"Chez les Fous?"

photo, group of one, yoko, tomoko yokomitsu Yoko said, "Not so close!"

White Dinner On DVD

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 14. June:–  Now that summer is nigh there's a big, mean, nasty low pressure thing sitting offshore, spinning around and chucking wave after flipping wave of pay–back weather this way. The TV–;weather news is overjoyed not to have to repeat monotonously day after day – expect another bright sunny day with temperatures between 28 and 32 degrees you lucky sods. Naw! That is over. We've had it.

The TV–weather news guys have to work now. They are trying to put together a warning system so that they can predict very localized storms, the ones that dump 200 millimetres of rain in 30 minutes, on places like Puisserguier or Saint–Cirq–Lapopie. All they need, they said tonight on TV, is a NASA–style supercomputer. Meanwhile the surprised citizens of drownville are still shovelling out the water.

Around here everybody is walking around with a mini–umbrella in their hip pocket. For tomorrow there will be bad clouds over the Bretagne and over all of eastern France. Here in the middle, between the two, it will merely be rainy, cloudy, rainy, cloudy and rainy some more. This means maybe five minutes of rain every hour. The highest temperature is expected to be about 20 degrees.

photo, orange juice of the week O–juice of the Week.

Saturday is expected to be much better with all of northern France covered with clouds all day. Between the clouds, more clouds. I didn't see any but I think there may be some rain involved. Think a lousy 19 degrees. After all the beautiful Sundays we had, the next one promises to be confused. Again in the west it will be worse than confused and the same to the east. Maybe some sun peeps up near Belgium but not around here. Guess 21 for the day's high temperature.

The Chez les Fous of the Week Report

Just before getting to the métro at Raspail big fat drops of rain started to spatter the pavement and I was glad I had my mini–umbrella in my hip pocket. But by the time, a whole 8 minutes later, that I left the métro at Odéon it was no more that faint particles of mist. Intermittent spritzers, is all.

So I went past the cafés along the Quai du Louvre thinking of something I can't remember and got myself into the club's café, only making four handshakes on the way. I growled at the new Waiter of the Week and he went away to share his opinion of foreigners with the rest of the crew. Then I got out today's Le Parisien to read les Faits Divers.

I was just about the learn all about the alleged cocaine habit of Ophélie Winter when a person wishing to join the club arrived and broke my concentration. I took off my glasses and rested my sore eyes.

Directly on Stephanie Schreiner from San Francisco. I explained the club rules that are no more in ten words or less and mentioned the email clause and I would have promoted the club's wonderful membership card too but Stephanie had a question.

photo, club decor Uncomparable club décor.

Looking back I can say it is the Question of the Week. Except for my orange juice – I made the Waiter of the Week's day after all – becoming the Drink of the Week, there were no other things–of–the–week – no food, no city, no famous dirt, no mucha nada nothing.

Stephanie wanted to know where she could rent DVDs of films made in Hollywood. Instead of just saying there are places like Video Futur I felt I had to explain about the Zones 1 and 2 but it doesn't matter we are in Zone 2 and all the DVDs here are in English and French, and sometimes in Dutch, German, Italian and Spanish too. When you choose English on the menu, just ignore the subtitles in French unless you are a student at the Alliance Française.

I thought that was pretty good. Then, after I carefully explained how the Nuit Blanche works, it gradually became clear that the second question was about the Dîner en Blanc, or dinner in white. This is not the same thing at all, and not what folks who hang out in the rue Daguerre know anything about. First off you have to be invited and second, you have to have a portable phone.

Stephanie absorbed this information and made to leave. I lunged for the camera but she said, "No, no pictures today. It isn't right for it." I whined, pleaded, grovelled. "I'll be back," she said.

It was about 15:27. I picked up the paper again and found out that Ophélie Winter isn't a cocaine fiend. She's just a poor working girl trying to get along in show business, so she likes to get her name in the paper but doesn't care for paparazzi or papers saying that she's a coke fiend. Why, she has never even taken a cure, she said. She's obviously not in the class of Paris Hilton is she?

After a hour I was tried of reading the faits divers. I took a short walk and when I got back the club's own movie star, Tomoko Yokomitsu – known as Yoko – was sitting at the member's table. Where did I get this quote? "Chez les fous?" Is it a loose quote?

photo, yoko, tomoko yokomitsu"Too close, too close, too close!"

As soon as we exchanged fondly greetings Yoko said, "I have a pain – I need an acupuncture treatment." Both of us knew that this wasn't something that can be arranged in the club's café.

When I mentioned the wonderful time I had at a Mets baseball game when I was in New York Yoko told me about her own baseball days in Japan. Like me she played softball. Unlike me she was better at it. She said everybody played baseball in Japan, like in Cuba.

I was still in a snit on account of not getting Stephanie's photo, so I cajoled Yoko into taking a minute instead of simply running away. She said, "After that I will write another play." Out on the terrace I was shooting, shooting, and she said, "Not so close, not so close!" And when she left she went the wrong way and then turned around and came back so I kept on shooting, like a paparazzi.

Soldes d'Eté in Paris

The annual summer sales in Paris begin on Wednesday, 27. June at 8:00 and continue until Saturday, 4. August. Unlike the winter sales when there was lots of unsold winter gear available on account of the mild weather, the summer sales are shaping up as a season–bis on account of the mild weather which has allowed Parisians to trot around in shorts and sandals for months already. Wear flat shoes, good for sprinting.

About the Café Metropole Club

Click your mousie and update your club lore via the meeting reports orbiting in the galaxy of the Internet. Speed reading reports is faster than being at whole club meetings but only provides a fraction of the details. The explanation of what we might have been doing here, can be found on the dated About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

The Usual Fine Print

Nearly spontaneous as usual, half unrehearsed, partly out of control and less than three members. Club meetings are actually from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 21. June, which is also the Fête de la Musique. 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 hearsay, inscribed here.* Your other, totally true, stories are all welcome too. We like a good laugh.

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 absolute cool of the Waiter of the Week, whoever he was.

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, 21. June.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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