Thursday, April 11, 2013

Who Ate His Camel?

Sometimes life seems to imitate The Onion.

Consider the case of France’s new socialist president, François Hollande.

Time Magazine reports on Hollande’s many misfortunes:

French President François Hollande can’t buy a break. His nation’s economy has stalled, unemployment is rising, his government has been rocked by scandal and his approval ratings have slipped below 30%.

And that’s not all:

France’s troubles within the euros zone’s enduring debt crisis have grown worse as the economy has slowed to a stop, pushing joblessness up over 10%. That has sent the president’s already sinking approval rating to 27%–a level that could sink further in the wake of his former Budget Minister’sconfession he’d repeatedly lied to the public, media, parliament and his president in denying he’d stashed money away in tax-free offshore bank accounts.

As if that was not enough, there is this:

Now, somebody has gone and eaten Hollande’s pet camel.

Mali’s leaders offered Hollande the camel to express their gratitude for his military intervention. Yet, when the French socialist was introduced to his camel, the cameldid not react well.

Time keeps us abreast of the story:

But after the unruly young camel greeted its new master with unrelenting, ear-piercing howls during Hollande’s visit to Timbuktu, it was decided the creature would probably prove a bit problematic as an Elysée companion (or mode of Parisian transport).  Consequentially, the presidential dromedary was left in the care of a local farm family tasked with insuring its good health and happiness.

Unfortunately, for the camel, the local farm family did not quite understand its historical role. It slaughtered the animal and turned it into a stew called camel tagine.

But something presumably was lost in the translation: this week France’s Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reported that the animal was instead slaughtered for a camel tagine, according to the Telegraph.

Officials in Mali were mortified. They immediately offered a replacement camel, to be dutifully transported to Paris where, apparently, they do not eat camel stew.

In Time’s words:

Officials in Mali have pledged to provide Hollande a replacement camel—and one report quotes Malian authorities describing as “a bigger, better-looking camel” than its digested predecessor. Given the recent misunderstandings, moreover, Hollande’s new pet will be sent to Paris to be fed, groomed, cared for, adored, and otherwise not used as a main course.

Animal lovers will understandably be relieved by that decision. However, given how things are going these days for Hollande, he’ll still be the person blamed if the new arrival eats all the flower buds in the Elysée garden.

The moral of the story: Time Magazine would do much better if it stopped pretending to be a news magazine and became more like The Onion.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

Camel didn't like Hollande? Smart camel, that.