Friday, September 16, 2011

The Ties That Bind

Imagine the scene:  A televised presidential debate between six male and female candidates from the same party.  But here’s the hitch—two of the candidates lived together for 25 years and had four children!  Sounds like a doofy plot for a situation comedy, right?  Well, no, that actually happened last night on French TV (read this article in The Guardian for more).  

How do they do it?  How do François Hollande and Ségolène Royale manage to remain civil to each other during a presidential debate when their very public split up a few years ago is still in the minds of one and all?  And here I thought French politics couldn’t get any weirder after the president divorced his wife and married a pop star one year into his mandate.  Of course, this is all private stuff and nowhere near as pertinent to the country’s future as the current campaign financing scandals or the state of the French economy.  Still, you can’t help but wonder what is going through their minds during the taping

FRANÇOIS:  Oh God, there she goes again, always getting on her high horse.  Reminds me of the time I left the roast out overnight.  You’d think I’d betrayed the Republic.  Ha, she’s one to talk about betrayals…whose that creep she’s with now, anyway? Damn, she looks good in that suit.  OK, focus now, gotta focus…

SÉGOLÈNE:  OK, keep a straight face…did he just say the word ”fidelity?”  My ass!  Hey, Fifi, it looks like we’ve gone off our diet—isn’t that collar just a little bit tight?  You never could keep away from the camembert.  Time to run back to Dr. Dukan, chubby….Woah there girl, breathe—just breathe and flash that devastating smile….

And then there’s the kids—

THOMAS:  So are you going to watch mom and dad debate tonight?

CLÉMENCE:  Hell no, I had to listen to that all my life.

It boggles the imagination…