The Big Sneeze

photo, josef group of the week In the distance Josef does not see any other members.

Five With One Blow

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 31. January:–  I wish Uncle would bring back some decent January weather from Italy. We've gotten through most of the month – the first 30 days – and now the winds are blowing, and now the damp is clinging to everything, and the clouds are thick and menacing, and we are fed up with it, and I think I'm coming down with something.

For tonight's weather news and abstract philosophy I missed the weather guy's first few words, and came in on "Storm in the Channel!" Yes, and they had that on the news too. The Channel is unchained, they said. It's slipped its cools and it's flipping so bad the ferries are huddling in Calais and Dunkirk. Channel storm fans – this is your chance!

On Friday, like tomorrow, around here, it looks like we are going to get some Channel medecine. Winds of 70 kph will be batting the northwest coasts while southwest winds of 80 kph thrash the bushes around here, diagonal lines sweep across France signifying strum and drang, and everything else that isn't an indoor health spa is going to have a terrible day, weatherwise, and no more than 7 degrees temperaturewise.

photo, dark sky of the week A dark and sorry sky.

Then by some weird miracle, the skies will clear on Saturday and according to the forecast it may even be mostly sunny. I forget whether winds were mentioned. Maybe they are on page 96. The temperature was mentioned, and specifically a number like 6 came up. As low as it is.

Sunday is expected to be more complicated so Saturday's mostly sunny will be no more than semi–sunny. What can you expect? Again the temperature will get up to 6 degrees. But what the other lines I drew on the weather map mean – there's even an arrow pointing offshore – whatever it is, it can't be too serious. Don't attempt any picnics outside just yet though.

The Big Sneeze of the Week Report

When I got up I noticed the wind hammering on my rear windows. I noticed that my feet were cold, my legs were cold and my arms, my neck and other regions, like fingers, all cold, and all this was before I got into the bathtub underneath one of the rear windows, the one that is particularly elderly and is designed to act like a ventilation for avoiding being smothered by leaking gas.

However I don't have gas so it is a well–meant but superfluous feature. The trick is to do it real fast, like I used to do in the campsite wash–shed in winter, after plowing through the night's metre–deep dump of fresh snow. There I had 500 gallons of gas–heated hot water – eat your heart out GDF – but here I only have my little ballon heated by EDF which is charging me the New York fixing for fresh crude.

photo, lake of beer of the week Lake of beer of the week.

As odd as it may seem haste in the bathroom made me warm, so I put on some clothes to lock in the advantage and had breakfast. The first thing I did after cutting a grapefruit in half was sneeze all over it. Well, I'm sure, no matter where you are, that this has happened to you too. The first thing to wonder was whether to call in sick.

But I discarded that idea. I'm glad I did because once outside, except for the cold wind, it seemed to be okay. Not perfect but okay. You know, better than sitting at home turning pink toiletpaper into swamp. But it was cold though going across my bridge!

I got into the club's café and found myself alone in the grande salle. It is quite a spacious room for one club secretary. I took out today's Le Parisien and read the news. The city's taxis had a demo Wednesday morning. The filled up the place de la République and stayed there. It was a regular shambles. The taxi drivers do not want to be reformed by Sarkozy. I'm not sure it's news.

I got quite a way through the other news and various faits divers before member Josef Schomburg showed up. As soon as he sat down he stood up and said, "Where's the nearest bank?" Then he ran out of the café and I turned to page 96.

photo, club cafe decor of the week The club's néo décor.

When he came back he ordered the Beer of the Week. I ordered the café of the week and then took a fuzzy photo of it. I must check out this number two camera. It used to take sharp photos of the café of the week. Maybe it was cold.

If anybody else came in the café I didn't notice them. Josef told me a bunch of confidential stuff I can't repeat here. I was so busy sneezing I didn't write it down anyway and now I can't remember it. We didn't talk about Paris much, or about Sarkozy, or about any bank frauds. He made his business phone calls and that was that. He drank his beer and I drank my café, and sneezed.

He asked to see my glasses. These were $10 drugstore closeup jobs I got in New York. He cleaned them with his scarf. When I protested he said it was cashmere. That was okay, even though I was to get a new, optical, set after the meeting. I took his photo for the Group Photo of the Week. He took over the camera and found some way of shooting five shots of me with one push of the shutter. Then he said I have funny eyes.

photo, club secretary of the week times five Member's view of the club secretary. Photo(s) by Josef.

This may be the most uninteresting club report since the invention of popcorn, but I have to sneeze. I need that cashmere scarf. Goodbye January. Don't bother coming back.

About the Café Metropole Club

Dance your fingers over your mouse to see a recent club meeting report hiding deep in these very pages. Less tiresome than reading the newspaper during club meetings but nothing is perfect. A clue about 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

Patazone Changes Month

Like any half unrehearsed Thursday , semi out of control and on occasion, like today, one more than no members. Club meetings run from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 7. February, next week. These metric times are the same as 3 to 5 pm around other unmetric places, while meetings are held right here. Whatever you feel like saying could be 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 must.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because nobody at today's meeting had enough sneezer material on hand. What else can I say?

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, 7. February.

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