@

A friend from Tennessee told me I should interview Audrey Braun. I had never heard of her though her name sounded vaguely familiar. A week later her book, A SMALL FORTUNE, and a stack of European tabloids (L’Espresso, Bild, Paris Match, and the Daily Mirror) showed up in a box at my door. I perused the magazines and in issue after issue, some of them dating back to 1983, were snapshots and fleeting mentions of Audrey Braun. There was Audrey Braun at a disco with Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Audrey Braun on the arm of weathered French rocker Johnny Hallyday, and then another photo later of Audrey Braun canoodling with Johnny Hallyday’s son, David. There were shots of her topless on a yacht floating in the Mediterranean with Keith Richards, Patti Hansen, and what looks to be Albert II of Monaco turning his back to the camera (the article was about Richards, the photo only named him and Hansen). There was even an article that linked Audrey Braun to Milan Kundera around the time The Unbearable Lightness of Being was being made into a movie. Our mutual friend says she was up for a part in the film but Kundera, who allegedly had “business” dealings with her father, thought she was “too young, too blond, and far too temperamental.” Additionally, our mutual friend claims that Daniel Day-Lewis (who starred in the movie) was overheard saying he wouldn’t work with Braun because her feet were grotesquely small.

After reading the tabloids, I opened the book. And indeed, this woman who doesn’t appear to have ever had a career (other than being the charming daughter of wealthy and very secretive Americans) is quite a talented writer. A SMALL FORTUNE is a sexy, mysterious romp with literary overtones. Erica Jong meets Harlan Coben on a sticky summer night.

I immediately sent Audrey Braun an email requesting that we do an interview over the phone. She sent me her number, but it turns out she rarely answers her phone. When I finally did get through to her (her almost-babyish voice reminds me of Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks), she said, “Can’t talk now, I’m in Target buying No. 7 Breast Cream.” And then she hung up. Seriously. The last person who hung up on me was Rita Gore in ninth grade who believed a false rumor that I had made out with her boyfriend, Denny Garcia, behind the dunes at Devereaux beach. I sent Audrey Braun an email with a single word: Target? She wrote back, “It’s the only place that carries No. 7. Breast cream. Buy some. Every woman should use it.” After dozens more attempts to get Audrey Braun on the phone, I gave up and sent her an email with 19 questions about her book, her life, her slightly famous parents, and her romances. Most of the questions came back blank, with no response (she refused to discuss any of the celebrities noted above). Next to the question of how old she was, Audrey Braun wrote, “N.A.” Not applicable?

I feel I should disclose that after my one sentence conversation with Audrey Braun I went to Target and bought some No. 7 Breast Cream. I’m now walking around with silky, creamy Audrey Braun breasts. Unfortunately, I still can’t figure out how to live the Audrey Braun life.

SIX (out of 19) QUESTIONS FOR AUDREY BRAUN

Q. Your first novel, A SMALL FORTUNE, is scintillating, thrilling, and full of intrigue. Oh, it’s sexy, too! Everything I’ve read about your life is equally thrilling. Is it true that your next book will be a memoir?

A. Have you read David Shield’s new book Reality Hunger? Don’t ask me to explain it. When I try I go mute. My head fills with rusty cogs when it comes to understanding the bigger question of “what is the REAL truth” and “how accurate is memory REALLY?” Then there’s emotional truth, which is just a smart lie that gets to the bigger truth inside ourselves. Right? I think that’s right. But to answer your question, some people think THIS book is a memoir. Ever since I read Reality Hunger I’m no longer comfortable questioning someone else’s reality. Does that answer your question?

Q. Someone I know who was at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference with you told me that for years you were the mistress of a married European royal. I tried to check this out with someone else who knows you and he claimed you were a mistress to a royal but not a European royal. Can you clarify this? Are you still involved with him?

A. Wait. Still involved with whom? The ‘someone else’ who claims to know me? Ha! Not after this I won’t be. You know, Jessica, it’s hard to talk about the Royal Days. I don’t blame you for asking. I just can’t go there without the powers that be going off like a Russian firing squad. However, I will say this: Borders move. One day you’re part of Europe sipping an espresso in the sun, the next day you’re living in the Eastern bloc, drinking water from a rubber hose.

Q. An article in the Daily Mirror claims you didn’t find out that your father was in the CIA until after his death. How did this affect the way you viewed your childhood, the years in European boarding schools, etc.?

