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"Tribune libre"


by Maurice Ulrich’s Daily Ticket


Translated Wednesday 28 October 2009, by Henry Crapo and reviewed by Henry Crapo

She hopes not to have given offense, while telling the story of how one of the young girls, fellow student in his class at school, had accused him of causing their team to lose the relay because he had "a buttocks that are too fat". In the book I was Sarkozy’s First Mistress [1], which comes out tomorrow.

Anne-Marie Laroche-Verdun evokes the young Nicolas, five years of age, student in a private school near the Parc Monceau [2]. This history of buttocks, albeit embarassing, should not however cause him any bother. Its intention is not, unlike some others, "to destroy the president of the Republic". No, she admires him and confesses, pardon ..., confides to him that it is so.

He was "too good-looking as a boy, timid and a plodder", she says, in the full page article that Le Parisien devoted to the publication of her book. "He detested fights and name-calling. He was very honest ... with me. Nicolas never lied."

The interested party is said to have promised to read her book "with extreme tenderness". We can understand. Here is a touching portrait that appears exactly at the right moment. Standing beside this recital of personal history, Alice in Wonderland is the height of perversity, and The Misfortunes of Sophie [3] a blood-spattered thriller.

"The praliné won’t be too silly?" [4] the pious hagiographer worried, in speaking with "Le Parisien". No, no, but no ... or rather, it is so very silly that it should not be taken at face value, you should read between the lines. Hats off to the humorist!

[1J’ai été la première maîtress de Sarkozy

[2a city park in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, surrounded by the richest of apartment buildings.

[3Les Malheurs de Sophie, in which an unruly young girl learns to be nice and polite: she was angry, she becomes sweet, she was a piggish eater, she became modest in her appetites, she was a liar, she became honest, she was wicked, she became good.

[4Ce n’est pas trop cucul la praline?
The French web site www.expressio.fr explains that, for the French, a praline is an almond with a hard shell of sugar, which may be perfumed or colored. For the Belgians, it is a chocolate sweet. For a shady character, it is the shell from a fire-arm. "Cucul" is a doubling of "cul", or buttocks (see above), but it is not clear how this became an adjective, synonym of silly and ridiculous.

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