...Continued from page 1

photo, ruby, britain vs usa, big screen, hotel de ville Headroom at the Hôtel de Ville on Saturday.

In order to feel homey to the visiting fans and for Parisian thrill seekers, there's a Rugby Town – I'm not kidding – below the Palais Chaillot at Trocadéro, facing the Tour Eiffel. I thought there would be a big outdoor screen there – like the one at the Hôtel de Ville – because it's a good spot for watching stuff.

Instead they have a tent city full of LCD screens, a couple of bars and a restaurant – with a beautiful view – and a trinket stall. Action is outside where the kids are doing their skateboard and roller acrobatics. Inside it is noisy, warm, humid and faintly tacky, like the infield at Le Mans, a bit like the betting areas at Longchamp. It didn't seem like rugby to me.

The big screen setup at the Hôtel de Ville is more rugby–like, but without the bars, trinket shop, resto, or anything to lean on, like a bar. You can sit on the fake grass or stand on the hard stone. When I was there on Saturday the Brit team was overcoming some initial reluctance from a willing but inexpert American squad to lose, but they prevailed long before the end. Meanwhile the sun was going down softly and in color.

photo, rugby rooster, cedric soulette, tour eiffel More rooster, more Tour Eiffel.

The tournament continues until 20. October. Hundreds of millions will watch it on television. My set is having a prolonged death rattle, now with limited colors and a short in the audio. TV–news showed a Panasonic lady in a nearly empty warehouse the size of an A380 hanger, saying that everyone would get a large screen LCD in time. So I went around the corner to Darty and they said it would take them 10 days to deliver one to Metropole world headquarters.

But, hey, that's cool! At first the Joe said they had none, then that it was an old model, and then the delay. I didn't go for the three–year guarantee, the HDMI cable or the 40€ cleaning sponge. I guess they are letting it go at a loss. A lady calling last week from the phone company said I could turn this Powerbook into a TV set. Jeez, I could be watching rugby instead of writing all these typos into Metropole. What a twitwit!

Next year, not next week of course, there will be much more of everything. There always is, more bigger LCDs, more iTubes, more touchy iPods, more downloaded movies, more low–grade music, next year.

The Café Metropole Club

Some of the club's veteran members showed up at last week's club meeting and the club's secretary took beautiful photos of every one. All the same next Thursday there will be another try at getting more wonderful photos at the Café Metropole Club meeting. Any sort of members regardless of standing are welcome, as are as yet future members. You know who you are I think.

photo, rugby non fans, notre dame Meanwhile over at Notre Dame...

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 13. September, the kind of day a week after the last meeting. The Saint of the Day will be Saint–Aimé and Saint–Aimé of Remiremont. The second born in 560 and the first died in 690, both started at the Agaune Monastery. The legend also says the first became the Bishop of Sion in 669, while the second died about 628. When there are two saints with the same name on the same day confusions are bound to result but it's none of my doing.

Once more, this is completely unrelated to Paris because it happened in a distant time far away. There is some compelling stuff about the club and its lone factoid on a page mis–catalogued as the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually have read some of it, and many of you haven't, will hardly fail to be curious about the unmentioned other part of it. Should queries arise, check out the club's dismal but free membership card for clues, smells or ticks.

photo, sign, quai de corse

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

No one should be surprised that last week ten years ago was 520 weeks ago. Metropole used to have some new stuff in it, such as Who Demands 'Tabloid' Garbage?, possibly in the Café column and Surviving Back–to–School Chaos by 95 Percent, possibly was the week's feature, along with some posters and a cartoon entitled Our Respects. That was just enough in Issue 2.36 – 8.September 1997 because it was the rentrée, Diana was dead a week, and it was heavy going.

Café Life Légère 89.9

Beyond Gloom, Beyond Depression

Today's Quote of the Week has no connection to today's date, but does anyone care? For today's tidbit of philosophy I offer a quote by Luciano Pavarotti, who recently left Italy to join a higher choir. He once wrote, "Nothing that has happened has made me feel gloomy or remain depressed. I love my life." I am getting to this story late. What caused Luciano's depression, causing him to be gloomy? What's the real story here?

photo, banner, ouvert aux assoiffes de rugby

Wobble–Rugby Zone

There are no more than 112 days left of this year, the same number that 1419 had when Jean Sans Peur was assassinated by pals of the Dauphin, somehow connected to Louis of Orléans, younger brother of the increasingly loony Charles VI. In a plot involving hundreds if not thousands, everybody had at least six names. The good news is that Jean's place in Paris can be visited and the whole sorry tale has been sketched in Metropole already. See Fearless John Slept Here.

Monkeys In the Patazone

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 246 days, the same number that 1967 had when the folks living on Gibraltar voted to remain dependent on Britain because they had no wish to become fun–loving and Spanish. Britain won control of the Rock by winning and then they had their lawyers make it perpetual, back in 1713. It is thought that the first to arrive were the Phoenicians and since then everybody and his brother has lived there, including about 230 Barbary Macaques, or apes. In 1887 Jules Verne wrote a little satire about the monkeys near successful attack on the fortress. Who remembers the movie with Alec Guinness as the ferry captain with a wife in Gibraltar and another in Tangier? Imagine, all this stimulation in an area a lot less than 6.5 square kilometres!

photo, poster, 1927-2007, 80 annees folles, 80 crazy years, la couploe

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

A few folks have might have been thinking that it is fair to remember that it was in 1858 on this date that George Mary Searle discovered asteroid 55 Pandora. That reminds me that today is the birthday, in 1898 of inventor Waldo Semon who gave us the gift of vinyl. He did not invent bubble gum. But what was that compared to pop–singer Paulus who swam from Bercy to Auteuil today in 1905? Keeping him company was Australian swimmer Anette Kellermann, who was also credited with inventing the single–piece bathing suit, which got her busted in Boston. For an encore she appeared nude in 1916 in the movie Daughter of the Gods. In 1911 Annette was also the first swimming mermaid in a movie. Too bad it's not Annette's birthday today. Finally, on this date,, the first British submarine sunk in WWII was torpedoed by a Royal Navy submarine.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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