Talking Isn't Enough

photo, group, katherine, linda, edward, yoko, marie, stephan, marion At last, a Group of the Week, again.

We Should All Knit Too

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 4. October:–  The coming weather as forecast tonight by France–2 TV news and weather showed that it was worth waiting for. Earlier in the week the prediction for the weekend was lousy but it was credited with only a 2 out of 5 likelihood, so it was worthless as well as being lousy. Now we have new news, but let me first say that having a new TV makes it very tempting to watch. In order to produce this report tonight I am missing Intolerance by D. W. Griffith, in VO no less!

Actually Intolerance is a black and white silent movie – with music by a big–time French orchestra – that has a runtime of 197 minutes. Griffith chose to tell his story, with wonderful titles by Anita Loos, in four parts, or four ages. There's modern as modern was in 1916, there's Paris at the time of Catherine de Médicis, there's Babylon in 539 BC and I must have missed the fourth one.

In case you think this has nothing to do with the Café Metropole Club you are mistaken. Besides Catherine there's our very own Amiral de Coligny who was murdered right nearby. Anita Loos has Catherine say, "Such a fine man, Amiral de Coligny. If only he thought as we do." And our hero says right back, "Such a wonderful king. If only he thought as we do!" And then they hacked him to pieces.

photo, clean drinks of the week Only clean drinks for us.

In modern times there are these ladies dressed like bats out of hell, and they want to close all the saloons. "There's drinking in saloons!" they would have said if Intolerance was a talkie. Company goons shoot the poor workers who were dancing after hours, so they move to the big city where the goons are tougher and better armed. Young maidens are deflowered and all sorts of bad stuff goes on. It was about lack of tolerance after all.

In case you missed it, you might be more interested in our weather. On account of the time of year it might be a bit foggy in the mornings. By noon it will become sunny on Friday and the temperature will get up to an agreeable 22 degrees at 14:00. There will no wind to speak of, but there might be a slight breeze from the southwest.

The southern half of France is supposed to have very lousy weather, but that will concern only one club member. The so–called low in Spain that's supposed to be sending warmth here will be going on the fritz Saturday, when only 20 degrees are expected. However it should be very sunny for the night part Nuit Blanche, which is most of it. If it slops over into Sunday, that part of Nuit Blanche will be quite sunny too, with with a high of only 19. Sounds perfect.

The Talking Isn't Enough of the Week Report

Sometimes when you do a favor for somebody they are so pleased that they immediately get you to do another favor, but bringing folks to club meetings so that they can learn English is not exactly a favor type of social exchange, but rather conforms to the club's rules – alas, so nonexistent these days – I should say, conforms to the overall ethic of the club. Just ask Yoko if it's not so!

photo, katherine, linda, edward, yoko Katherine, Linda, Edward and Yoko.

But this is ahead of myself, ahead of my existential tolerance. When I got to the club's café on this cloudy afternoon without many folks around, I found fair number of them inside having steaming bowls of onion soup. Boy, were they making a racket! I took out today's Le Parisien and read every word about our new president's wife. On the front page it said, " Mais où est passée Cécilia?" The poor lady is being pillaged for not wanting to go to Bulgaria today.

Before I could find any news about the strikes on 18. October or read about the new homeless camping, or all the moans about taxes and the all–purpose faits divers two members presented themselves. These were Marie Mazurchuk from Vancouver and Katherine Weser from Tucson. They say they had a wonderful lunch of frog's legs, lamb and really good wine, but the best part was a French dude at another table, romancing a lady photographer from California. No need to go to movies here!

Which led to discussing Robert Redford's height, which is no more than Paul Newman's. This allowed Marie to say that she had been in a movie made in Vancouver with Harrison Ford, whose height is unknown. She said it was a firebug movie.

photo, reverso texto by edward Edward's reverso–texto style.

Before I could find out how much forest they burned down for it, members Marion and Stephan Nowak arrived from Köln. Marie immediately said, "I know somebody in Hanover" and Katherine was right there too with, "I was there in the same room where the Marshall Plan was signed." At this club there are only four degrees of separation.

It was starting to feel like a bahnhof when the server–lady came in with Edward Wenner from Tegerfelden somewhere in deepest Switzerland. Wherever it is, it is the City of the Week, a true first of a high order.

