A Handful of Ados

photo, lucky, group of one of the week One of six shots catches Lucky, caught in Paris by luck.

About Next To Nothing

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 2. August:–  If I've said it once, I've said it before. Uncle Den–Den phoned to say it too. I picked it up and he shouted "MOYER!" down the wire and through the airwaves into my brain. "It's flippin' cold out!" Like it's my fault. Like I sit in front of the TV and shout at the guy on France–2. "Give us good weather or we'll pick up our marbles and go home." And he apologises for the next wave of miserableness to blow in from the Atlantic.

What it means is, if there's a smidgen of sunshine I have to rush out with the camera in hand and race down to Paris–Plage with an empty memory card, and scoot along going click, click, click. And there's the folks down there, expecting to be living a summer in Paris in total calm – everybody's gone, Sarkozy's gang in the Assembly Nat passed all those rash promises he made – he said, "Nobody leaves town until all my reforms are in the bag!" He alone has guaranteed a wonderful and exciting rentrée.

photo, bottle of pelforth, empty Bottle of the Week.

But that is ahead of us. The here and now is tonight's TV–news weather forecast. They sprung it as a surprise, before they finished the commercials, so I had to sprint into place as he was showing the spew from the ocean. Whirl, twirl, looks bad allright. Dreck in the... east. Hey? What's he say? Looks like, clouds, maybe a little sunshine, temperature almost a respectable 24 degrees.

Wait! Don't give up. He beams a grin to the viewers, and tosses out his ace – lookit Saturday! The whole dang shebang is covered in yellow sunballs. It is Jerry Lee Lewis' weather, there's a whole lotta sunballs goin' on. North, south, east and west, sunballs partout. Oh, it will be sweet! No need to fit in with the sardines grilling at Cannes. And here's the cherry on top of the cake – high temperature for Saturday afternoon, from 12:01 untill 17:30, is forecast to be 28 degrees. We finally get out of the sub–zero hole of temperatures below 25.

Then, folks, there's Sunday. Don't pay any attention to those thin clouds drifting in from the west, to discourage all the semi–discouraged lining the Atlantic coast, because around here it will be sunny like Saturday. More sunballs all over. Over Montmartre. Over Etoile. Over Montparnasse and Bastille and all three sides of Paris–Plages. And on those city beaches the temperature will get up to 31 degrees, a bonafide August level. Secret Tip of the Week – 26 degrees is the temperature of the water in the sea around Corsica.

The Ados About Nada Report

A misstatement I made last week needs a correction. Folks do not often ask me about my moods on Thursday. At best they see me in the club's café and note to themselves that I still seem to be breathing, man it's okay, and get on with the meeting. That's why I have my spectacular breakfast, a ton of fruits and yogi, heavy–duty French bread with jam and a litre of strong café. The last thing I need to be at a club meeting is moody.

photo, french national sandwichThe French National Sandwich.

It was a little hard today. Yesterday evening the sky was blue, Tuesday too, but today looked like it was tired. Two good days in a row and it can't take any more. Feeble weather. I suppose it was 22 when I left for the club and I bet it was 22 when I came back. Doesn't it know it's August?

Then, I got down there and across my bridge – the Pont Neuf – to the paper kiosque in front of Samaritaine, and all it had for new posters was stupid posters or old posters. From that tremendous poster bonanza of a couple of weeks ago it's fallen to the bottom of the August poster pit. Same thing for the Morris columns. The best I've seen so far is a poster for a film hitting the cinemas in October.

At the club's spot in the Corona I took out Le Parisien and started to read about the score – out of 20 – that it's given to Sarkozy's government since it took over. Overall score was 11.1 and the prime minister was awarded 10. My eye flicked to the juicy details at the same time as a shadow fell across the club's fake wood table. I looked up.

photo, glass of pelforthSoup of the Week.

To see member A–Lucky Checkley from New York City, exactly the Astoria part of it in the fabulous borough of Queens. Lucky shows up every year about this time, after seeing his friends around the country, and after photographing the final stage of the Tour de France from a position within the frenzied mob on the Champs–Elysées.

Except, Lucky skipped last year, or skipped the cub meeting. Maybe it wasn't a Thursday. Besides being a photographer and living in Astoria, Lucky is also an administrator at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and he graciously gave me a tour there a couple of years ago.

"You know, I forget," he said, "What's that thing you get when you're older?" It's on the tip of my tongue – "Starts with A and has a Z in it?" I prompted. "That's it," he replied. Apropos of what was lost because we immediately began a tour of the horizon, with visits to China with a side trip to Bollywood and the call centres of India, all decidedly inappropriate.


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