Songbird of France

An English tourist tells me how he would go about seducing the French president’s wife. “These French beauties are suckers for poets,” he explains. “I’d send her a note saying:

Let’s go for a meal

Let’s have a quick tipple
You’ll sigh when you feel
My tongue on your nipple.”

I scratch my head doubtfully. “I don’t think any amount of nipple talk will impress Ms Bruni,” I say. “Her nipples have seen and done everything.”

I encourage him to discuss his romantic fantasies with the other guests.

Now Gorilla Bananas is no poet, but he’s watched enough French movies to have a feel for the verbiage that goes down well with their floozies. If I were writing a love note to Carla, I’d pen something like this:

Your smile: it is the arrow that pierces my heart

Your skin: it is the food my body craves
Drain my lake of desolation with your lips.

I have a pretty shrewd idea that this sort of guff passes for sophistication in France, especially if it’s recited by one of those brooding Gallic voices that does the narration in films by Jean-Luc Godard. I assume it will translate well.

We were discussing France’s first lady because
she’s recently released an album of songs about each of the 30 men who’ve had the pleasure of licking her nipples. “Only 30?” I hear you ask. “It appears so,” I reply. Carla has been quite selective in her choice of paramours if one ignores the anonymous studs she’s picked up in bars, who obviously don’t count. She is one of those beautiful women, you see, who is particularly attracted to intellectuals. Having consorted with a succession of eminent writers and philosophers, she was swept off her feet by Sarko because of his “five or even six brains” (as she admiringly put it). One wonders how they fit inside his head. Maybe he keeps a couple in the refrigerator and one in his pants as a backup system.

Of course, I can see why Carla wouldn’t be interested in very handsome men. A stunningly attractive woman doesn’t want a lover who may – perish the thought – think that she is the lucky one. A clever fellow with a face like an owl will give her the perfect combination of adoration and gratitude, as well as helping her solve crossword puzzles. And if he happens to be president of France, she gets to flirt with the world’s most powerful men while upstaging their own dowdy spouses. The dove looks twice as lovely when preening her feathers beside the broiler hen.

The fascinating thing about Carla’s latest compositions is that they’ve made her enormously popular with the French public – far more so than her gnomish husband, who is widely regarded as a bit of a dick. You’ve got to admire a nation in which the president’s wife is feted for admitting to 30 past affairs and writing a song about each one of them. I don’t think it would have worked for Mrs Clinton, even if she’d possessed the required musical talent. Perhaps the French Constitution should be amended to allow Carla to continue in her position when Sarko is voted out of office. Ideally, he would be forced to bequeath her to the next incumbent, like the presidential seal. La courtisane de l'Elysée Palace might be a tourist attraction to rival the Eiffel Tower.

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