But first I must explain the term server–lady. For more than a dozen years Linda Thalman made sure that Metropole was on a WWW server, available 24 hours a day worldwide. Downtime might have amounted to less than 48 hours – next to nothing! For this Linda will always be the server–lady. It's a sign of true distinction.

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photo, the cup of cafe of the week A wonderful and glorious Café of the Week.

Stephan was whispering in my ear, "Can I propose Betzenstein as nearly a City of the Week? It's near Pegnitz. I grew up near there. It's the smallest city that's a city in Germany.

Really, I am trying to get Edward to tell me about Tegerfelden, because Linda asked me to, and she's saying she calls her hometown, BLT, short for Boulley–les–Troux. What a fitting locale for the Cadillac Ranch!

Meanwhile Marion has plopped a half–kilo ball of wool on the table and she's busy with a half dozen little knitting needles. It looks like she's knitting a little sock. I wonder if she will finish it during the meeting.

photo, the good old beer of the weekGood, old, Beer of the Week.

"I started it in Aachen while waiting for... Talking a lot just isn't enough," she said. Stephan adds knitting is strichen and the other thing is häkeln and the difference is that knit stuff stretches and the other doesn't. Marion said, "Lace can be knitted also."

What my notes don't reflect is that Marie and Katherine and Linda are firing questions about BLT and knitting and places in Germany, and Edward seems happy nobody is asking him anything. He does admit that he can write in English, talk in English like he's doing here, and think in Schweizerdeutsch at the same time. This shouldn't be confused with Swiss Standard German, but everybody does.

Linda comes back from wherever she's been and mentions that Edward is proficient with text–messaging. In addition to Schweizerdeutsch, German, English and French, Edward agrees. I ask him to show me how to get ABC out of number one but everybody shouts out their texto favorites, like ctplms for c'est tout pour le moment and MfG for Mit freundlichen Grüßen.

But there's more. All the while we had been talking Edward has been sending textos in secret. Yes! It's not enough to be able to write insane jargon on a portable phone, you have to be able to do it in secret, like in French class in a Swiss school. Like standing there answering questions in geography with your hands behind your back, busily sending textos to an aunt in Singapore or that cute blond in the second row. I got Edward to show me how, outside on the terrace.

photo, marie, stephan, marionMarie, Stephan, and Marion knitting.

Meanwhile, Tomoko Yokomitsu who we always call Yoko these days arrived and dived straight into the potpourri of the language sandwich that was going around, mentioning French–Canadian as a distinct language. Another one with sometime subtitles on French TV.

Marie asked – or was it Katherine? – Yoko about the circular bandage on her arm. She explained that it was an acupuncture cure she got in Japan, to "Keep my weight down," she said. Marion sighed and said, "My body cannot be influenced by..."

Even though Linda was hot to leave to beat the rush out of town, we all trooped out to the Corona's terrace and I fired off the usual ten shots at today's Group of the Week, capturing winks, blinks, yawns, balls of wool, and so on just like at the end of any other meeting except the ones that I attend solo.

Coming Meeting Schedule

There will be a six week pause of meetings while I collect myself by being on an excursion. The next scheduled meeting in Paris will be on Thursday, 22. November, a Thursday. It will be meeting number 394 but the number has no particular significance other than imagining that the first meeting in 2008 will be number 400. Exactly 3 months less a day from today, on Thursday, 3. January.

Sleepless In Paris

The Nuit Blanche 2007 was not discussed, again, this week. Try the Ville de Paris main page and hit the link for Culture. Saturday's Le Parisien is sure to have some details too. This year's edition is supposed to be aligned with métro line 14, from Batignolles to Les Olympiades in Chinatown. On Saturday, 6. October.

About the Café Metropole Club

Chase your mouse around a recent club meeting report in an archive deeply buried in Metropole blunt but less exciting than being at tediously long and live club meetings. An explanation for what we were doing today may no help but can be found anyway on the About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Patazoned Stuff

Spontaneous as any Thursday, half unrehearsed, semi out of control and again a lot more than one member. Club meetings are in fact from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday, except for the next six weeks. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 22. November. These metric times are the same as 3 to 5 pm around other odd unmetric 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 totally welcome too if they are even true.

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. Spurn membership to stay unfound.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because Edward did not give us any lessons in Schweizerdeutsch loud enough to stick.

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, 22. November.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini