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Postcards from Paris


Contact Loulou de la Paumardiere

"And now the press is accusing me of promoting drug abuse because of a single line on my new CD: "Mon mec, je le roule et je le fume." "I roll my guy up and smoke him," and everyone is saying how inappropriate it is for me to sing it as I'm the First Lady of France and all and I say they are wrong but nevertheless Nicolas has had to come clean about past drug use even though it was minor stuff and he's only smoked marijuana about 5 or maybe 6 thousand times in his entire life and yes he did take LSD once and that was news to everyone but me because it was one of the first things he bragged about on our first night and I thought my god he's not just a President, this guy really rocks and so he made up some more stuff about how Sum 41 had asked him to join their band and he'd said no I have to lead a nation. And they said: Which one? And Nicolas said: France. And they said: Where there's nothing but camels and sand? Bummer, dude. Anyway, he's never had a flashback from the acid, or even any ill effects, although he still sometimes takes the elevator without getting inside it and often puts his pants on head first, which makes him look a little bit how he looks in the full-body condom I make him wear, but it's pretty rare for him to grow agitated or violent if the microwave and the toaster refuse to sing Bessie Smith's rousing breakfast anthem "Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer" as a duet any more.

"At least Nicolas is self-aware about certain things. As he was being applauded by a crowd in a market yesterday simply for being there, he turned to me and said through his smile: 'If the French, the world's biggest consumers of anti-anxiety medication and prescription uppers, were to go off their happy pills for a single day, they would slit the throats of their leaders within six hours, and their own within twelve.'"

"Did you say full-body condom?" I asked. "Does that mean you're still having sex?"

She nodded and said "I agreed as soon as the senior negotiator met my demands and pulled me off the ledge and back in through the window."

Carla feels that God sends us signs, and that these signs are messages to test her faith, like that time she was taking a shower and a grand piano fell on her head and she took it to mean that she should seduce Placido Domingo and most women would take a restraining order as a sign to change strategies, or even to turn the page entirely, but not Carla, who I remember took the court order out of her purse, handed it to me and said "He's cracking." and finally Placido actually did become her ski husband and they would drive from Paris to the Alps every year singing polyphonic European masterpieces together, only Carla kept coming in on Gently down the stream and ruining it and Placido went back to his wife.

And now she believes the fact that she can only touch her husband when he is shrink-wrapped is a sign that she should spread the news of his intellect, and so has recently announced that Nicolas "has several brains, all of them well-irrigated," http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20080605/world-news/world-briefs and the official Presidential web site now includes a supplemented biography of Nicolas Sarkozy, which includes the passage: "A cursive handwriter literally for decades, equally at home with a crayon, pencil, ballpoint or even, under supervision, fountain pen, not only is France's dynamic and youthful president an author, or at least a plagiarist, but he reads widely and well. And as if that weren't enough, he is a licensed car driver, a bather, dresser, gourmet eater, swimmer, fly swatter, bicycle rider, rubber ball thrower and catcher, teethbrusher, haircomber and a consumer of luxury goods as well as basic necessities, in short, a Renaissance man." Yesterday, as we watched Nicolas cut the tip of his cigar and light it, pull up his socks and open a door by himself, Carla turned to me and said: "Is there anything that man can't do?" Carla's admiration of Nicolas' brains notwithstanding, I believe she has now set her sights considerably higher than even the nuclear power of her husband. I almost feel ashamed but when Carla left her beautiful lilac-coloured ostrich-skin diary in my car last week, I peeked, and what I saw tells me that her ambition is growing daily and is no longer what any of us can consider truly wholesome, for this is the authentic entry that I saw written in her hand: "Jesus and Carla Christ cordially invite you to a cocktail-buffet September 4, 2010 at 5 p.m. Smart casual, please."

Oh yes, the dinner at the Louvre. The tables were set with battery-operated votives, yellow roses and sterling toothpick holders, and were-even if toothpicks on tables have all of the charm of chamber pots on tables-elegant enough. Among the 285 guests were Ceron, a Houston beauty parlour operator, Los Angeles thrift shop owner Cameron Silver, party planner Ben Bourgeois, Caroline of Monaco and Bianca Jagger and if they could have brought Halston, Warhol and other Studio 54/Factory trash back from Hell for the occasion, they would have. So how did I, Loulou de la Paumardiere, end up there? The way one always ends up in Hell: invited by a friend.

