Silvio Berlusconi has bought a bed that once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte. This public act of narcissism is hardly surprising – Berlusconi has previous form, comparing himself to both Napoleon and Christ in 2006.
Butto return to the bed. It is well known that Bonaparte was short of stature and that this, in part, drove him to great things. Berlusconi has been similarly mocked for his size and for having something of a Napoleon complex – although he claims to be 5’7’’ (small in my view, but there you go). But, tellingly, Berlusconi has asked for Bonaparte’s priceless bed to be, not lengthened, but widened. And at a stroke, Berlusconi has confirmed himself as both a cultural vandal and a short-arsed git.
In publicising this to the world, he probably assumes that it looks good - he, Silvio Berlusconi, can sleep in the bed of an Emperor (conveniently forgetting the ‘vertically challenged’ association). But it gets better than that, for he, Silvio Berlusconi, is such an extraordinary lover, such a demanding athlete of the night, that his bed must be wider than Napoleon and Josephine made do with.
Berlusconi’s sexual appetite is renowned. Salacious gossip suggests that he likes young women, escorts and anything in between. Napoleon too liked a bit of dirt – returning from a campaign, he is alleged to have sent a message ahead to Josephine with explicit instructions: “Will return to Paris tomorrow evening. Don’t wash.”
However, at 74 years old, the continuing rumours of Berlusconi’s rabbit-like libido grow increasingly surreal. This latest story about the bed-widening sounds, like much of the stuff that emanates from this arch media manipulator, like a lot of hot air…
…which segues neatly, if spuriously, into this excerpt from Donald Jack’s Me Too, one of the funniest descriptions ever written of a pompous old idiot lying in bed with a much younger lover who suddenly realises that he has to fart.
If I let go, the sound would almost certainly issue forth as a veritable trumpet voluntary. The bedclothes would probably billow as well, assuming they weren’t blasted off entirely with a rending of sheets and a cloud of feathers. Anne would be absolutely disgusted – or worse, asphyxiated…
There was only one thing for it. Carefully reaching over Anne’s sleeping form, I covered her face with the sheet; then, inch by inch, hauled out the bedclothes on my side, cursing myself for having tucked them so firmly under the mattress; then slowly maneuvered until my bare behind was exposed to the chill air; and with bated breath, so to speak, concentrated intently on loosing the appropriate valve a quarter turn at a time, releasing the pressure as slowly and discreetly as possible, in a long, tightly controlled flow.
The faint hissing went on for so long that I began to get worried, imagining my entire form slowly deflating like the world’s largest sausage balloon. I had a frightful picture of Anne waking up in the morning to find nothing left of me but a puckered end – assuming she was not found dead in bed from fresh bread.
But the emission finally ended, concluding its efforts with a stertorous burst and a faint bubbling.
Five minutes later, after I’d finished waving to somebody in the darkness, and was just settling down again, another misshapen bubble of air started to build up, and by the time I’d dealt with it I was so thoroughly chilled in the exposed region that I even considered warming it up against Anne’s naked back; except that the shock of contact with a pair of icy buttocks would probably have shot her out of bed and embedded her in the far wall.
(Donald Jack – Me Too 1983)