In late 2015, Fernande Grudet, also known as Madame Claude, died at the quite respectable age of 92.
Once reputed to say
“There are two things that people will always pay for, food and sex … I wasn’t any good at cooking.”
…the moniker “Madame” was more than appropriate, as she was the proprietor of a rather famous brothel in Paris.
Her life was legendary, not inconsiderably due to her tendency to provide, say, alternative facts about herself. Her claimed clientele ranged from French political figures to JFK to Brando to Aristotle Onassis and even the Mafia.
Authorities recently unsealed her rather eye-opening ledger in which the she kept meticulous records of her business. Meticulous would be an understatement for the secrets she chose to document – many believed that she held more state secrets than the Ministère de la Défense – noted predilections and details such that her renowned customer service guaranteed repeat business.
She even noted the birth dates of her clients so that she could send cards (a nice touch, that.) Most impressive was the age of one of the patrons, a man still active in his late nineties.
He, by far, was the oldest trick in the book.