrape of the Week.

"Parrots can live as long as turtles," remarked Ramona. As if on cue Josef Schomburg sauntered into the café and joined the meeting. Einar had removed his black hat so at first Josef did not realize that he was not the only one with one. Einar denied that he was dressed all in black and showed us his maroon shirt. Josef did not deny it.

Josef is, as readers will no doubt remember, also in the Internet racket. In fact he lives close to Einar, in the 5th but they have not met before. The vital question – the Question of the Day – was, are there any hat shops left in Paris? Einar suggested the Bon Marché but said they are pricey. Well, so are hats. Einar said he bought, "The last Panama in Valparaíso."

They were talking about Panamas that come rolled in tubes. It was news to me but Josef had heard of them. Einar also thought there's a hat shop somewhere on Sébastpol. But he decided to ask Ramona, "What's better than CNN online?"

This seemed like a trick question. I, for one, do not know anything about CNN online. When I was in New York a couple of times I saw Situation Room with the sound off in the Café Nova in Queens but I couldn't say whether this was like the online version or not. It was the Nova version.

Ramona decided to change the subject and told us what folks in Texas do. "They don't get passionate," she said.

Even through I was there I am unable to say whether Einar answered the question or took another tack. "Grimm's Fairy Tales," he said. "They are so cruel, so real scary!" Better than CNN? More scary than CNN?

Well, I was tired of high–speed listening. You can hear so darn much and it can be frustrating to only capture a hazy sleaze of notes. And this is despite me doing this gig for many years now, now falling apart during meeting number 361. The solution is to attend these meetings yourselves.

photo, la corona of the weekThe club Café of the Week.

Einar's final shot was, "We are the masters of the universe – big deal!" We all shook hands and sprayed money on the tables for Patrick the Waiter of the Week, promised to meet again some time, some place and then Ramona went one way, Josef went another and Einar and I ambled across the Pont des Arts together.

Travelling home on the métro I spent a lot of time thinking about this singular day in France, or I would have if the trip had taken more than 8 minutes. It is ever the same. I got on the métro at Saint–Germain and then I got off at Denfert and everything in between was a blur. Coming up to the street beside the Café Daguerre, I was assailed by the familiar stench of burnt tobacco.

Further along on Daguerre I came across Matt Rose outside the wine shop talking to a film crew that is doing his life story, and admiring the window décor he did that anyplace in Kansas would be nix–rated. Ah, to be home again in the 14th, centre of la vie en rétro !

About the Café Metropole Club

Your belief or not is useful because this is an typical club meeting's regular sort of report. Think of it as a perfumed piece of cheese of true life. Take `your eyeballs to the slim outline of what we might have been doing here, to be found as usual on the About the Café Metropole Club Webpage, containing its juicy, redolent, and melodious other good stuff reeking of fresh garlic–flavored garlic. And forever, more better frites.

graphic, club location map

What Is This Stuff About?

Spontaneous club meetings which they all are, totally unrehearsed, begin at 15:00 every Thursday and continue until 17:00. The next meeting will be on Thursday – exactly – 8. February. These times seem like 3 pm to 5 pm around other places but these meetings are held here instead. 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 total chance be recorded here.* All your other, basically true, stories are welcome too.

Caution – should 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 stay unfound.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the sheer laziness of the club's secretary, which he claims is honest fatigue due to the sheer number of meetings recorded but is actually because he is a lazy dog.

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, 8. February.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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