Car Derails Train

photo, susan, doug fuss, group of the week Susan and Doug Fuss, the Group of the Week.

No Giraffe of the Week

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 17. January:–  I think I am having déjà vu again. Like last week it has been a soggy, gray and breezy day here, saved from being totally horrible by the temperature which felt chilly but was probably around 11 degrees. It was like a misleading advertisement for summer. If this is what you have in, say, deepest Siberia where it was -50 this morning, then you'll love the summer here at Paris–Plage.

But tonight's France–2 TV news and weather came through with brilliant colors, especially for Friday. I'll admit that there might be some winds from the southwest, and that it may be kind o:f gray and rainy in the morning, but by afternoon it is supposed to be semi–sunny or semi–cloudy or semi–both – so what if eastern France gets drenched? Get this – overnight low of 9 degrees and high tomorrow at 14:18 of 14 degrees. Plenty OK for March!

photo, cafe and blue water bottleCafé with blue water chaser.

After that Saturday will be more normal, with lots of dismal clouds up north, quite a few average clouds around here, and a high temperature of 12. Sunwise it might be Sunday that turns into a winner with a forecast for mi–mi or semi–semi. Take the part you like best, and if you have to inhabit any café terraces it is expected to be 11 degrees about 14:37. Dream of Monday if you prefer better.

The No Giraffe of the Week Report

Sometimes you can be in the pits of winter and not realize it because the sun is feebly shining and you feel optimistic about the better times that are surely coming, but none of that was happening today on my way to the club. If anything it looked like the clouds were about to become grayer and the few odd souls around looked more like they had just forfeited all their accumulated holidays from 2007, without substitutes or pay.

Everybody in the club's café gave me a hearty greeting. I guess they were starved for company. At first I pretty much had the grande salle to myself, something I hardly need. Even in the club's glory days we never filled more than 10% of the place. Today we could have used at least three busloads of cruise animators.

photo, cafe solo Café solo with sugar.

Instead I had today's Le Parisien for companionship. "Et vous, comment vous faites?" asked the front page headline. The government is increasing purchasing power by boosting old folks' pensions by 1.1%. This was described as injury or unjust. Me, I will welcome an extra 6.50€ per month. With the price of bananas these days it will be useful.

But there was a lot of good news in the paper. Those people who got their cars torched – 46,000 in 2007 – are supposed to get 4000€ in compensation, if they are poor enough. Rich folks can forget it and dig into their own pockets. A court finally assessed damages of 192 million euros against the gang responsible for the oil mess from the Erika sinking. That was about eight years ago.

We are having municipal elections again this spring, so there are some goodies such as the idea to create a park for dogs, just down the street from me. Dogs, apparently, feel stressed on leashes. There should be a park where they can run around free as birds. This would be a park that prohibits little kids. They are trying to figure out how many votes this could get.

However the Story of the Week was a faits divers. Car Derails Train sums it up even if Le Parisien chose a very boring headline. During the Wednesday evening rush hour at a level crossing in the 16th a car hit a train engine and knocked it off its tracks. Nobody was hurt. The train involved was the kiddie train from the Jardin d'Acclimation that runs up to Porte Maillot. That last night was dark and rainy, must be the true explanation.

photo, cafe, water glass and hand Café with fingers.

I was turning reluctantly to Sports News when member Susan Fuss from Savannah, Georgia arrived and said that Doug Fuss was probably around somewhere looking at a map. Susan said she walked to the club from Smith's on Rivoli, past "Many shops that seemed to be closed or going out of business." I didn't have to feign ignorance.

When Doug arrived he said it had taken him longer because of taking Bus 82 and Bus 58. "On a slow, gloomy afternoon," he said, as if getting to the club any old time could be blamed on the weather. Then we talked about the silly airlines and how they are trying to get folks to Europe any way but directly. Charging more for changing planes once or twice in Denmark or some other place.

Susan and Doug have been renting the same apartment here for 11 years. Susan told me she would have been jetlagged today if the plumber hadn't woken her. They said, the way it is now, if they say they don't have broadband and they don't, nobody wants to stay with them for free. That's a good enough reason for staying out of the clutches of Noos.

photo, rain, pont neuf Paris glistens with rain on Pont Neuf.

We also discussed the other 568 club members known to us all, but club rules do not permit reporting this. If members aren't at a meeting they don't get in the report. If you are wondering what we said about you, show up!

By then it was after hours at the club. It seemed as good a time as any – but much better than too late! – for the Group Photo of the Week. This was done on the terrace with light from the café and passing headlights – like in winter! – and there we parted. Bus 58, where are you?

About the Café Metropole Club

Tickle your mouse on the tummy to see a recent club meeting report buried somewhere deep in these very pages. Less numbing than being at newspaper reading club meetings but nothing is perfect. A hint of what we might have been doing today may help and can be found on the About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Cowcatcher In the Patazone

Sideways as any Thursday, half unrehearsed, semi out of control and rarely, a few less than three members. Club meetings run from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 24. January, next year. These metric times are the same as 3 to 5 pm around other old unmetric places, while meetings are held around here. Whatever you feel like saying will be totally heard 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. Stay unfound if you prefer.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because today's meeting featured no giraffe. Several members wrote about it but I still don't know how Napoléon found a giraffe in Egypt or why he shipped it here, if he did.

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, 24. January.

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