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Pain Raisin Redux

photo, group, pat, frank, john, terri, jerry, mark, barney An unruly group for the Group Photo of the Week.

Weatherless Weekend

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 16. October:–  Our great détente–promoting Eurochannel Arte showed a curious film tonight, set in Detroit in 1995. Titled 8 Mile it was about the life and times of a hip–hop rapper named Rabbit, working days in a metal stamping factory and dreaming nights of singing – talking, rather – nonsense lyrics on the broken–down border between trash trailer courts and urban devastation. Now, at last, I know what hip–hop is all about. Instead of sitting around watching MTV it is more like real life to be out, free in the dark slinging, flinging insults at your fellow escapees on the run.

Last Monday or Tuesday the TV–news had a story about some place in a northern suburb, about some big dude with a big ultra famous foreign actor, going in there to make a super production action movie, hiring all sorts of local color, bringing fame to the 'hood. The story was about how some unknown persons torched the 20 cars that were to be used in the movie, perhaps to be torched onscreen, because what else would they be making a movie about? So those unknown persons hurt the feelings of the big dude and the Hollywood star, and they said they were reconsidering, thinking about making their blockbuster film elsewhere, and wasn't it a shame?

photo, orange of the weekOrange of the Week.

Then on Wednesday night, again in north Paris in the huge Stade de France, there was the football match between Tunisia and France. Before the play they had a hip–hop chick sing the La Marseillaise, straight, and the pasta hit the fan. Horror, shock, consternation. Somebody was booing, they were whistling, insulting the anthem. Later, the Minister of Sports on the TV–news, said, if that keeps up there'll be no more international football in the Stade de France. Today, another said they'll play out of town. In a total tizzy. Mind you, these are UMP folks. When it happened before and Jacques Chirac was there, he got up and walked out in disgust, and that was kind of the end of it. Everybody got the message. If we didn't behave the president was going home. Maybe they should ban football.

After Sports and News, the Weather

There isn't much I can say about the weather but you know me, there no reason I can't spin nothing into about 200 words. In addition the TV–weather declined to mention what's supposed to happen on the weekend. There must be a huge surprise in store. Basically true and extremely compact weather details follow the club report.

photo, yellow drink of the weekYellow of the Week.

The Pain Raisin Redux of the Week Club Report

When I saw member Barney Kirchhoff first thing at the club meeting in the café Corona this afternoon I should have known it meant that there wasn't going to be anything normal about the meeting. In fact, the last normal meeting was probably one held in 19O6, the day that the Captain of Köpenick pretended to be a Prussian officer and fooled everybody at the city hall.

Barney is our Obama guy and he told me about the Democrats he found at Shakespeare & Co and Breakfast in America that he got signed up to vote. A lot of people probably think we are just lounging around café terraces, smoking filthy cigarettes and drinking red wine by the galloon all day and most of the night, but it's only half true. Barney also mentioned the Ciné Agua somewhere near the aquarium at Trocadéro, where you can sign up or see a movie, or a fish, for a hefty entry fee.

Then member Jerry Marterer joined us and Barney didn't miss a tick. He said, "Are you voting?" But Jerry is from Florida, so he said, "You should know." We didn't get any further – remember the club meetings we had in 2000? – we didn't get anywhere then either.

photo, empty coffee of the week Empty café cup of the week.

Next member to grace the meeting was Mark Kritz, who I was glad to see, because he's an apartment mogul and I think I'm going to have to switch over to Plan B if I don't want to find a dry spot on a sidewalk. Mark said, "Are you looking?" I swore on the grave of my pet hamster that I was really looking. A lot of apartment talk followed, all about as exciting as my looking, so I'll spare us.

Jerry decided to tell us about the cave full of coal he got when he rented or bought his apartment. Apparently somebody got a good deal on a bunch of coal during the war when nobody could get any, and then they changed the rules in the '70s or sometime and bricked up the fireplaces, and now you can't give the stuff away. Imagine, every time you leave your apartment you take a kilo of coal to secretly scatter around the streets when nobody is looking. Imagine what the lousy pigeons would think!

That reminded Barney of putting shillings in the gas meter in London in 1952. They burned a lot faster than coal he said. And Mark recalled a fellow telling him that his camera lens was crummy because the backgrounds of scenes were blurry. Boy, there sure are there interesting things to remember about good old London in the olden days.

We were all shouting about coal and fog when members Pat and Frank Emerson arrived from the fabled island of Manhattan. They probably thought this meeting was part two of the meeting they attended in 2001, which was also well attended, and mostly likely shouted. Why did Mark say, "I could barely walk?"

photo, patrick's tray of the week Waiter's Tool of the Week.

Housing – again – and health coverage were discussed. Patrick the Waiter of the Week swept up carrying a tray of mixed drinks, and there was a handshake all–round. Oh, I see. Members Terri Minami and John Lawton had come along and were preparing to sit way off towards the non fumeur sign – where a dozen burley dudes in suits were hunched over three or four tables – and Barney realized the problem, and whooshed us towards the windows.

Terri said, "Do you know Rumpelmayer's?" This question slid over our heads and then John was saying something about his favorite treats, mentioned last week, but I looked it up and Rumpelmayer's is back where it was, in the former St. Moritz Hotel, same address, new hotel name. Treats for the glitter folks.

John asked us to explain where crèches and the école maternal fit into the French educational scheme. I knew the answer but hoped somebody would explain lycée, collége and université. Then Pat wanted to know how Carla Bruni–Sarkozy is doing these days, before mentioning that a tax refund was paying for Paris.

photo, pink drink of the week Pink of the Week.

And on it went. Jerry mentioned Picasso playing, Barney mentioned a club in the 11th named Club Habana, Jerry's phone jingled, the moderator threw out some bait, and Jerry said, "I'm the only person here who's not a liberal." Nobody told him it wasn't true.

We talked about fuel economy. Terri mentioned driving 80 miles to play golf. Somebody, most likely Barney, said that northern Australia is called the top end down there. I doodled a burning toaster on a café table. We trooped outside and shot the Group Photo of the Week and trooped back inside. My orange juice finally showed up.

Mark explained that he was leaving early in order to go to a piano concert at the Cité de la Musique. To hear a piece he heard once before in San Francisco, oh, about a million years ago. Something tricky that requires a genius to play, or a team of music students. Asked if he was a classical music fan, he said, "Nope."

Mystery Weather

The weather on tonight's TV–news was short. Young Tania on the TV–weather said it was going to be more like October than October. She didn't say anything about Saturday and Sunday. Here is the abbreviated weekend prediction:

Friday is scheduled to have a morning and an afternoon and you might not be able to tell the difference because it is supposed to be mostly cloudy except for the tiny spaces between clouds. The temperature might be 14 degrees, a big dump from recently. According to Le Parisien, Saturday and Sunday may be just as bright as Friday give or take a cloud or two. Temperature is expected to be the same. That's 14 that is.

About the Café Metropole Club

Grip your fingers, slip your thumb and slide your elbow to click up some amazing past versions of club meeting reports hidden deep in this somewhere Web. No audio waves other than hearing actual members' frequencies during club meetings. No video at all. Real lame with words, just verbs, nouns, and filthy adjectives. Real blurry but vivid 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.

graphic, club location map

High Times In the Patazone

As unrehearsed as any day of the week 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, 23. October in the afternoon. If you feel like saying something, it will 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, come back!

*The above totally vetted report you may have just read has been encrusted with genuine paragraphs, which is not to say that some of them have not been kosher because they weren't actually words, but small phrases or faceless conundrums, because they count as legit paragraphs just as if they were big time units like headlines, for example.

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, 23. Octust.

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