That friendly rivalry.
I've often thought that the reason why France and the U.S. don't much care for each other is that we're just too much alike. We both see ourselves as paragons of democracy, freedom, and human civilization. We both see it as our duty to somehow share our genius with the rest of the world. We both host citizens who think they're better than everyone else and, evidently, we're given to crass stereotypes about others.**** Basically, we're both countries that a lot of other nations would just as soon never have to talk to again. So, when we run into one another it becomes the battle of the heavyweight egos- like two sumo wrestlers yanking on each other's linen g-strings while grunting in fury.
I bring this up because I think we may be at the cusp of a new era in Franco-American competition. Some of you may be aware that political candidates like Dennis Kucinich and Fred Thompson are married. What you may not be aware of is that they are married to women who have been described by some analysts as "hotties." Specifically:
Now, some of you may think that this stems from the desire of older men to have trophy wives or a secret test program for androids.***** Sort of a first lady from Stepford, if you will. Neither of these explanations are correct, however, as both of these political spouses were, in fact, chosen to tweak the French. This is simply because the French consider themselves to be the undisputed champs of political/sexual escapades. Well, not to be outdone, the French immediately elected Nicolas Sarcozy who returned fire on the upstart Americans by daringly fondling a woman in public:
As if this wasn't enough, Sarcozy then raised the stakes by beginning to date former model Carla Bruni who doesn't exactly resemble the spouse of any head of state I am familiar with. However, the French have not chosen to stop there. Instead, in an effort to assert their dominance of the sexual escapade category for all time, Carla Bruni has now started taking interviews topless:
A Gorgeous, husky-voiced supermodel greeting me with the words "Sorry for being topless" will go down in memory as the greatest celebrity introduction of my journalistic career.
As an opening gambit, it was pure conversational Viagra and a welcome change from the cold, dead-eyed greetings you usually get from actresses, models and TV starlets.
Although perhaps not quite the brand of etiquette you'd expect from a woman who may well become France's first lady.
But that's how Carla Bruni, who appears to be the new wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, decided to present herself to me not that long ago when I encountered her at her home, a grand, shabby-chic apartment in a fashionable Paris arrondissement.
Carla, naked from the waist up, was having her make-up done at the time - I was interviewing her for a glossy magazine - and seemed only vaguely embarrassed by her evidently chilly state of undress.
This cannot be allowed to stand. The French have cast down the gauntlet and we Americans must respond. At the same time, however, I think our brave American women have already suffered enough for the cause and it is now time for America's men to step up and answer the call. So, I would like to formally call for the introduction of a swimsuit competition to the U.S. Presidential Debates. First, the candidates can argue, then they can try to wow us with the latest swimwear. In some cases, this probably won't be so bad for the audience:
Other times things might get a tad... ugly:
As these artist's conceptions****** show there will be sacrifices involved, but we must make them for the good of the country. I'm just glad we live in a world that is so peaceful and calm that the spouses of political leaders qualify as important national concerns.
So write your Congressperson and tell them in no uncertain terms: If you don't make John McCain wear a speedo, you're letting the
* So, you know, they're right.
** So, you know, we're right too.
*** Probably the most horrible foodstuff I have ever heard of.
**** This post being a fantastic example.
***** I know the correct term is "gynoid" but there are probably less than six of you who know that too.
****** In this case it would probably be more accurate to refer to them as "artist's misconceptions."