diumenge, 24 d’abril del 2011

The Austrian cyborg

Sitting at Johnson’s conference table at City Hall beside Tower Bridge, where Arnold Schwarzenegger has agreed to a photo op riding a “Boris Bike”—the mayor’s environmentally friendly solution to auto exhaust in London—he needles the famously rumpled Johnson about his unruly mop of hair.
Schwarzenegger informs the mayor that his traveling aide “was insisting you don’t wear product in your hair; I say you do. Who is right?”

“What do you mean, ‘product’ ” Johnson demands in a plummy voice.

When Schwarzenegger explains, the mayor confides: “I used shampoo. I use the one that advertises on Desperate Housewives, where the woman is in the shower.”

Although the two have not previously met, they share a history. In October 2007, the governor was waiting to address a Tory party conference in Blackpool by satellite while then-mayoral candidate Johnson was onstage speaking. Schwarzenegger didn’t know his microphone was hot when he whispered that “this guy is fumbling all over the place.” After the press had a field day, Johnson noted that his oratorical style had been denounced “by a monosyllabic Austrian cyborg.”

“Our most famous encounter so far,” Johnson reminds Schwarzenegger, who replies: “Sorry about that. And I also heard about the comment you made about the Austrian cyborg.”
“I tried to get the ball back over the net. I had to say something.”

Schwarzenegger meets with the 44-year-old Cameron at the prime minister’s office in the House of Commons. They have been friendly since 2005, when New Labour was in power and Cameron was the freshly elected Tory leader.

“Governor! Governor!” the prime minister shouts, bounding into the room like an excited pup. Already that day he’s met with Peres and Gorbachev.

Gorbachev “is a terrific guy,” Schwarzenegger says. “He is so full of energy. I wish he could speak English, but just the Russian sounds great.”

“How do you think we’re getting on in Libya?” Cameron asks. “This was a tough call.”
“It’s terrific,” Schwarzenegger answers.

When Cameron announces that he’s off to Buckingham Palace for his weekly session with the queen, Schwarzenegger says, “Tell her I said hi.”