Magazine article The Spectator

It's the Fraulein's Fault

Magazine article The Spectator

It's the Fraulein's Fault

Article excerpt

Gstaad

Damn! Why didn't I think of it? Of course I, too, was abused as a child and, needless to say, when I was busted at Heathrow with coke in my back pocket in 1984, all I was doing was researching the damage cocaine inflicts on users, honest! And I'll go a step further. When I backed a brand-new yellow mini into a tree, I swear on Cherie Blair's head that I was trying to find out whether trees suffer when directly backed into or not. I don't know what this world is coming to. Here I am, as much a victim of child abuse as Pete Townshend, as eager to research drug and tree abuse as he was to research child pornography, and what do I get? Four months in the poky back in 1984 (Orwell had predicted in his opus that the state would jail free spirits like yours truly) and I am now facing a possible 20 days for my tree investigation. It's unfair, it's illegal, it's outrageous, but there you have it. It's because I'm Greek, I am sure. I'm also guilty of a hell of a lot more. I'm a family man, a provider, I pay my taxes, I'm white (although always suntanned), I am self-employed, I inherited from my old man, I have never sued the state, or any person for that matter, I employ people, I own a yacht ... you name it, I'm guilty of it.

But back to having been abused. My German nanny used to wash me in the bath when I was a baby. Repressed memory syndrome inhibits me from giving you details, but I'm certain that old Fraulein must have pulled a number on me. In fact I know it because, ever since, whenever I see the odd Fraulein, something happens down there. Ask any of my childhood friends. I wrote an essay long ago about it. It was so bad for a while that the mother of my children once asked me to speak to a friend of hers, a shrink, as to why every time I ran into a beautiful woman I had to try and jump into bed with her. I agreed to speak to her under protest.

We met in her office - in Paris. The shrink was lying on a sofa, something I found rather strange. After a few banalities were exchanged, she asked me why I couldn't remain faithful. Instead of telling her about how terribly I had been abused in the bath as a baby, I chose to tell the truth. 'I love Alexandra but whenever I see a sexy woman, something drives me to try and have sex with her. …

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