Orange–Colored Juice

photo, group of the week, dennis, yoko, mike Dennis, Yoko and Mike, the Group of the Week.

National Jam of the Week

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 3. May:–  Well we finally got out of April. It was a month that, weather–wise, July would have been proud of. All the folks that haven't spent all their money at this year's Soldes d'Eté, spent the whole month wearing the tatters and rags they got at the last Soldes d'Eté, and they looked pretty cool. Usually it is only only crazies and madmen wearing t–shirts, showing their beautiful navels, flaunting baggy shorts slung low on their hips, in April. And the men were dressed even more exotically!

Now it is May we are having to deal with reality. A low is lurking in the Mediterranean off the coast west of Naples, sending its swirls of low clouds and rain patches over the various areas of the Riviera but all that is a long way from here, here where we continue to enjoy mild and clement days and nights so smooth you can drink them from cocktail glasses.

Le Parisien has these really interesting weather maps. Sunballs are interspersed with fluffy white cloudettes, all all is peaceful and charming in the north, while down south it looks like a battle zone, with black puffs of exploded flak all over. Tut, as they say, tut.

photo, wine of the weekThe wine of the week.

Here is tonight's forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Expect mostly sunny tomorrow, followed by semi–sunny followed in turn by mostly sunny, with temperatures running 22, 20 and 21 degrees for Sunday.

There might be a 50 kph breeze whispering down the Channel but what the heck, that's nowhere near here, is it? Also note how the weather is about to give democracy in France a kick in the pants – great for voting on Sunday.

The National Jam of the Week Report

All of this election stuff is really exciting. Last night two–thirds of all the French watched game shows on TV, went out to movies or hung around in bars, went dancing and street racing, poached a few rabbits and other tasty animals, or stalled around in hospitals, insane asylums, and all the 19th century prisons, all pretty much like any other Wednesday night that happened to be 3. May.

photo, mike curtisMike, member of the week.

Meanwhile a minority of the residents of this country, say about 20 and sometimes 23 million folks, gathered in cafés, bars, hotel rooms, community centres, and some big halls, to watch and listen to the presidential candidates talk at each other on TV for 3 hours and 40 minutes – much longer than the average blockbuster movie, like Spiderman, which opened yesterday in France.

It was the final clash and only public discussion between Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy of course. Much to the surprise of viewers, voters and the disinterested, roles were reversed when Ségolène declined to take lessons from Sarkozy, and dished some out instead.

Taking lessons isn't Sarkozy's style and he was hard pressed to keep his exasperation under control, but he did almost. At the same time, Ségolène wasn't shy about letting him know some of his remarks made her angry. This was big theatre. French politicians have all been to debating school, governing school, and running–the–country school. They are professionals. They don't lose their cool.

photo, apricot juice of the week The juice of the week.

Sarkozy said, "Don't lose your cool!" Ségolène responded, "This is anger. I'm not losing my cool, I am angry." Wow! A French politician on the TV, openly saying she was angry about something wrong in France. Either Sarkozy was temporarily deaf or not paying attention because he told her to keep cool again. He likes to be provocative.

It was the kind of show, exciting but long, that TV often – like always – lacks. Fans of both sides booed and applauded. The streets were empty. Even the crooks and bandits watched the show, and all the cops stayed in their commissariats glued to the TV. France, one–third of it, did something together. And on Sunday they will go and do it again and regardless of what the polls are estimating, nobody really knows who will win.

Meanwhile, there was a club meeting today. Paris was going about its business with the usual howling screech of sirens and people were walking around admiring the sights and taking pictures of each other if they were visitors, and a big policeman was directing traffic at the corner of the quai and Pont Neuf. It had been sunny but it had become semi–cloudy, and the temperature felt warmer than 22 degrees.

photo, yoko, aka tomoko Yoko superstar.

There was nobody in the café's grande salle when I sat down and took out the paper to read about what I saw and heard last night. I must have been concentrating extra hard because I hopped 30 centimetres when member Mike Curtis suddenly said hello without warning.

My glasses fell off. Mike, who is from Saint Louis, Missouri, joined the club in December of 2001 when the club's café was being renovated and we were meeting at the Lodi a few doors away. About being in Paris Mike said, "I have to be somewhere."

