A Subtle Game of Cool Strategy

photo, rugby rooster, cedric soulette, trocadero gardens, tour eiffel For fans expecting rugby, a rooster and the Tour Eiffel.

It Looks Like Brawling

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 10. September:–  Here we are 10 days into the first month of fall, the wee kiddies are back in school learning to be geniuses and the leaves and the grass are vivid green. If only the météo would behave and act like Indian Summer, we could be at peace with the world instead of mooching around and cuddling up to warm TV sets.

It's On the Scoreboard

It just goes to show that the jam is always on the downside when the slab of fresh bread evades your clutch and lands in your clean lap, clad in your last pair of neat jeans. It's the perfect beginning to a month of sports on TV, a month of TV dinners, frozen food delights from Picard and ordering cases of beer, crates of wine and a lot of substandard pizzas, all called up on the portable phone. If you aren't already busted, buy phone company stock!

And now, as every week at this time, I turned to my elderly TV and examined its purple–green depiction of the climate. Monsieur Météo began by placing a deep low over the British Islands as if to excuse all that would follow. There is a big wheel of cloud whirling around it like a circular saw, with the teeth biting the northeast top of France. Add a 40 kph wind from the north and we have...

photo, rugby town tvs, rugby fans In the depths of Rugby Town.

Tuesday, when the morning's bad clouds move northeast leaving semi–friendly clouds behind, perhaps with some semi–sunshine peeking through. A temperature forecast of 21 degrees is supposed to be normal for this time of year no matter how much I think it's underachieving nonsense.

Followed by Wednesday when that circular business moves further to the northeast, letting us enjoy more semi–sunshine here, but with a negative tradeoff of temperature, of no more than 20 degrees. Then there's Thursday to come with perhaps more of the same, but brighter. Maybe even advancing to semi–good and the old calories heaving up to 22 degrees again. It looks good. Better seems to be out of question – take it out and score something.

Metropole's météo from Pommeland across the Atlantic is back in all its pristine glory, from our expert part–time predictor, Météo Jim. Woofies plucked, petards hoisted, decks swabbed with batten, let's go:–

Youthful Soixante–huitards

An anniversary of sorts took place on September 1. On that date, many years ago, Météo Jim, though not known by that name, left the country that used to be West Germany to go to Paris to study and be a student. The Summer of Love was fading, only to be replaced by the Years of Rage. Except for France, which was bored, and one thing the French fear above all is boredom. So, they held a party and called it les Journées de Mai in honor of les Grandes Journées of the French Revolution, or, less forcefully, les Evénements de Mai.

Thirty years later, Ed, Ric, Radioric and his cousin Radial Ric, who works for Michelin, started the –zine Metropole Paris, even though there was no Summer of Love. But a year later, events conspired to produce the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Mai 68. Now, more events have come to pass and next year we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mai 68 and its ever youthful Soixante–huitards.

photo, my tv, crazy colors, green, magenta, ochre My betrayal of a TV.

As for the weather in Pommeland, far away from soixante–huitard land, tropical storm Gabrielle is threatening the eastern most section of North Carolina in the area known as Cape Hatteras. After making suitable threats, the storm will turn northeast and miss Pommeland and La Grosse Pomme. Even though no rain is predicted, Gabrielle's winds will cause strong rip currents making swimming dangerous.

Yesterday saw the last gasp of summer with temperatures about 90 a–grad. Cool fronts will bring the chance of showers and much cooler weather with temperatures in the low 70s by next weekend. These fronts will push Gabrielle further and further east and the storm hopes to be able to bring her winds and rain and visit Rugbyville in the next few days.

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

photo, sign, cimetiere de montparnasse

Café Life

A Subtle Game of Cool Strategy

Friday finally arrived last Friday and 20 teams from both likely and less likely countries began playing rugby in France. True rugby fans knew this particular Friday was coming months or years in advance. In contrast I was confused. Somewhere they are playing football too, both in France and internationally. So Italy playing here is not the same as France playing Italy there, and the trainer that was banned from the game is not the same as the trainer here who was looking worried on Friday night when Argentina beat France at the Stade de France in Saint–Denis Luckily rugby is a subtle game of cool strategy that doesn't feature big kids kicking each other.

photo, trocadero, rugby fans, palais chaillot Lots of fans for next–to–no rugby.

Not that anyone would care a fig, but I like to watch rugby. I mean, it's only once every four years, and less often in France. Except for the rugby played here – see, folks in these towns close to the Pyrenées play rugby. It's like a religion and occasionally they bring a match to Paris to play, and everybody here goes nuts – they go out to bars and cafés and drink lots and sing songs and act like real good buddies. And the men act even stranger.

Rugby is not professional in France. Schools don't do sports so nobody learns rugby at them. Somehow guys – and some gals too – get together in places like Pau, Toulouse and Biarritz and they play rugby, whole seasons of it. In some way that is not clear it might be mixed up with bullfighting, which they do down there too. Maybe it's a Basque sport – except that it's named after some place in Britain. Maybe Basques are called Welsh there.


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