...Continued from page 1

"That's why they invented Calvados," Doug said helpfully. "Beautiful countryside!" "How do they get those buses through those tiny streets?"

There was another side–trip, but it might have been on another visit. Some flew off to do a little gambling in Monaco at the Hôtel de Paris. "We got a ham sandwich on the plane!" There was mention of a wonderful drive from Monaco to Nice.

Then ten eyes turned to the club's secretary and wanted to know exactly what he does here. Aside from doing the club meetings and the club reports that is. I never have an answer ready for this. I squirm. I dither. Saying I came here from Hamburg sounds like the beginning of the long story it is – what can I do about what I do?

photo, soft cocktails of the week Wimpy men cocktails of the week.

"What's that Jimmy Buffet song?" Some deep thought before Margaritaville surfaces, but nobody remembers any lyrics. Moved to Margaritaville? Somebody says I can Google them. Who is Jimmy Buffet, I wonder.

"Elderly dogs are not fun to take care of," is another quote that cries out, in vain, for context. To smooth it all out a bit I spring the Group Photo of the Week on the members, and out there we troop, line up, while the secretary circled around with the lenshade nearly bumping noses, provoking some startled expressions, plus wonder and of course, disgust. I explain how it's a wide–angle lens and with it closeups require being close up. Pros use the telephotos to avoid the kickbacks.

Back at our tables Doug asked the smoking question. Why is it, he wanted to know, that everybody is still blithely puffing away like choo–choo trains in bars, cafés and restaurants?

Because smoking hasn't been banned in these places until next year, is the simple but incomprehensible answer. All that was banned this year in February was smoking in places, mostly where is was already banned, plus in places of work like offices, workshops and schools. In France we need another 11 months to get ready not to smoke in tabacs. Even after then, we will still be able to smoke like fiends on mountain tops, in the middle of vacant lots, and in some foreign countries like Panama.

photo, version 2, group of the weekGroup II proves Group I was no fluke.

Slightly before this Yoko arriveed to cheers from all the ladies who have read about her adventures here, and Yoko surely appreciated the attention but she had another mission today. This involved placing the photo of LucyLaCam, shot on Friday, 16. March, and currently on view here on Flickr, in this club report. This is against the club rules the club doesn't have.

Besides, Steve and Lauren haven't brought beautiful little LucyLaCam to a club meeting yet. Other babies have joined and become members. It was so long ago that they are probably teenagers now, totally wired to their iPods. But nobody has ever become a member without doing it at the club, or having it done to them, poor dears.

Finally, via the ladies, there's good news from Texas. You can talk on the phone all day there while driving, because it's a really big place. Obviously, Europe is too small with too many people – regardless of the Parisians you see doing it all the time, almost as if they were smoking in cafés.

About the Café Metropole Club

Staying tuned in to your club via meeting reports is vastly simpler than being here but only a quarter of the fun. Think of the club secretary's race against the clock. But no, forget that. The short description of what we might have been doing here, can be found as usual on the About the Café Metropole Club Webpage. And don't forget, more better frites.

graphic, club location map

No But At No But At What?

Unmentioned, unbuttoned, unhip, not to mention spontaneous, and rare. The club meetings begin at 15:00 and last until 17:00 every Thursday. The next real meeting will be on Thursday, 29. March. These times are identical to 3 pm to 5 pm around a very few other places while meetings are held around here. 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 sheer freak dumb fluke chance be recorded here.* Your other, wholly true, stories are all 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. Becoming a club member is one sure way to become found.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of hearing five flavors of accents from Texas and being so bemused that connecting faces to names escaped me like so much else, again.

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, 29. March.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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