Shoot the Fish

photo, place tertre, sunday 1 april On top of the pyramid with a zillion sun fans.

Accordéon On Montmartre

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 2. April:–  It was gorgeous yesterday. It has been gorgeous today too. It looks like it might be semi–gorgeous tomorrow as well. If this keeps up history will be shot to hell when there is no hail or sleet next weekend for Easter. I have to be tougher than I look, accept that it might be global warming that is about to give us the first pleasant Easter this century, and take it standing up.

Pascua Florida

The TV–weather news maps , intermittently in color, looked confusing. Whirls and swirls, how to make sense of them? Well just forget it then. Think of France as a big soft fat balloon and reverse the nose of Brittany so that it points east further than Champagne, and then say this area will be semi–sunny tomorrow, but a little bit cooler than today, with 15 degrees. Why? Because there will be a little wind from the north, pushing this way at about 50 kph.

On Wednesday, with that wind still blowing from the north, the finger stretches all the way to the Schwarzwald. Again it might be semi–sunny around here, but with a minor high of 12 degrees.

It's like the whole thing just gets bigger and bigger. Thursday looks like it will be even more sunny, although it will be a bit cloudy up along the Channel. Give or take a few kilometres it might be demi–cloudy here too but let's hope, pray, cast signs, for otherwise.

photo, sign, tiles of the week

Meanwhile the good news is the temperature which is supposed to get up to 16 degrees, almost unheard of around here at this time of year. Except for today when it was probably up about 17 degrees. Like yesterday, when I was up on top of the local pyramid usually called Montmartre.

From the right coast, from across the sea, distant neighbors semaphore. Run up the flag and salute the compass points, and here's Météo Jim today, with the latest weather philosophy and poetry.

Promises, Lousy Promises

As March fades from our memories and the calendar, April – from the Latin to open – comes into our consciousness with promises of spring, snow, tornados, fickleness and fuzzy yellow Easter bunnies.

The eagerly anticipated thunder donnerundgebliztengeboomers scheduled for last Monday did not occur. The only reason given was that they were tired. But since they have not appeared since last autumn, that reason did not satisfy the alert Metropole viewers who saw the thrilling documentary, "Ceux qui m'aime regarderont la météo." Dark rumours have arisen about a conspiracy and the Groundhog has suspiciously disappeared. Another reason to be suspicious is that last Tuesday the temperature rose into the mid 70s a–grad when it was not called for.

photo, stairs, metro lamarck caulincourt How all visits to Montmartre start.

Today, Palm Sunday – Ed's note: yesterday – will see rain showers and temperatures in the upper 40s. Tomorrow – Ed's note: today – will see more showers along with temperatures in the 60s a–grad. Then – Ed's note: tomorrow – following a pattern that was established last autumn, temperatures will cool down into the 50s with rain on the weekend – Ed's note: weekend –. Ed's note: it's the same thing in French.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Café Life

Shoot the Fish

On the first day of April yesterday – Ed's note: yesterday – I got up and had breakfast with the light of the warm sunshine pouring in my bathroom window and I thought it was completely normal because it wasn't until hours later, riding the métro, that I saw the paper fish lying on the floor and realized that it must have been April's Fools Day. By then it was too late to discover the uncuttable fabric forming the uneatable foundation of my breakfast pancake. Being a grown up is no fun.

Although I had yet to see the fish, it occurred to me to look at a calendar for Easter's date. I saw that it is next weekend. That was good, I thought, because it means this weekend – Ed's note yesterday, Sunday – can be nice and warm and sunny, and who cares if the temperature drops to freezing and it storms hail at Easter, like it almost always does. Christians love hardship, don't they?

photo, poisson d'avril, fish, metro wahonA sad fish in the métro.

What with the weather and all, I decided to make my annual Easter visit to Montmartre a week early. I know, I know, I will miss seeing all the Italians dressed in their cool designer duds, visiting here, in order to get away from all those raving Christians haunting Rome. That's when I saw the fish in the métro.

It was a cut out piece of paper about 20 cm long. It had a smile drawn for a mouth and it had a footprint on it. Here, kids make these and stick them on the back of their older sister or their father. It's called a poisson d'avril and I think it means you are a total idiot if you walk around with one stuck on your back. Kids think this is funnier than Jerry Lewis. It doesn't take much.

Three métro stops went by before I decided to shoot the fish. As soon as I did, at the next métro stop, 13 April fooltards got on and trampled all over it. It just goes to show that if you are going to shoot a fish in the métro it is better to do it sooner than later.

photo, musee montmartreThe museum of the week.

At Montmartre I left the métro at the back door and rode up to the ground in an elevator. Then, like everybody else – except for those who already had good terrace seats in the sun – I walked up stairs, up hills, cobbled sidewalks, up, up, until I got to the top. I sensed somehow that about 50 thousand other folks beat me to it.

There is a lot to see on top of Montmartre but if it is a sunny Sunday a week before Easter about the only thing you will see clearly is thousands of other folks looking at all the things to see, or eating ice cream, or sitting around drinking beer and other cocktails.

The rest of them were taking photos of each other, or trying to see les artists in the place du Tertre. The artists don't make it easy with all their umbrellas. Yesterday, I guess they were parasols. Anyhow, it looked like 20,000 folks jammed into the place, semi hiding under umbrellas and half of them were calling home on their phones. "Hallo, mama? This Montmartre is too cool? It's like, you know, like really cool?"


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