Gnash No More

photo, place edgar quinet, rain, motos, reflections, colors It was raining in Paris on Saturday.

Climate Soggy Norm

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 18. June:–  Some readers were probably gnashing their teeth late in the winter and throughout the so–called spring when we had such mild weather that spring was skipped entirely, and we had summer instead. I can say now that it was a mistake and we won't do it again.

The Summer That Was, Not

It just goes to show that folks who get overly uppity are looking for a smack–down, even if it is in the form of rain pounding them into the ground. Paris shops are selling record numbers of umbrellas as old ones are ripped to smithereens on an almost daily basis. The gutters are full of black corpses, torn to shreds and broken struts.

The outlook, frankly, is dire. The low is sitting offshore, and causing confusion by tossing overhand waves of moist, that will flood across the country sort of from the northwest. Tuesday will begin mostly sunny – as have many recent days – but during the afternoon it will be dark, and cloudy, and it will rain at some point, or be stormy with thunder and lightning, maybe with solid raindrops as big as baseballs.

But the general trend of weather is coming from the southwest, and it is warm, and moist of course. We've been told by the TV–weather news to expect 29 degrees on Tuesday. It will be like being in a hot teapot.

photo, 42nd street, 30 may, sundown New York's 42nd Street, 30 May.

On Wednesday we will be able to feel the draught from the southwest, but with no more that 24 degrees. Depending on where the next assault from the northwest gets, it may be mostly sunny here. The situation for Thursday looks even more dire, but mostly sunny is still the prediction.

The weather was too good for too long and I got too used to their optimistic and generally accurate forecasts. I think I must return to my former skepticism. Right now I feel like hitting the invert button. Twelve hours to the east and the whole thing changes from mostly sunny to mostly anything but sunny. Weather – I'm watching you!

Transatlantic readers may welcome this timely weather update from the west, or east coast of that continent, proving that Metropole's coverage is wider than merely Montparnasse. Here's our exclusive reporter Météo Jim with another uplifting forecast, like the ones we used to have before we voted so often.

Groundhog Goes Yikes!

Yesterday, Sunday, June 17, Pommeland celebrated la Fête des pères. The weather promised to cooperate with temperatures reaching 90 a–grad – 33 e–grad – along with abundant sunshine. This celebration will remain until Tuesday or Wednesday when a cold front will arrive along with the chance of spritzes und thunderdonnergeboomers and bring the thermometer down to the lower 80s a–grad – 27+ e–grad.

Also to note is that this date* used to be celebrated in the former Land called West Germany as Tag der deutschen Einheit which commemorated the uprising by the happy socialist workers, peasants and soldiers in the former East Germany – or DDR – in 1953.

photo, sign, companie parisienne, embeded

Further celebrations will take place on Thursday, June 21, which marks the date of the weekly meeting of Café Metropole Club as well as the first day of summer. Even though 100% of the members will take notice of this date, only .000001% of the members will attend. To boost participation, the Server Lady is trying to catch the Groundhog in her garden and have him flambé–ed and served to club members as an inducement to attend the meeting.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

*Ed's Note:– The date was 17. June, from 1954 to 1990. In 2004 there was a heated discussion about dropping this holiday – now on 3. October – so folks could work more, but Germans are just as adverse to it as the French are to working on holidays. Since 1997 the Tag der offenen Moschee is also celebrated on the same day.

Ed's Note 2:– The Server Lady was quite upset about last week's surprise invitation to spend a night in her garden and said she was putting her guardian cats outside.

Café Life

Pinks Sweep Back

No more French voted yesterday than a week earlier but some of the gang that didn't vote on 10. June did yesterday and some that did didn't yesterday, which caused the predicted 475 seats for Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP to fade to a mere 315, a whole 44 less than before this whole business started.

photo, umbrellas, mud, rain, rue de rennesRain on Saturday.

All the same the Socialists and their red, black and green allies fell far short of achieving a majority of seats in the national assembly. This means that president Sarkozy will have the means to carry out his program for the next five years.

The right had been asking voters to give them an overwhelming blue wave but the left managed a moral victory, by snatching away the cream of the right's victory. Government super minister, Alain Juppé, in office a month, was defeated in his Bordeaux stronghold – he was handily elected mayor there last October – by an unknown Socialist, Michéle Delaunay. The Socialists gained 58 new seats.

Another loser of note was the far right–wing Front National that failed utterly when Marine Le Pen's parachute failed to open in the district she had chosen to contest.

A week ago it looked like the right was unstoppable, headed for a crushing majority. But the right fumbled rather spectacularly when it let it be known that it was contemplating a 5 point hike of the value–added tax, to bring it up to the stratospheric level of 24.6 percent. And this extra tax would be levied to ease charges that employers would pay on overtime work, under the government's plan of more pay for more work. Deciding against a miniscule rise for the minimum wage didn't help either.

Meanwhile the communists didn't get knocked right out. The PCF managed to retain 15 seats and they are expected to have the Greens sitting with them, to form a parliamentary group. Centrist François Bayrou's ex–UMP, now MoDem, scraped back from the edge of extinction to grasp 4 seats.

