"It's Booting!"

photo, group, james, kirsten, doug James, Kirsten and Doug – the Group of the Week.

Way Beyond Fou

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 26. July:–  I can't recall if I'm supposed to be indignant. Whenever I want to go out it always seems pretty nice and when I don't care the trees may thrash around, the rain may fall in vertical clouds and the temperature may loiter in an area fit for Denmark. Last night it was pleasant in Montparnasse and this afternoon it was only so–so outside the club right beside Paris–Plage, but where was I? I was inside, hosting the one and only 382nd club meeting.

Before I tell you what the TV–news and weather said tonight about what's coming, here's what they didn't say. For each of the past reports they have been giving us the weather for next weekend. Normally they only do this once a week, on Sundays. On top of it they have been saying that the chances for what they've been saying is no better than three–out–of–five. That is the kind of weather that seldom happens as predicted.

photo, glass of wine Wine of the Week.

Frankly the weekend forecast is not brilliant. Friday might be semi–sunny, with a high of 25 degrees. All of that is about average for July, no more. It could even be, easily, worse! But I will give it two extra degrees anyhow.

In principle Saturday will have the same except, according to the TV, it will be somewhat more cloudy, and only 24 degrees. Sunday will be exactly the same, but better. I'm am not sure you can count on it for a picnic Sunday afternoon – there's that three–out–of–five chance business. Does it mean we will be flooded like Britain or heatwaved like the frying Balkans? Stay tuned for your next scientific weather forecast, right here.

The "It's Booting!" Report

Folks often ask me what sort of mood I have when I get up on Thursdays and prepare to confront the reality of another day at the club. To tell the truth I don't have moods, at least not in the mornings. Mornings are for breakfast and it is such an important time that moods are inappropriate. Desire for fresh fruits and yogi, fresh bread and Bonne Maman's jam, are at the top of the hit parade of desires. Moods are for those poor folks slaving away in the coal mines!

In fact on Thursdays I don't properly wake until the fruit and yogi and bread and jam and café – especially café! – have all hit their spot. It's a small spot, after all, requiring a regular shotgun blast of goodness. Hitting the mark can be plus–minus before I go out the door. Sometimes it happens while I am passing the cemetery. Sometimes it happens in the métro. Sometimes I don't have a mood until I arrive at the club's café, La Corona.

photo, bottle, glass & orange juiceOrange juice of the Week.

For example, today. I was there, sitting in the club's area, and it occurred to me that it is summer. This was even though the doors and windows were closed on account of the wind. Every time the Waiter of the Week, Patrick, took a tray of something out to somebody on the terrace, the door slammed. It had such a holiday sound! I looked around and the grande salle looked just as it does sometimes – in February, but I felt it was summer.

Thus, since it was summer, I took up the paper to read the news. Météo – vraiment fou. Tour de France – way, way beyond fou. Sarkozy peddling nuclear reactors to Muammar Al–Qaddafi. Apparently they have an Entente Cordiale. Apparently the Libyans also have a lot of oil and gas, but I didn't hear it mentioned. Also apparently, other Europeans thought they were working towards the release of the Bulgarian nurses for a lot longer, and then that little Sarkozy zipped in there.

But compared to the Tour fiasco that was just minor Faits Divers. The Tour de France is a mess. Dope is ripping it to smithereens. Suspicion reigns. Hiss. Boo. Bah! They have, the organizers tell us, the whole caboodle under a magnifying glass. They said this five years ago, they said this last year and they are saying it again. But a million folks parked beside the route throughout France are starting to lose faith. It seems like the organizers couldn't run a yoyo championship.

Ah, all so dire! Luckily member Doug Fuss choose this moment of total despair to arrive, to say, "Tour de farce!" No. Wait! Actually he said "Savannah is unbearable." Yes, that's it. When the mosquitos rampage and the humidity hits the ceiling in Georgia Doug jumps on a jet and comes to Paris, to escape being caged in a trap of air conditioning.

photo, sack of gummibaren Gummibären of the Week.

Oh yes. Last year he went to Beirut to avoid Savannah's climate. That was quite a story, getting evacuated from there. This year, he says, he is going to Bulgaria's Riviera on, where is it, on the Black Sea. Is it a coincidence that Sarkozy has just made all Bulgarians best friends with anything faintly French? Going with a French tour group, Doug will be honorary French. It will be nights of wine and days of tomatos!

But that's not all. Does Doug know that there's a heatwave in the Balkans, with temperatures up around 45 degrees? Britain has turned into a soggy Venice and southeast Europe has become a frying pan. Doug is sure there is air conditioning there, in what used to be the Socialist summer playland.

Doug is serene. He has his sources, he has done the homework. Then I saw member James MacNeil hovering, and then I was shaking the hand of Kirsten, his daughter. Max went back to Dublin too soon!

Kirsten, under the dubious influence of her dad, wished to become a club member. She has read the lore and the rules that no longer are – discontinued now, lo, these many years – so I needed merely to explain the email cut–out and she signed the tattered members' booklet. It looks awful.

Kirsten handed me a kilo bag full of gummib&aml;ren . I was overwhelmed. James handed me another kilo bag of – wine–flavored! – gummibären. I was wordless. Of the first two kilos I had, Max ate the last super–size gummibär last Thursday. I asked him to save me one but he ate them all. Max, come back. All is forgiven!


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