It's Never Too Late

photo, maire and yoko, the group of the week Marie and Yoko, having a theatrical club meeting.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand"

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 6. December:–  So much for looking around and noticing that it's November. That month is gone and good riddance. Now we are afflicted with December. Today it was gusty as well as windy and it kept up with a steady rain that fell from the sky, or was pushed, or it dropped off awnings and seeped down my collar. It was a watery hell that Paris seldom sees. What it's doing here in December I have no idea. It's depressing. We are supposed to be ho–hoing and jolly.

The good news is that it is not very cold. Tomorrow's predicted 13 degrees is a whole 3 or 4 degrees above normal for this time of a rotten December. As you skip over puddles growing rapidly into mini–lakes console yourself by noticing how warm it is. You are like toast even if your feet feel like Arctic seal flippers.

Friday weather will be totally crummy. There will be clouds and rain and winds lashing the Channel and battering the Atlantic coasts, basically thrashing in two directions at once. It may not actually rain here but it'll be close. If you are lucky it will rain while you are in the métro and by the time you get to the surface, it'll be merely gloomy. It'll be vice versa if you are unlucky.

photo, orange juice of the week Lousy day for Orange J.

On Saturday the winds are expected to decrease, but blow from the south. Western France will be all wet. Here it might only be very cloudy. The bad news is that the foreseen temperature will only be 10 degrees. For Sunday the winds are expected to return, from the northwest, the west and the southwest, including gusting to about 70 kph here. We may have cloudbursts and the temperature will struggle to reach 9 degrees. This is a forecast that I hope is totally wrong and when we all wake up on Sunday it will be July.

The "It's Never Too Late" of the Week Report

Rain around my place falls in the rear courtyard making a sound like random BBs bouncing off window sills and the galvanized roof covering the bikes. Even if I hear this sound it might only be a few stray drops. If cars below the front window are sloshing, I know it's the real McCoy – but then I would have to get up and walk all the way over there to check it out.

So I like to stay nice and warm under the covers until I can figure out which is what. This morning I definitely had a feeling of 40–year old déjà vu. That west coast sound of water running down pipes and falling off roofs, gurgling and surging, dripping and dropping – like the BBs hitting tin Burma Shave signs.

photo, cafe of the week A classic café day.

Yeah. So I got out there and used the old and fragile Field & Stream umbrella for protection on the way to the métro, when I got a copy of Le Parisien the paper kiosk was in a lake, and there were only two other people walking across my bridge, the Pont Neuf, slanting sideways, with their umbrellas braced like capes against the elements.

Monsieur Ferrat was surveying the Corona terrace when I coasted in to the dock. Was he thinking of home on the range next to the Sahara? He looked disgusted. He said, "It won't stop until May." When I said there might be a sunny day or two in February, he shrugged off that ridiculous notion.

Inside the café I couldn't take over the club's territory on account of four civilians occupying three and a half tables. Patrick, the club's Waiter of the Week, pried them out and I moved over. I read nearly all the paper. All old news. The socialists are squabbling. Kids are drugging themselves with video games. A French dude is going to fly into space. Routine stuff.

I was just about to read Les Spectacles when Marie Mazurchuk came up and asked where the other members were. I should have said they know where they are but I didn't think of it. Marie's hand felt like she had been washing clothes at one of those outdoor sheds that used to be so popular about 117 years ago.

photo, hot wine of the week A classic hot wine day.

Marie, for those coming in late, is on a long–term visit from Vancouver. I got a phone call from there last night, about an impending high school reunion – a 50th! – and darned if Marie didn't say she's helping organize one for Kitsalano, also a 50th, just a month after the one I heard about. Members never give their ages to the club – so pretend you haven't read this.

Good things happen in pairs though so this was when Yoko arrived. She made a special effort – the rain! – to come by. She's appearing in her Beatles Story musical these days and the only day she gets off is Monday.

Marie asked, "Don't you need caffein to stay awake?" Yoko plays Yoko in the musical, and Yoko doesn't enter the Beatles story until quite far into the musical history, so Yoko watches a lot from the wings until she goes out and meets John. She says she takes all her vitamins to stay awake.

photo, rainy, wind-swept terrace of the week M. Ferrat said, "Deserted until next May."

Marie went to see the show on an A–list night. Somehow she found out her favorite song was in the B–list, so she asked Yoko if they could include it in one A–list performance.

But that was back when we were having the exciting transport strikes. The Beatles crew played I Want to Hold Your Hand one Sunday but Marie couldn't get there to hear it. Even Yoko missed a night when the métros weren't running.

They finally got together on a night when the band wouldn't play any B–list songs. They made up for it afterwards by going to have some noodles at Kunitoraya, a noodle joint in the rue Sainte–Anne. Yoko wrote the name for me in Japanese and I certainly have the fonts here, but have no idea how to put them on a web page. I must have graduated from high school too soon.

Just before five we had a lively discussion about where one can see Japanese cherry blossoms. For example you can see them in Washington DC when they are in season. I remembered seeing them across the street along the road to the golf course clubhouse 50 years ago. Yoko recalled them being around the castle in Osaka. I scratched out Kyoto.

photo, club table of the week Empties, some cash, and out the door.

Across the street was in Vancouver, and the blossoms were always there on account of the spring rains, the ones that were like chapters 4, 5and 6 of the winter rains. There was something about today that was reminding me of this.

Then I scratched out some of the stuff Marie said. Yoko leaned over the club reports booklet and objected to some notes I made when she was talking about the Bnatziyths. Scratch, scratch.

To Yoko Marie said, "Are you going to the cathedral?" And Yoko repled, "Scratch, scratch, scratch." We tossed some money on the tables, put on our coats, scarfs, gloves, hats and primed our umbrellas, and outside it was dark and getting darker.

Yoko Does Déjà Vu Again

Famous club member Yoko is appearing in the musical Beatles Story, which is on stage at Le Mery in the Place de Clichy. Club members can get half price tickets by contacting Yoko here at least three days beforehand. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 21:30, and Sunday at 17:00. Near métro line 13. If you wish to pay full price, call the theatre at 01 45 22 03 06 for info.

About the Café Metropole Club

Scoot your mouse near a recent club meeting report buried somewhere in Metropole. Less trying than being at tediously long and drumhum club meetings but nothing is perfect. An explanation for what we were doing today may help and can be found on the About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Zoned Broiled Patas

Spontaneous as any Thursday, half unrehearsed, semi out of control and again something less than three members. Club meetings run from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 13. December. 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 even if they are 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 of rain getting down my collar and into my more–than–50–year old joints. How many other club secretaries would admit it? In my shoes too!

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. December.

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