Head Pink Ejected

Officially her publisher leaked the revelation, contained in a new book to be published on Wednesday, that presidential candidate Ségolène Royal had invited her companion of nearly 30 years, François Hollande, to seek new lodgings. This emerged during the aftermath of yesterday's election, somewhere between the AFP and television talk–fests.

photo, reflections, moto, orange chairs, gaite Rain on Sunday.

According to today's Le Parisien Mme Royal said, "J'ai demandé à François de quitter le domicile, de vivre son histoire sentimentale de son côté, désormais étalée dans les livres et des journaux, et je lui ai souhaité d'être heureux."

For those who have come in late, François Hollande is the boss of the Socialist party in France, and Ségolène Royal was the Socialist party's presidential candidate. She came within 6 points of winning the election.

While many Socialists are congratulating themselves tonight for surviving the right's tidal wave, Ségolène Royal's next rumored mission is to capture François Hollande's position as leader of France's Socialists.

Young Socialists have started to refer to themselves as lions, as opposed to the party's entrenched elephants, who have not managed to convince 51 percent of the French that they should be running the country.

For the moment the French seem willing to flirt with the dynamic Nicolas Sarkozy – so long as he leaves the high value–added tax alone – but this may be a short–lived fling. The new government intends to have an extraordinary session this summer, in the hopes that it can shove through four major planks of their campaign platform while the French take a deserved rest by the seaside, away from non–stop electioneering.

This story is quite likely to be continued.

The Café Metropole Club

photo, pink tables, green wall, raindropsRain on Friday.

Not many of the club's members showed up at last week's club meeting but you still haven't missed hearing about all the good stuff especially if you read the report. Next Thursday there will be another Café Metropole Club meeting, and the secretary promises to be there again in person, breathing and bushy.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 21. June, another-one of those days that happen to be the Fête de la Musique. The Saint of the Day is ultra cool. Please welcome Saint Raoul or incorrectly, Rodolphe de Bourges, who was archbishop of Bourges from 840 to 866. Other than this it is also World Humanist Day, which is very positive especially if you happen to be a humanist.

This is unrelated to Paris because it happened somewhere in Bourges. You can read all about the club and its few known facts on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually comprend, and all of you surely will, will not fail to grasp the mythical but true mysteries about it, and should endeavor to download the club's official scrap of a free membership card. You are most welcome.

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

Last week I wrote ten years ago was still 1997. Every issue I used to look up what had been in Metropole the same week the year before and two years ago, but after doing it for nine or ten years I got tired of doing it and so I quit. But it has taken some time for me to admit that I quit and so I dangle this tease every week, hoping I will feel like doing it again, but realizing that it is 20 minutes of my life I would rather spend on Web surfing, or goofing off, as it used to be called. All of this is still true this week.

photo, sign, election posters, votez contre

Café Life Légère 91.3

Not A bit Funny

Today's Quote of the Week has no connection to Ed this week. Today's less long–winded quote is, "The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds." This wisdom is from John Maynard Keynes. I am learning that an awful lot of received wisdom like these quotes isn't very amusing.

Wobble–Facts of Oscillation

photo, sign, companie parisienne, popout

There are no less than 196 days left of this year, the same number that 1178 had when 5 Canterbury monks thought they saw the Giordano Bruno crater being formed on the moon. It is thought that the moon was oscillating at the time on account of being hit by some unknown object, like a meteor, on account of the Taurid meteor shower that took place while the monk's were watching, the lucky devils.

The Longbow System

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 169 days, the same number that 1429 had when the French forces led by Jenne d'Arc crushed the Brits led by Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay, which turned the tide of the Hundred Years' War for the thousandth time in two weeks. This-all happened 83 years after the Brits beat the French at Agincourt, using the same tactics since the Battle of Crecy in 1346. The French finally wiped out enough longbowmen and commanders, so they could win with sieges. Then they went to Rheims and crowned Charles VII, which meant they had more time to spare having their Hundred Years' War.

photo, sign, checker cab

Tales from the Patazone

It is unnecessary to thank Metropole for reminding you that today marks the anniversary in 1923 of the first Checker Cab to operate on the streets of America. The true story is long and colorful – mostly yellow – and you may remember Travis Bickle who was Martin Scorsese's taxi driver in the 1976 film of the same name. Anyway, the Checker cabs wore out and they stopped making them, so now taxis may still be mostly yellow – in New York City – but they are mostly passenger sedans like big Fords or window vans. The black Lincolns are phone–up taxis without metres, without bulletproof protection cages.

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many folks have probably been reminded that today is the anniversary of the 1959 commitment of Louisiana governor Earl K. Long to a state mental hospital. He arranged to have the hospital's director fired, and himself declared sane and released. Self-proclaimed as the last of the red–hot poppas, Uncle Earl predicted that the people of Louisiana would someday elect "Good government, and they won't like it." Until this day the only thing certain about Long was his unpredictability. Meanwhile it's the 1st birthday for Countess Zaria of Orange–Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg. Her proud parents are Prince Friso and Princess Mabel and the cute little Countess is 816th in line for the British throne.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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