The Extra Glass

photo, group, hazel, lynn, ruth, bill The Group of the Week, Hazel, Lynn, Ruth and Bill.

Coke Boots Club

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 3. April:–  If you had been in Paris today you would have experienced a typical day of spring, with the fresh shoots of bamboo sprouting their sprigs of fragile green and the little birdies flitting around running their tweeters full of bread crumbs – oh, to be a little birdie and live in Paris where the bread crumbs are the best in the world and the folks that drop them the sloppiest.

The air was soft and the sky was powder blue, flecked by lounging clouds, sailing gently eastwards to wherever it is they go. The métro was running on time and the RATP controllers left the passengers alone, to get off at Montparnasse to cause trouble there. I bought a paper even though my TV is working again. I sauntered through the Quartier Latin, I crossed the Pont Neuf, and I shot some so–so posters in front of Samaritaine. I noted that the water was high in the Seine, lapping in places on the quays.

photo, beer of the week Beer of the Week, again.

In short, it was spring in Paris and all was well. All was well just until I arrived at the club's café La Corona and found the club's exclusive area full of a TV reportorial crew filming some sort of interview. I was shunted without grace into the Petite Salle just off the bar. Although well–lit, it was subject to all of the bar's rattle and bang, and the banquet I sat upon seemed to be sagging. Neither of the tables sat properly on the floor. Tilt tables!

The patron came around with his glad–hand and excused the contretemps by saying that they were from Coca Cola. No doubt important to the MGT, I thought. No doubt little realizing how many times Coca Colas have been featured in club reports in words and pictures, published on the World Wide Web! and referenced by Google.

Luckily I had to read no further than the pathethic genetically modified food story before my little hutch was filled with welcome club members.

The Extra Glass of the Week Report

Four club members squeezed through the narrow entry to the Petite Salle, asking where the other members were. That's always a mystery to me too. They were Ruth and Bill Rosenthal from East Lansing, Michigan, and Hazel and Lynn Peltier from Haslett, Michigan. The Rosenthals were last at a club meeting in 2004, and before that in 2001. Lynn Peltier spelled his name wrong when he joined. I'll have to dig deeper to find out his last club visit.

photo, first ever watch of the week Watch of the Week, rare.

Of course the first question was, what are those foreign folks doing in the club's area? Followed by, where is Yoko and Linda Thalman? Well, I think, it is Paris and it's four years later. It's lucky anything is the same. Then another question was about the missing tea room on the corner. Some people liked it because there were no stinky frites there.

With the essential out of the way, we babbled. Bill rememberd going home to East Lansing with his hotel key and spending a fortune to mail it back. I don't know but I think it probably is some kind of important first. All who have walked away with their hotel key and mailed it back, raise your hands!

In a brief interlude, waiting for today's Water of the Week to find us, I noticed that Hazel had inadvertently worn the Watch of the Week. After several false alarms the Waiter of the Week decided to leave us a slip of paper so we could write our order.

This we did. Then we totally confounded him by asking for an extra glass so Hazel and Lynn could split a beer. He kept thinking, "extra glass of beer." But he did get it, and then posed in the European light from the window with the shiny drinks tray, and it was us who were puzzled by the extra glass.

photo, cognac of the week Cognac of the Week, seldom.

There was more babble. By this I mean we discussed the political situation in Michigan. Bill expressed surprise at being closely questioned about it by a Parisian standing in line for a museum. He said hardly anybody in America had any idea about it – so how did the French find out what a crazy thing it is? I said I didn't know. I've been away.

We never came close to blows about the politics. We all had our rant and then talked about Cadillacs. We agreed that they are in sad decline, looking no fancier than big Toyotas. Bill has a '59 one with huge fins and bullet tail–lights. Today all cars come in only six colors – black, silver, black, silver, black and black.

After one drink of grape juice Bill said he was tired. My orange juice pepped me up. But it was nearly five o'clock, daylight saving time, so we did the find the Waiter of the Week in reverse – to pay up. Often harder here than ordering.

photo, waiter of the week Waiter of the Week, lucky.

But not so disconcerting as in America when you wipe the chocolate goo off your moustache and begin to think about having a café and the wait–mensch bombs the table top with the check. Yeah, well, you did say you didn't want any more – to eat, didn't you? That's it, pal. You get the check and you gotta get outa there. So we got, were gone, and it was a beautiful end–of–the–afternoon in spring.

The Dismal Future of Weather

This little feature used to begin these reports with five or six paragraphs of inflated blabber about the weather, which I don't really care all that much about. But popular demand requires that there be some display of climatic conditions here, so here is – the new and improved version.

Misled again, I told today's club members that tomorrow will be fine. Instead it will only be semi–fine, with 14 degrees, which is fine. Friday's wave of muck will have almost passed on Saturday, but not entirely. Expect 13 for the high. Sunday will probably be yukky and the temperature will dump down to a lousy 8 degrees. In contrast the Riviera will be totally great, except for the usual breezes.

About the Café Metropole Club

Grasp your fingers around your mouse to see a club meeting report buried in a celler somewhere in these very pages. No less exciting than reading the menus during club meetings but nothing is seldom 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

In the Depths of the Patazone Again

Like most half unrehearsed Thursdays , semi out of control and on occasion, like today, four wonderful members. Club meetings run from 15:00 to 17:00 on Thursdays. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 10. April. The 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 can be heard by the other members present if there are any and if 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 want.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since the last meeting because the secretary was rattled about holding a meeting in the Petite Salle so close to the bar and the smell of frites and burnt cheese.

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, 10. April.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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