The host, Becca Cason Thrash, of Texas, acquired the nickname "TriBecca," we learned, for changing costume three times at every party she hosts at her 20,000-square-foot Houston mansion, and for having been the first person to provide a description of the complex and misleading chemical structures of penicillin, allowing the antibiotic to be synthesized for the first time; of vitamin B12, the essential vitamin that prevents pernicious anemia; and of insulin, the hormone necessary for successful carbohydrate metabolism-although that could have been Dorothy Hodgkin (like most people, I am constantly getting the two women mixed up).

Rather like Buffalo Bill or Billy the Kid, Ms. Thrash pays a comically illiterate travelling scribe named Shelby Hodge who follows her around and writes about her exploits in The Houston Chronicle in an Englishy sort of language that a cow might speak, e.g., "Her husband and her were dining at Armandos in Houston," "Becca's party manse is actually for sell (sic) for about 38.5 million price is undisclosed (sic) by the way," and "Guests at her lavish events are as varied as former socials Paris and Nicky Hilton, Vogue editor André Leon Talley and writer Plum Sykes," i.e., not varied at all but uniformly has-beens, creeps and mediocrities of the first magnitude from the nether regions of non-French so-called fashion, and if her were still here I would pinch her.

After dinner, there was for some reason, but we were not counting our non sequiturs that evening, a concert by Duran Duran.

Becca's reporter friend wrote breathlessly, "This was a party that seemed to never end," and darlings, I couldn't have put it better. And just wait until the Thrashes find out that the Louvre is entirely state-funded and so doesn't need any money and that the couple who introduced themselves as the museum owners, M. et Madame Claude Louvre, and to whom she made out the check for $2.7 million at the end of the evening, are in fact party-crashing fruit and vegetable merchants whose only affiliation with any museum is as pigeon feeders just outside.

Even without the suggested minimum $100,000 donation guests were expected to cough up, this little do was not inexpensive: $5,000 a plate for Parisians or $10,000 for others, but that included bus fare, a souvenir bag (containing a tee-shirt, refrigerator magnet, pot holder and cap with battery-operated propeller, all emblazoned with the words Mona Lisa At The Louvre!), your choice of a 1945 Château Pétrus or large Mountain Dew Slurpee with dinner and a waiver for the sprinkles supplement should you choose that topping). All of this was of course paid for by my escort, an old friend with the clean-cut good looks and sweet-smelling breath of a pedophile youth pastor and who was until recently France's youngest supreme court judge.

After being drawn and quartered by Duran Duran at the Louvre, the two of us walked over to his place overlooking the Palais Royal gardens. If good men were easy to find, then unattractive women who hang out alone in bars wouldn't have to respond to sexual attention from nice-looking, nomadic, homicidal ragpickers with money, housing, medical and dental benefits with zero deductible and 52-week annual paid vacations, now would they? And those of us who are sublime certainly wouldn't be forced, as we are, to complain that finding a suitable partner is not a matter of finding someone with no mental illness-men and mental go together like salt and pepper, sun and moon, hip replacement and Rolling Stones concert; it's a matter of finding a man with a mental illness that does not place us physically in danger while we're asleep.

Sometimes you can judge the unsuitability of a candidate by his regard, the look in his eyes, the two most egregious deal-breakers being a vitrified emptiness that is far too unintense to seem lifelike, an almost Anderson Cooper-in-the-headlights stare, where, right behind the eye sockets, in the place of the equipment that comes standard on most models, there is a Hustler poster and a rust-eaten Camaro up on cinder blocks, i.e., not even enough brain power to run a hamster wheel, much less to keep you entertained either in bed or out; and its opposite: the everything-is-clear-to-me-now gaze characteristic of recent religious converts and crystal meth users until it morphs into the violent crime stare and then into (forgive me for being so graphic) Anderson Cooper.

And if one thing strips away the pretence and the masks and the falsehoods, it's sex. And yet, even though I feel lonely without at least two or three men in my life at any given time, as a woman what I miss is less the physical side of things (We all have fantasies. I have a recurring one about being locked in an elevator with any one of my girlfriends' husbands without him trying to make any kind of physical contact with my uvula or my cochlea.) than emotional intimacy, having a man share with me the same two emotions that all men share with you in their most unguarded moments: fear and greed.



© 2008 Louise de la Paumardiere





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.