Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column trying on the lighter aspect of politics.

On the time of writing, Emmanuel Macron is probably going in a basement beneath the Élysée Palace in his greatest white pajamas together with his necktie wrapped round his head and Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” blaring on repeat.

The French president has determined he’s not going to take it anymore after being slapped in the face throughout a walkabout in southeastern France as a part of a whistle-stop tour of the nation.

The assailant might be executed by guillotine in Place de la Revolution on Monday. Sorry, no, he was arrested and sentenced to 4 months in jail. The person, Damien Tarel, shoutedà bas la Macronie” (down with Macronism) and “Montjoie Saint Denis” (the battle cry of the French armies when the nation was a monarchy). He’s, it was later discovered, a Center Ages fanatic, royalist and a fan of medieval and fantasy universes in addition to a martial artist and supporter of the far proper. He additionally seemingly wore the identical inexperienced T-shirt to courtroom that he was sporting on the day of the assault — and it’s been sizzling this week!

Don’t depend out Macron rising from the Élysée basement like a combating machine. He can do tough-guy theatrics when he has to.

Keep in mind that first handshake with Donald Trump? Macron squeezed the U.S. president’s hand (a Washington Submit reporter described how the lads’s “knuckles turned white” and “faces tightened” from the pressure) and refused to let go even when Trump tried to drag again. In case anybody missed the handshake’s significance, Macron himself provided an explanation, saying it was “not harmless.” And if one good factor has come out of coronavirus, it’s that nobody will ever once more must shake Trump’s tiny fingers.

After all, Macron doesn’t must turn into buff to defend himself — he may get in some employed muscle. How about David Hasselhoff?

The Hoff has been recruited by the German federal well being ministry to assist increase Germany’s vaccination marketing campaign, beneath the slogan “Ärmel hoch,” or “sleeves up.”

In movies posted on social media, he flexes his biceps and, in one of many clips, says: “I, David Hasselhoff, am supposedly a hero due to Baywatch and Knight Rider and the Berlin Wall. However I discovered freedom in vaccination. You’ll be able to too.”

The American actor and, er, singer has maintained a cult following in Germany since performing the track “Trying For Freedom” on a crane above the Berlin Wall on New Yr’s Eve 1989.

There’s a museum of Hasselhoff paraphernalia within the basement of a Berlin hostel, which includes a large mural of the person himself that used to function pretend (hopefully) chest hair that guests may stroke. Hostel employee Manuela Hristova advised the Mental Floss web site that they needed to take away the fuzz as a result of “it bought actually oily and gross in a short time. Folks simply couldn’t resist touching it!”


“And right here is the place the our bodies are buried.”

Are you able to do higher? E mail [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

Final week we gave you this photograph:

Thanks for all of the entries. Right here’s one of the best from our postbag (there’s no prize aside from the present of laughter, which I believe we are able to all agree is way extra helpful than money or booze).

“Swipe excessive proper,” by Aaron Magnan-Park.

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot information editor.

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