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Postcards from Paris

OMG BGF FLF! as I said in the text message that I sent to many of you late last night. And I still can't believe it. As of 7 p.m. yesterday, Carla Bruni, my best girlfriend ever since we met at the age of twelve at L'Etourneau boarding school in Switzerland, where we shared tears, laughter, phenylcyclohexylpiperidine and lymphogranuloma, is now the First Lady of France. Yes, the Carla Bruni: former model, singer-songwriter and muse to the rich and famous, actually married my old and dear friend President Nicolas Sarkozy in a secret ceremony here at my home in the rue de Varenne. Carla and I are proud to call each other best friends: we're both beautiful, talented, well-educated and chic, but above all we care deeply about each other. Carla helps me to feel better about myself and I try to help Carla to be less of a whore.

This has turned out to be a full-time job. Carla says that she finds monogamy "desperately boring" and prefers polyandry (having more than one male partner). "Monogamy is just so panhuman," she once told me. "I'm just doing what marmosets and pipefish and I think something else, these tiny little insecty thingies somewhere, do. I am polygamous and polyandrygynous or however you spell it and whatever you call it when the female receives food offerings from multiple prospective mates to incite copulation or when the female is larger than the male so can do whatever the hell she wants." On January 15, 2008, Nicolas introduced a bill in the French national assembly based on a law that worked well for Sumerian king Urukagina of Lagash back in 2300 BC, and which stipulates that women taking multiple male partners get their teeth bashed out with a clay tablet. Carla told me the day before the wedding that this is their pre-nup.

On November 1, 2007, I received a call from Nicolas. "Loulou, you've got to help me." "Mon petit Nico," I said, "what's the matter? "The presidential palace is like a morgue in the evenings. I'm sick of my Wii and I'm sick of watching MTV and I'm sick of wandering through the corridors of the Élysée in my size 10-12 boys' pajamas with nothing to do every night. I want to live la vida loca, to have a life filled with karaoke and bumper cars and get out and meet some new people. Loulou, can't you organize a relaxed, informal evening with some music and invite me to take a much-deserved break from running a country where you give Jews an inch and they take a mile, which is why we're not about to start having anything mildly resembling habeas corpus or make it legal for a lawyer to be present during questioning by the police, and you could just serve something simple like quiche and salad, with choice of dressing?"

I have to admit that I was angry with Nicolas for having let his wife Cecilia balloon to a size 4 without dumping her, and I hated it when he tried to plant a kiss on her cheek in front of millions of people at his inauguration where the entire Sarkozy family of suicide blondes were unveiled, looking like the Kennedys if you can imagine the Kennedys being sleazy and bling, and Cecilia turned away and he didn't just go ahead and deck her. But as Cecilia had just left him for good, "after eleven years of Hell" as she put it, and, as it turns out, for Micheline Cahen the divorce lawyer they were sharing, or so Nicolas had thought, for the sake of simplicity, I felt sorry for him and immediately went to work putting together a little party with some fun people I thought Nicolas would like, including the crème of the French state-subsidized rock scene.

In addition to performers Vanessa Paradis, Julien Clerc, French Elvis imitator Johnny Halliday, former tennis star and now the world's greatest recording artist Yannick Noah, and fossilized beatnik Jane Birkin, I invited other celebrity guests including tiny little advertising thug Jacques Séguéla; drug dealer Yves Glatigny; pedophile philosopher Bertrand Golse, who is the toast of Paris at the moment, whom I had seated next to my youngest daughter, Isolde-the only one of my ten children with whom I agree to be seen in public just because she is so cute, not beautiful like her mother, but, with her surgically implanted freckles and perfectly streaked real hair wig grafted on to her scalp, cute in a funny, endearing sort of way; corporate raider Vincent Bolloré, out on parole; French Prime Minister François Fillon and his wife and, of course, Nicolas Sarkozy. I can't believe now that I almost didn't invite Carla, but when I told her, as her very best friend, that Nicolas wanted to meet her because all of the younger and more beautiful actresses had turned him down, she jumped at the chance. True to form, Carla, arrived fashionably late, as if coming to a party with the President of the greatest country on earth were nothing special! Knowing what to wear on every occasion cannot really be taught: one either has the aristocratic instinct for what is right or one does not. Well, Carla has it in trumploads and she demonstrated it again that evening when she wore jeans and a baby-blue cashmere tee-shirt bearing the glittery slogan "I Heart Fellatio."

