Although I don’t make a habit of interfering in human politics, I do feel obliged to offer words of support to Monsieur Eric Besson, the 51-year-old French industry minister who accidentally publicised a twitter message intended only for the eyes of his shapely young wife. The tweet went thus:
“When I come home I am going to bed. Too exhausted. With you?”
His treacherous followers forwarded this message widely before he could delete it. Consequently, he is being mocked throughout France for propositioning the ravishing Madame Besson with words that Basil Fawlty might have used to persuade Sybil to put on her crotchless knickers. The French expect better of their prominent men, having been raised in the belief that seduction is an exquisite art form perfected, over the centuries, by the nation’s bushy-eyebrowed poets.
This jeering at Monsieur Besson is a grave injustice, for even a one-eyed rooster could see he was paying his wife the greatest of compliments. There he was, making his way home, so dog-tired that he planned to hit the hay without even watching an episode of CSI Miami (with subtitles). Yet he still expressed a desire for physical intimacy with his mouth-wateringly sultry spouse. And let us acknowledge that Twitter is a wholly inadequate medium for romantic solicitation. Even the noble Lord Byron might have tweeted “Fancy a shag?" while riding home on his horse, his buttocks sore after a long day in the saddle. Sometimes a man has to get to the point instead of pussy-footing around with fancy language.
Now the French claim to be a nation of great lovers, but is this really true? There are baboons who claim their rumps are smoother than a billiard ball. I suspect the Gallic reputation for amorous indulgence is a myth created by overblown characters such as Maurice Chevalier and Pepé Le Pew. Even they did nothing particularly special, unless you believe that kissing a woman’s arm from wrist to shoulder while talking like Inspector Clouseau is guaranteed to turn her innards to putty.
The kind of love the French really excel at is self-love. Their cuisine, their fashion and even their affected language are presented to the world as the apogee of human culture and achievement. In the jungle, this kind of boasting would immediately be seen the defensive posturing of a beta male. You don’t make big noises in front of your rivals unless you’re scared they might rub your face into their armpits.
I shouldn’t end this French-themed post without offering my warm congratulations to Carla Bruni, who has given birth to a healthy baby girl at the age of 43. May little Giulia have the looks of her mother and the stature of her father. I was disappointed that some newspapers described the new-born infant as “President Sarkozy’s daughter”, as if there was any need to emphasise the point. Ms Bruni may be whimsical and impulsive, but she wouldn't allow any oily-arsed non-entity to plant his sprouts in her allotment.
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