Excuse My Plaid Shirt

photo, ramona and yoko, tomoko, group of the week Ramona and Yoko, the Group of the Week.

Would You Believe It?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 6. September:–  Would you believe me if I said this end–of–summer weather is not to my taste? Would you believe that it was sunny yesterday when I looked out but I didn't trust it and darn if it didn't go and get all cloudy, just like I feared it would. Would you believe it took its time though, like hours. Hours – when I could have been out in the Place des Vosges having adventures and getting brilliant photos for the next issue of Metropole.

Well that was that and I'm paying for it now. My TV is no worse than it was last time. For tonight's TV–rugby news, obits and weather, there were exactly three colors – green and purple and 256 shades of gray, without any black or white. The illumination of the Tour Eiffel in World Cup Rugby colors at the end of the TV–news showed it to be stunningly wonderful in gray, olive and magenta. On my TV no sign of any big–bucks green and gold. Check out the Webcam here.

photo, orange juice of the week My Cocktail of the Week.

The odd aspect was that when the color dropped out entirely the TV's black and white image was pretty good. But it kept trying and the result was mud. I wrote so many question marks on Le Parisien's maps that I had to check out Le Monde and that seemed dubious so I checked out France Météo too.

I'll not vouch for this but here goes anyhow – Friday might be cloudy before noon, scratch the rain, and semi–sunny after noon, with a high of maybe 23 degrees. Saturday might be the same, but only 22 degrees. Did I mention the 40 kph wind from the north on Friday? No, well Sunday might be like Friday or maybe even Saturday, maybe 20 or 22 degrees, possibly with some semi–rain. Did I mention that Le Parisien has sunballs for the next four days? To sum up, the coming weather would not be suitable for a brilliant Nuit Blanche except at night. Maybe by October.

Beyond Pommeland's City Limits

Over there, standing on the edge of Coney Island, when you look straight east what you would see if the earth wasn't curved would be Portugal, not here, because here is a long way north. All the same we are sharing the same ocean and the same Gulf Stream and the same Arctic. All to ourselves we have Siberia while Pommeland has Canada all to itself. Frankly Metropole would like to partner with some other place with better weather. It might rub off.

The Plaid Shirt Club Report

This is a new week, when you might be tricked into reading a club report about some members, especially if you looked at the Group Photo of the Week, and just didn't skim down to here, to get a good laugh about the club's secretary sitting around by himself with nobody for company except for Patrick or the new Waiter of the Week. Laugh if you must! Tickle yourselves! Meanwhile...

photo, other bottle of the week Some other Bottle of the Week.

This afternoon I installed myself in the club's area of the café La Corona and filled in the particulars of today's meeting, and then I hauled out my glasses and today's Le Parisien and set to busily reading it. I was hoping to learn more than anybody wants to know about the World Cup Rugby, which starts here tomorrow. Apparently it is a big deal!

Except for the page one photo it wasn't the first item in the paper. The prosecutor was in a snit because of the gangs having battles in Pigalle and in and around the Gare du Nord. Gangs from out of town fight it out in Paris because it's handy. There's an interministerial meeting today about the problem. It will probably decide to form a study group or set up a all–party commission.

Meanwhile we have this World Cup thing on our hands. Zillions of rugger fans will be arriving at Gare du Nord and they will be going to Pigalle to let off steam after matches because it's pretty close to the Stade de France, and it's no great haul from the Parc des Princes either. If these rugby fans are anything like rugby players, who knows what havoc they might cause to our gangs.

Also meanwhile, all this other stuff was going on, but with one exception. The president, Nicolas Sarkozy, seemed to be missing. He's not in today's Le Parisien. SNCF freight may go on strike, WiFi might be bad for your health, Tony Parker's basketball guys lost, Villepin is in trouble, heart attacks can be caused by stress, Germany was capturing van loads of terrorists and Steve what's–his–name is still lost in Nevada.

photo, teacup of the weekThe Teacup of the Week.

So it was long before I got to the rugby in the paper when member Ramona McDaris arrived from Boerne in Texas, sat down and cajoled a pot of tea out of Patrick, the Waiter of the Week. Ramona said she doesn't mind that I was wearing a plaid shirt. Me, I didn't realize anybody was coming to the club meeting today. I do have other shirts.

According to Ramona I have badmouthed Joes who wear plaid shirts. If I have, I'm sorry. If your plaid shirt is black with white criss–cross lines on it, I promise never to say anything bad about it. A safer subject was about Ramona's tea and whether it's okay to put sugar in it. She began to look through her bag for a sugar substitute. It looked like it will take weeks.

Before I could sneakily read more about the World Cup another long–lost member appeared. It was none other than Tomoko Yokomitsu who is now known to one and all as Yoko. She was in Japan on hols for a month and while there they had a typhoon, but not in Osaka, and an earthquake, but not in Osaka. It was very hot and humid, she said. No point in mentioning that she missed a cool–to–average March while she was away.

Now, looking over these notes, I'm surprised I got all that. Because Ramona had a lot of questions, starting with, "What's with that glitter on your face?" Yoko said it was lifting cream. I looked, I stared, I squinted. I didn't know what either was talking about.

photo, yoko, tomoko, of the week Yoko and her Pot of the Week.

What followed was an extremely technical discussion about various creams you can smear on and wipe years away. "If I don't become younger, at least it won't make me any older," Yoko said.

I must have been daydreaming. Yoko told Ramona all about her show, the Beatles Story, which will be on stage at Le Mery in the Place de Clichy beginning 24. October. This time it wil be more than a one–night stand.

Patrick brought Yoko a pot of tea. If I hadn't ordered my orange juice we could have called it a tea party. As it was we had a quorum for a Group Photo of the Week so we went out on the café's terrace. I poked the big glass in their faces and they pretended to smile a bit, until it became tiresome and passing motoristas began making rude comments. What did they know?

About the Café Metropole Club

Put your mouse on rails to a recent club meeting report in an obscure archive of the Internet. Speed–reading long semi–coherent reports is faster but less exciting than being at tedious club meetings but really provides a preview of the real deal. An explanation for what we were doing today may be fuzzy but can be found on the ill named About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Wobble Weird Print

As spontaneous as every Thursday, half unrehearsed, semi out of control and again less than three members. Club meetings are actually from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 13. September. These times are metric and are the same as from 3 to 5 pm around other odd places, while meetings are held around here. Whatever you feel like saying will be totally appreciated by the other members present if there are any and they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always.* Your other, absolutely true, stories are all welcome too if they are very funny.

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. Refuse membership to stay unfound.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because when I sat down ready to read about rugby I had no idea I would actually see and talk to real members today.

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, 13.September.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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