Don't get me wrong. The club is not a political thing. I remember that there was one member who insisted he was voting for lower taxes in 2000 and nobody laughed or jeered at him. As I recall lower taxes won. He laughed and jeered at us when Al Gore declined to look for unspoiled ballots in garbage cans in Florida. Actually those were pretty exciting meetings.
Where was I? Oh yes, this meeting. There was a lot of chatter, two varying sets of it. Vicki said, "I come to Paris for the shoes!" Barney told us about his three days of movies for 3€ a seat, plus a freebie midnight movie on TV. This led, fairly naturally, to the TV coverage of the Olympic Games. He said, "Don't bite the medals!" – explaining that they are not solid gold but some sort of cheapo Chinese lead alloy. I thought they were gold–looking plastic.
Then we had the pickpocket stories. Jan told us – I'm not sure this wasn't a historical pickpocket tale – told us about the guy who got his wallet and cards back and only lost his cash. But by then he had cancelled all his cards so he starved for three days until they sent new ones. Me, I wondered about the citizen I had seen on the Pont Neuf. Coming along he patted his back pocket and freaked. He whipped around and steamed back to the métro entry. I didn't wait around to see him not find any pickpockets down there. They were gone.
Marie's story was about a day at Disneyland with her granddaughters. "It was a long day!" And she had her little pedometre to prove it – it had 26000 steps on it, she said. Barney wanted to know if the pedometre counted standing in line for hours. Marie showed us how to make fake steps by banging the pedometre on the table. Another club first! Marie also said that a normal day in the city usually totalled 10–14000 steps.
At about that time an uproar broke out over how to pronounce Dana's name. Somebody said, "Think Dana Andrews," the actor. Everybody said his name. It seemed right. But Vicki said she knew a kid – a nephew? – who wanted to be called Dane, like the dog. So Dana has been having us say his name like Dane but with an a on it. Jan looked thoughtful. She said, "You have been mispronouncing your name all your life;" to Dana.
It is very rare to get personal at club meetings. Goodness knows the secretary misspells names all the time. A simple email or a threat from a hitman will get anybody a rapid correction. I even had my ten buck Duane Reade glasses with me at the meeting today.
Speaking of mispronouncing, it reminded just about everybody of their personal trials with speaking French. "I am never going to be fluent in my lifetime," Vicki said. Barney chined in with, "I speak like a native of Paris, Kentucky." And added, "It's near Ver–sales" – spelt Versailles.
Part of speaking French in Paris is minding your own business on the street when some lost foreigner hits on you for directions to what–whichever. They start off muggle–mouthing something really bizarre and then ask, "Do you speak English?" Marie had the right answer, "Just say Nyet!"
Sometimes that isn't appropriate. French folks can be lost in Paris too plus they are clever enough to know that not everybody who speaks English really knows it, so they may ask in English too – they don't necessarily want foreigners to know they don't know their way around because that would seem somewhat lamebrained. But me, I don't always know where I am, in relation to what they are seeking. While I fire up my internal GPS they might get impatient and rephrase in English. Then I say, in French, "You can't get there from here." Especially for drivers when it's raining.
There's more. But it was after five and the waiter was waiting for his cash. Barney said the name of the movie advertised on posters all over town was Kung Fu Dunk and not whatever it was on the posters. Oh, life is just so confusing, here in Paris.
Tonight's weather on the TV–news needs to be treated with a whole saltshaker full of salt. They are, as they say, at it again. As always stuff is sweeping in from the Atlantic. It's the same old story, always worse looking when it's a forecast except when they show it as better. Here are the latest fanciful tidings:
Friday is scheduled to have a morning and an afternoon just like most weeks on earth, with more to come. At noon on Friday it appears the rain and clouds might be over and it will become demi–sunny, continuing until dark. On Saturday the forecast is different with demi–sunny and some occasional sunshine, which on Sunday may thicken up to be semi–worse. High temperatures will be a thing of the past. Don't expect 24, 28 and 26 degrees maximum just because they forecast it. Just fanciful, that. With the prediction up in the air maybe a good movie will suit you better than sunbathing on the lamented and expired Paris–Plages.
Tinkle your fingers, tap the pedals and grasp your furry mouse to click up a symphony of a club meeting report buried somewhere deep in these pages. No audio sensations other than hearing actual members' voices during club meetings. No video at all. Real lame with words, just verbs, nouns, and predicates. Real blurry photos. A clue about what we might have been doing today may help and can be found on the About the Café Metropole Club webpage.
As unrehearsed as any day of the week, semi out of control and unusually, like today, a Thursday. Club meetings run from 15:00 to 17:00 on Thursdays. The metric times are equivalent to 3 to 5 pm around other unmetric places, while meetings are held right here. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 4. September in the afternoon. If you feel like saying something, it 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. All you folks staying lost, all is forgiven.
*The above paragraphs you just read were relatively unchanged since the report last week because of today's lessons in French that left the entire party gasping at the beauty of it, especially as spake by France–2's new weather chickie, Tania. Also worth a peep – Marie Drucker doing the weekend news.
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, 4. September.
|Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
| No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
– Waldo Bini