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The 1,000,000 Lira Dinner

photo, group, beth, jim, yoko, barney From left, Beth, Jim, Yoko and Barney, the Group of the Week.

Change of Plan

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 23. October:–  I can almost hear everybody complaining about me watching Arte–TV again but this week there was no exotic movie from any of the far off Stans. This week was Rock In the City, live, from the Zénith in Strasbourg. It was the usual thing – a giant hall full of young folks standing up, ready to writhe their arms like snakes at the drop of a note.

Since it was Arte, it was in French and German, which the French rode over, and when the performer had something to say in English, the French rode over that too. I sat here, wondering, how is anybody expected to learn English, German and French, with French riding all over everything? And while we're wondering here – where do they get off calling pop fizzmusic ROCK? Listen, I didn't stay tuned long enough to see and hear Marianne Faithful, a token granny along with Jane Birkin, but both at least old enough to remember that there used to be a thing called rock 'n' roll. They must have forgotten to have Tina Turner too.

photo, orange bottle of the weekVivid orange bottle of the week.

Well, I at least I saw the penguins. After the news and weather I watch Arte because of all their animal, fish, world, sea, earth films. Since I haven't watched these for... fifty, no, sixty years... I see all sorts of earthy items I never knew existed. Such as penguins having conventions at the South Pole. Like, a half–million of them standing around until one says, "Let's go swimming and hope we don't get eaten," by some mean mammal they called a tiger seal. One of them, there to eat a half–million silly penguins. They dived in and plunged deep but that tiger seal snapped one up. Gobble, gobble. The penguins knew it was there, waiting for them.

After Life and Death on Earth, the Weather

Without warning Météo France has apparently called off its strike. Tonight's TV–weather report contained the full details for Friday and the weekend. Let me be the first to tell you to kiss off Friday and Sunday and put your entire stake on Saturday. After this tantalizing hint, the club report, with weather details following.

The 1,000,000 Lira Dinner of the Week Club Report

I didn't see member Barney Kirchhoff first thing at the club meeting. In the club's big and quiet and sun–splashed grande salle I sat down and did something routine and then I took out today's Le Parisien and read the front page feature titled, "Where did the money come from?" The French government, led by Monsieur Sarkozy, has announced the availability of billions of Euros for pumping up the banks and other elements of the financial sector.

photo, overlit cafe or chocolate of the week Café or chocolate?

According to the paper, we are perplexed. If, as he said previously, the state's coffers are empty – peanuts for kindergartens – how is it that magical billions can now be pulled out of a hat? The explanation – it is all virtual, notional, and what's more, the banks will pay it back, with interest no less. Even more magical, it isn't going to cost the taxpayers one red cent. Hear me, no new taxes! A leading opposition character described it a "grande opération d'enfumage." As in, smoke gets in your eyes.

That's as far as I had gotten when member Barney Kirchhoff arrived, slightly breathless. He waved around a sack he said he'd filled at the FIAC art fair currently running to the Grand Palais and in some tents pitched on the Champs–Elysées. Barney goes to these things so I don't have to. Besides, he gets in free.

He said there were 189 galleries represented at the fair. He had a bunch of other boggling statistics but I asked him what was the most interesting. After reflection, he said, "The crouching orange rabbit about three metres high." Not only this but it wasn't alone. There was a crouching snake too. There were also a great number of art lovers, as there always is. He said he skipped seeing the sculpture exhibited in the Tuileries. I can understand, if he walked around in the Grand Palais and then walked to the club. Peeping at art is tiring.

photo, barney kirchhoff Mugshot of Barney.

Then we had a tour d'horizonObama and early voting in Florida – the fate of the ferris wheel in the Tuileries, and how the operator won their prized slot there. Stuff like that. Renting Versailles – ah, that was about my luckless apartment hunt.

As if on cue famous member Yoko surprisingly arrived, and said she was sorry about the apartment in the 15th that was gone before it came, and concerning Obama she said, "I hope so." Sun rays were cooking us in our duds and blasting our eyes, and we couldn't hear anything because of another loud gang in the corner, so we moved to a table in the shade.

Yoko continued with sad news about her computer. Barney said he thought the sound on his has died until he found the speaker wires hooked up to nothing. We all took a drink after Yoko said spam and viruses. Barney then showed me his lifetime honorary Carte de Presse. Then Yoko showed us her free Navigo card. It gave me the feeling that Socialism is leaving me in a lurch.

photo, artbag of the week Cool artbag of the week.

More good news for the dollar folks. Barney said one euro only costs $1.28 now, down from about $1.59 last spring. Good news for the yen folks too, with it at almost par. We asked and Yoko said she thought a cup of tea or coffee in Japan cost about 250–300 yen. Not anything like 4€50 for a café in the club's café.

That's when Barney recalled the meal he had in Turkey that cost him 1,000,000 Lira plus change. He said that was in the old days before they clipped off a bunch of zeros. All the same it reminded me of Turkish food and how much I used to enjoy it in Hamburg.

Patrick the Waiter of the Week led Beth and Jim Eckenrod to our little table. We got up and shoved over another table and rearranged chairs, and all sat down, almost better than before. I told Beth and Jim about the club report and the club, so they decided to join and in return they gave us Daly City, California for a City of the Week. It's somewhere just south of San Francisco and became famous for a Life Magazine layout and a song, plus was the likely epicenter of the huge earthquake in 1906.

The Eckenrods, friends of Barney's, used to live on a Dutch cruiser named Allez Les Bleus in the Porte de l'Arsenal near Bastille. There was some talk about the new marina that will be opened at La Villette.

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

I added the explanation about the Group Photo of the Week and nobody objected much because it was sunny outside. It was very bright but we found abandoned tables covered with money and empty cups, and I did the shots and then traded with Beth and she did a shot too. It's called trading shots.

Back inside we had a short discussion about voting. Barney said paper ballots had been invented in Australia. Nobody offered any ideas about how paper found its way to Oz. I mean, imagine what kind of paper you'd get from a Boola–Boola Gum Tree! Then we paid Patrick and got out of there.

Change of Plan

Due to circumstances beyond any control the club's secretary may be engaged in home moving activities on the date of the coming meeting. That is Thursday, 30. October. Please arrange to be elsewhere. All the same, check Metropole's home page for the latest news.

The Amazing Weather

The weather on tonight's TV–news was somewhat exciting with warnings for excessive rain in Riviera areas. The rest of France will remain calm with its hands in its pockets. Here is the full and completely detailed 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 sun twinkles between clouds, maybe in the afternoon. The temperature could be 13 degrees. Saturday is expected to be semi sunny all day, with a temperature of 14 and then there will be a Sunday that will be semi cloudy or worse, but with an extra degree.

About the Café Metropole Club

Slide your fingers through your hair up to the elbow to click up some fantastic past versions of club meeting reports buried in this somewhere. No audio waves other than hearing actual members' frequencies during club meetings. No video at all. Real lame with words, just verbs, nouns, and stinking 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

Frequencies 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, 30. October if I am not moving apartments that day. 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 report you may have just read has been encapsulated with genuine paragraphs. If you believe this to be the case you need not report it to the paragraph police because Barney's carte de presse is good for life, and he can therefore vouch for the legality of all paragraphs contained herein.

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 maybe on Thursday, 30. October.

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