The Real Shirt of the Week

photo, joe, kathy, yoko, group of the week Joe, Kathy and Toko – friendlies of the week.

"I went out and swooned."

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 13. September:–  Ranting and raving about blah weather pays off. Okay, okay, I'll admit that it doesn't pay off often and when it does it doesn't pay off much. Like usual we were having this blah stuff so all it had to do was improve like 10% to become half decent. What it did was actually 15% better. Space appeared between the clouds and the sun shone through and the world was okay again. I went out and swooned.

That was yesterday. You never know when one of these days is going to happen so you have to grab them while they're live. I rushed over the the Quai de la Gare in the 13th to see the three–masted sailing ship parked there. This is one of those deals where the sailors make a whole sailing ship inside a bottle that used to be full of rum. It is sort of like a therapy to rid them of rum's aftereffects. Put a three–master in a bottle while "going 'round the horn" and you get to have more rum at the next port of call, you lucky devil!

photo, glass of ice Waiting for the orange.

So what they did was put a three–master into the Seine by taking down the masts and when it was parked all shipshape at Bercy they put the masts up again so Parisians can go down there and ogle this little three–master tied up there. That's it. You go and look at it and if you didn't read Le Parisien you might wonder how they got this boat with three tall masts in here.

The best part of this story has been today's weather. Yesterday was good but today was better, brighter, warmer. Tomorrow will probably begin the same way but at about 12:37 it will become lightly cloudy. It will still be bright and there will be a semblance of mild warmth, with the high forecast to be 23 degrees.

It's too good to last because the day after tomorrow is Saturday, one of two weekend days. According to tonight's TV–news weather, and my blitzed TV and its sorry three colors, Saturday will be no better than semi–sunny. The temperature will be no hell either, at 20. Sunday is supposed to be the same, but warmer. Frankly I didn't care for Saturday's temperature so I looked at Le Monde for better weather, and they were saying 22 degrees. They give the same for Sunday, and the TV said 23 so you see, we are all d'accord.

The Nelson Mandela Shirt of the Week Report

On the Pont Neuf I was bareheaded. After the narrow shadows of the rue Dauphine the openness of the bridge made me think of being on the veranda deck of the Queen Mary wearing white bags flapping in the breeze like sails, just cruising the deck, on the way to the open veranda bar and its tinkling bottles. Then I looked up at the Samaritaine's upper deck and remembered that it is closed and will likely never again serve as a platform for airy landlocked dreams.

photo, shirt pattern of the Shirt pattern of the week.

Down in this earthly pit of coal I quit cruising the deck and used my legs to traverse the Quai du Louvre. Once across there was nothing left to do but drudge along to the club's café. But arriving there, its awnings more red than red in the direct sunlight, its terracians in thick shadows with the black and white waiters slinging their trays full of beers and green drinks, and I saw Monsieur Ferrat and he said the world was perfectly round and we were in its navel.

In the café's grande salle I opened the paper and was reading an interesting report about how Apaches cope with everyday stress. According to this French paper in the heart of France, the proper way to get loose is to take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in the grass. If it happens to be winter and there's snow, just do it! Vous risquez rien, because of global warming, it said.

I was so focused on this that I must have jumped a whole centimetre when new members Kathy and Joe Everette said hello. I tossed out the idea of hot snow on my little toes and welcomed this couple from Tigard, Oregon to the club, immediately proclaiming it as the City of the Week.

photo, cafe corona terrace Café terrace of the week.

Kathy and Joe told me they have been in Paris three or four days, for the first time in their lives. Kathy said that she noticed that being here requires a lot of walking. And this reminded Joe to ask about the motor scooters zooming around on the sidewalks.

To tell the truth I have given up worrying about them. They are there and the best thing is do nothing that could cause one to hit you. They may look flimsy but with a burly coursière driving you will come out of most jousts in last place. Yeah, yeah, they are not supposed to be there but all the cops are busy searching for illegal immigrants!

Kathy and Joe also noticed the rental Vélib' bikes. They are more and more al over the place. Folks are using them a lot. Even people who where already riding bikes are using the city's – no worries about getting them stolen. The city also has a barge they use as a repair shop. Got a flat tire? Park it and take another. Zoom.

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