Mike has been down in Nice, studying French there, and said that he will be studying here too. While thinking this over member Yoko joined us. "I don't like either," she said about last night's debate, "I wanted to vote for Dominique de Villepin ."

Before we could staunch this heresy, she added, "And François Bayrou is my second choice." Then Yoko sort of noticed Mike and introduced herself as Yoko Ono, susie lookalike. Which is not exactly what she said, but didn't get angry with my mistake.

The Waiter of the Week was passing and he accepted the task of bringing us some drink and when Yoko's came, it was apricot juice. Mike had a wine and mine was orange juice. Then Yoko remembered, like me, all the apricot jam in Spain. It should be Spain's national jam if it isn't already.

Yoko is, of course, also interested in language, and she complimented Mike on his accent. On geography she was less sure, like me, but Mike said St. Louis was, "Just south of Chicago, in the middle." When we asked what happens there he said a thunder storm and an ice storm knocked out power for days.

"The weather becomes strange," Yoko said. Which was sort of the introduction for Uncle Den–Den, who wandered into the café while on an expedition to get some climbing roses down the block, but they didn't have any or they were too big, or too expensive.

photo, pastis of the weekThe pastis of the week.

After he had snagged the Waiter of the Week for some pastis, he asked Mike if he were related to the famous film director Michael Curtiz. He was a director over six decades, perhaps best remembered for Casablanca and three or four other names Uncle Den–Den rattled off. Mike declined the honor. Uncle Den–Den sang, "St. Louis woman, with the diamond ring."

Yoko:– "There's a picnic every night on the Pont des Arts."

Uncle Den–Den:– "I'm too old. They wouldn't let me in."

Yoko:– "We took a sandwich."

Uncle Den–Den:– "Fox News has no news or weather for San Francisco. It doesn't exist." He was watching it in Italy but didn't say why.

photo, uncle den denUncle Den–Den.

In short order, like the above, the conversation jumped from renting apartments – Mike is staying longer than 6 days. "In St. Louis I travel a lot," he said.

"I know people who go on 70 kilometre bike rides," said Uncle Den–Den. About Nice, up in the mountains, on the beach. A wedding in Kansas City, for Mike. Chicago still has a city centre. "Every Sunday I light a candle..."

Philosophy – "I spend my money on wine instead of gas," Uncle Den–Den said. The reason he came to Europe he insists, "For the dirty movies like Bitter Rice."

The meanwhile here that followed was throwing money on the tables, going out to the café's terrace for photos, coming back, arguing with the Waiter of the Week about who owed what, who paid what – Mike was ending up shorted – giving Yoko suggestions about where she might shop her script – throwing on coats and picking up stuff, pointing directions – "Over there, to the left, across a bridge" and that was it, absolutely all.

photo, parisian layabouts of the week The lazy folks of the week.

The Next Meeting of the Club

It will be on 7. June which is a Thursday. The club secretary has an urgent desire to see a bike race in Flushing on Sunday and thinks that getting over it will take about four weeks over there.

About the Café Metropole Club

Click your mouse and tune in to your club via the meeting reports in this galaxy of the Internet. Speed reading reports is faster than being at entire club meetings but only a 5th of the fun. Remember the club secretary, he done it again. The only version of what we might have been doing here, can be found as usual on the About the Café Metropole Club Webpage. Suck a pastis while going with those more better frites.

graphic, club location map

What Is This Rot?

Partly spontaneous as usual, half unrehearsed, nearly out of control and more than 110 percent loopy. The club meetings are actually only from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be, exceptionally, on Thursday, 7. June. These times are identical to 3 pm to 5 pm around some other places, while meetings are held around here. Whatever you feel like saying will be truly appreciated by the other members present if they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always – and if it was by spontaneous combustion, inscribed here.* Your other, totally true, stories are all welcome too. A good laugh was had by all.

Caution – should you have a personal desire 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 being a club member gets you found last if never.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the continuing summer of weather here which may be beginning in Flushing as well, but only a bike race can prove it isn't rotten.

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, 7. June.

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