We all had a fabulous time. The high point of the evening was when Carla finally agreed to take out a guitar and sing. As an artist, Carla belongs to the great tradition of Kiki de Montparnasse, Juliette Greco, Barbara, Francoise Hardy and Marianne Faithful, to name only mascara display cases from the Roaring Twenties, but when Nicolas asked Carla to sing his favorite American hard rock song, "Bella Ciao," she actually pulled it off and it was so sweet to see Nicolas with that romantic, labial mucous membrane daze in his eyes again. And as we listened to Yannick Noah sing his hiphop version of "Dry Bones," with François (whose English wife Peggy, who supports France's record-setting anti-immigrant violence, is a scream) playing air guitar on a tennis racket-hilarious!-and everyone singing and clapping along and swaying back and forth as if trying to dig a collective grave with the legs of our chairs, we somehow knew that we were at the beginning of a new French Renaissance and that Nicolas himself was a sort of François I presiding over his court; that 60, rue de Varenne was the new Fontainebleau; and that Carla Bruni was its Leonardo da Vinci.

It wasn't clear to me at first that Carla and Nicolas would even be attracted to each other. As Nicolas is 52 and 5'4," and has, as his ex-wife Cecilia has recently written in her despicable tell-all account of their marriage, less of a nose on his face than a miniature, semi-petrified Acrocanthosaurus, while Carla is 39 and 5'8," and a beauty, although, as I have, as her best friend, pointed out to her, her lips tragically disappear when she smiles, and Nicolas has described her smile to me, confidentially, as "scrotum-shriveling," an observation that I shared with Carla, for her own good. I think it safe to predict that you'll see Carla smiling less and less as the years with Nicolas Sarkozy go by.

Nicolas started dating Carla immediately. On November 13, 2007, I placed 60, rue de Varenne permanently at their disposal, away from the deadly atmosphere of the Élysée palace and from the prying eyes of civil servants, and they began meeting here every day and every night. It is a great advantage to live right across the street from the Hôtel de Matignon, the French Prime Minister's residence, as Nicolas would often roll out of bed and cross the street to cabinet meetings in his Yosemite Sam bathrobe. Soon they decided they could no longer hide their love and seeing the photos of them together in the tabloids made my entire gastrointestinal tract churn with happiness. Everyone has now seen the famous couple with their monogrammed mouse ears on at Disneyland, where Nicolas danced with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs lifted him onto their shoulders, at Giza in Egypt, where Carla sang "Please Mr. Sandman," which has become the YouTube sensation that we know, and in Petra, where Nicolas donned an Indiana Jones hat and leather jacket and bullwhip for another photo op and accidentally put out the eye of that Jordanian child but settled out of court.


© 2008 Louise de la Paumardiere

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About LOUISE DE LA PAUMARDIERE It would be difficult to imagine anyone more purely French or a better embodiment of France and French values than polyglamorous Louise de la Paumardiere. Loulou's paternal great grandfather Andre Le Troquer, unfairly removed from office as President of the French Senate in 1958 for having run a pedophile network, and her maternal grandfather General Paul Ausseresses, unfairly stripped of his rank and thrown out of the Legion d'Honneur because of his role as a torturer in the Franco-Algerian war, are but two of her many famous ancestors. Author of From Foreign to French: 100 Makeovers in Stories and Pictures (New York and London: PLB Books, 2006), multi-talented and multilingual Loulou de la Paumardiere first came to public attention when several of the high-profile Paris-based foreign women on whom she performed makeovers committed suicide. Her family operates the majority of the uniquely French institutions known as Centres d'aide par le travail, or CATS, factories in which handicapped French citizens are employed at less than minimum wage because, as Loulou puts it with her typical Cartesian clarity, "they are handicapped." Her ancestral home, Château de la Paumardiere in Boilly-sur-Gui, an hour from Paris in Normandy, has hosted every head of state since Louis XIV and was a favorite haunt of Lully the Sodomite. She continues that great tradition of French hospitality on weekends in Boilly and during the week at her luxurious mansion at 60, rue de Varenne in Paris.