Carla Bruni and Laura Bush Interview Mashup: A Tribute to Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days


LAURA, a woman about sixty

CARLA, a woman about forty

An expanse of immaculate green grass slopes down to a center mound.  Trompe-l’oeil backcloth to represent The Windsor Hotel Toya Resort and Spa, the host of the 34th G8 Summit.

Imbedded up to their waists in the mound are LAURA and CARLA, both dressed in pastel designer suits, with a pearl necklace for LAURA and a pillbox hat for CARLA. 

Beside them on the ground to their left is a broken guitar and a collapsible collapsed parasol.

LAURA: I love to walk with a friend. You find you talk so much the whole time, before you know it you’ve walked 45 minutes.

CARLA: When I have to choose, I always choose doing things, so I make great mistakes but I don’t have regrets.

LAURA: It’s a very interesting passage of life when you get to that time in your life when your first child is getting married. And we’re gaining our first son. So it’s a thrill.

CARLA: Sex, very pleasant. It’s one of the advantages of getting older… age increases sensuality and the pleasure.

LAURA: We have to keep comforting our children, but we also have to be very vigilant as American citizens as we go about our work and our business.

CARLA: I am a tamer of men, a cat, an Italian–monogamy bores me terribly.  Am I faithful? To myself! I am monogamous from time to time but I prefer polygamy and polyandry.

LAURA: At one point in my life, I thought I would marry a professor and lead a quiet life in academia and dig in my flower garden.

CARLA: Love lasts a long time but burning desire, two to three weeks.

LAURA: George and I are complete opposites. I’m quiet, he’s talkative. I’m introverted, he’s extroverted. I can pronounce nuclear.

CARLA: I want to have a man who has nuclear power.

LAURA:  Well, the fact is I think it’s hard for any wife, or husband for that matter, to give their spouse a lot of advice. I know, I don’t really want a lot of advice from him and I know he doesn’t really want a lot of advice from me. So I make an effort to only speak out when I really feel like I can’t help but speak out.

CARLA: Everyone knows that husbands are rarely stolen; you either know how to keep them or you don’t.

LAURA: Everyone knows that women love red dresses. In fact, recently at the White House, the night of the Kennedy Center Honors, I had a red dress on–and three other people had the exact red same red dress on! It was a major fashion faux pas.

CARLA: I love Yves Saint Laurent. He was the first to mix up red and pink! It was just not done. He had a wonderful garden in Morocco, full of red and pink roses, and he said to himself, Nature does it, and so can I! And he put red dresses with pink belts. It was a fashion mistake before he tried it. People believed the colors would kill each other, but the way he used it was so beautiful, and ageless.

LAURA rummages in a black handbag and removes a mirror. She examines the handle of the mirror, then squints at her reflection.

LAURA: It’s tough. I mean, the polls, that’s, you know that’s… I mean, when we travel around the country, when we visit with people, that’s not what we hear all the time. When they’re good polls  –I think I told you this the last time I interviewed with you, you don’t see them on the front page.

CARLA: I’d rather be called a predator than an old flea-bag. Predator, it’s not that bad for a woman.

LAURA: I hate the stories –all the stories about how I dress.

CARLA: Even when I was having my hair and make-up done backstage at a fashion show, I would sneak in a copy of Dostoevsky and read it inside a copy of Elle or Vogue. But it would be pretentious of me to say I was more intelligent than the other supermodels of that era. I was always just curious about everything.

LAURA: As I grew up I found The Brothers Karamazov to be one of the deepest, most interesting of books I read–one that was the most fun to re-read. Maybe I shouldn’t say fun, given that it is about spiritual struggle, but to read it over and over again at various times in my life was always rewarding. That includes the time I read the book while sitting by a swimming pool in Houston, when I worked as a teacher in the early 1970s. Though the book was Russian, there was always a sort of Texas heat about this memory.

CARLA: Never in my life did I think I would meet the Queen of England.

LAURA: I was the librarian who spent 12 hours a day in the library and yet somehow I met George.

CARLA: My guy, I roll him up and smoke him.

LAURA: I’m having a good time talking about teaching all over America.

CARLA: I miss being a girl but I would like to stay sexy and seductive.

LAURA: Some of my fondest memories as a child are of curling up in my mother’s lap and listening to her read to me.

CARLA: I am a child. Despite my forty years. Despite my thirty lovers. A child.

LAURA: I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and I identified with Laura because of her name and her brown hair.