Saturday, November 29, 2008

Testicles of gold

In French slang, which is often particularly rich and colorful, people refer to a fellow who's good at creating money-making business affairs, with a lot of luck thrown in, by saying that his testicles are made of gold. Why not? The idea, in a metaphorical sense, is that his genitals are capable of procreating wealth. Well, I reckon that the guy who invented the Sarkozy voodoo doll [click here to see my previous article on this subject, entitled Nails and pins] has balls of stainless steel... which is the same metal used to produce the needles supplied with his best-selling book.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who doesn't really have a huge sense of humor, took this fellow to court in an attempt to prohibit sales of the doll... which, as almost everybody agrees, is in poor taste. I'm sure that the manufacturer himself hides his personal doll in his briefcase, out of shame, whenever he's on his way to the bank to deposit his latest sales checks. After the president's first case against the doll manufacturer was rejected, Sarkozy invoked an appeals court. Yesterday, in Paris, this second court declared that the way in which the user guide to the voodoo doll encourages readers to prick the president's effigy with needles is an attack upon his personal dignity. Fair enough. The president should be happy with that decision. But did the appeals court go on to prohibit sales of the voodoo doll and its user guide? Not at all! The court merely stipulated that every copy of the book must henceforth carry a label indicating the court ruling that has just been handed down. In other words, the guy with balls of gold now has the right, indeed the obligation, to use the outcome of the president's court action as fabulous publicity on every one of his dolls! For the moment, the Sarkozy voodoo doll and its accompanying manual are at the top of the Amazon charts in France. With Xmas just around the corner, the judgment of the appeals court is an unexpected godsend.

And what must we think of the president's character in the light of this court case? There's a quaint old saying in French: "Tell me how you react to voodoo dolls, and I'll tell you what your balls are made of." Soft clay? Cheap bling-bling chromium-plated metal that makes a hollow clinky-clanky sound when the balls bang together? Maybe glass? Expensive but fragile crystal?

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