Don't let Merkel's reaction fool you- that was all just for show. She's had the facts and figures of the American spying business for over a year. I know because I gave them to her. She thought I was pulling her leg at first (the price I pay for some earlier practical jokes at her expense), and when she realised I wasn't kidding it was all I could do not to blush at the resulting storm of uninhibited self-expression. You'd think she'd been a Hamburg docker in a former life. Fierce is not the word for it. Mind you, after she'd calmed down we had a few practical jokes of our own at Obama's expense. Spoof calls between her and me. Had she seen Obama on the news channel last night. Wasn't he the biggest ****. Did I know about Putin and Michelle. No, please explain in colourful detail. Didn't think Vlad went in for that kind of thing- good job none of it was videoed. Who said it wasn't. And so on and so on. It was a red-faced mumbling chief of staff who had the unpleasant job of introducing that particular recording to his supreme boss in the Oval Office. A nice surprise indeed.
I had a surprise of my own when I told Putin about his fictional affair. I'd expected him to laugh himself sick, as he's a demon for the practical jokes (click here). Instead he had a shifty guilty look. Who'd believe it?