A. All men are enigmas. The minute you think you’ve got one figured out is right about the time you need to turn around and open up your math book and start studying the facts (a little something I picked up during my Lichtenstein school days). That about sums it up. Pardon the pun. Sorry. I can’t really discuss my father. Talk about a Russian firing squad! No. I’m kidding. Don’t print that. You’re deleting this, right?

Q. Okay, more rumors (there are so many of them!): Is it true that your grandmother was a Ziegfeld girl and your mother was a Rockette?

A. Wow. You’ve really done your homework. Let’s dance. David Bowie wrote that. Put on your red shoes and dance with me. Who do you think he was talking about? Mmm hmn. Yes.

Q. Let’s not ignore your fabulous book! Where did you find these characters? Is Celia based on someone you know?

A. Funny how things come full circle. She knows who she is and if at any time she wants to come forward and talk about her story, not to mention “Benicio’s”story it’s fine with me. I wish her well, I really do, and I don’t say this out of any kind of jealousy or grudge or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I just wish she’d stop forwarding all those youtube videos. How many times does someone need to see a cat flush a toilet? I don’t care if it’s a Persian one either.

Q. Anything you want to clear up about your international reputation—are you as uninhibited (I read about the naked fountain swimming in Cannes) as people say?

A. Two things: I have beautiful breasts.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JESSICA ANYA BLAU's third novel, THE WONDER BREAD SUMMER, was selected as a Summer Read on NPR's All Things Considered, CNN's Book Chat, and Oprah's Book Club. She is also the author of DRINKING CLOSER TO HOME, and THE SUMMER OF NAKED SWIM PARTIES. For more information go to www.jessicaanyablau.com.

164 responses to “Audrey Braun: Daniel Day-Lewis Called Her Feet “Grotesque.””

  1. STEPH says:

    OMG!!!! that was fantastic!!! i LOVED “A small fortune” what a great interview!!

  2. Thanks for reading Steph! I do wish she had answered more of my questions, but I’m glad I got what I did out of her!

  3. Tyler Terrington says:

    What a find!

    This lady is fascinating and she’s hilarious even if she doesn’t realize it.
    Now I want to know what she LOOKS like!

    I’m also DYING to know what kind of CIA schenanigans her dad was involved with.

    Thanks for turning me on to this book and this woman.

  4. The voice on the phone was great, too. Wish I could put a soundtrack with this post, if only for the single sentence she barked out at me.

    Thanks for reading!

  5. Greg Olear says:

    Great piece, Jessica…she sounds like a fascinating person…and one Target should hit up for a commercial!

  6. You know the No.7 Breast Cream really does feel nice. Mother’s Day is coming up, I suggest you visit Target and pick some up for your gorgeous wife!

  7. I think I may have to go get some for myself – maybe tomorrow – I could use some Breast Cream – right?
    My Breasts should certainly have their own Cream, now that I think about it. She’s absolutely right.
    What if they’re all out of No. 7 and they only have No. 6 – should I wait for No. 7, the real deal?

    This was great, Jessica!

  8. Hey Stephanie,

    Yes, I’ve now bought into the idea that breasts need their own cream just like faces do. After Audrey sent me out for breast cream, I discovered a whole load of No. 7 products in the cosmetic aisle of Target (sadly, no 6 or 8, etc.). I only bought the breast cream–the bottle is sensuously curved, the cream is thick but not gooky. And, I swear, my breasts feel like satin. I actually considered slathering up No. 7 elsewhere, but I think it might be too rich. Don’t want acne where there usually isn’t any.

    I can’t remember how much it was, but I don’t think it was too expensive or I wouldn’t have tried it. Still, I think you should wait for the Mother’s Day gift!

  9. Ok, then.
    Greg, ya got that? Satin.
    Mother’s Day = satin breasts. Thanks to you, Jessica,
    Greg now knows what to have the kids get me. He can explain
    how mommy needs satin breasts – because doggone it, she deserves them.

  10. Every woman deserves them! And if Greg EVER derives any pleasure from those breasts then dagnabbit, he OWES you at least one bottle of No. 7!

  11. […] April 28, 2010 at 2:55 am · Filed under 1 audrey-braun-daniel-day-lewis-called-her-feet-grotesque […]

  12. Tom Hansen says:

    Hmmm, interesting. Jessica, I want you to create a legend out of the detritus of my life. As a side note, I use hair conditioner (even though I have half the hair I used to) because it makes my skin soft. Joico Intensive Treatment for super damaged hair. I’m damaged all over actually, that’s probably why it works so well.

    • Judy Prince says:

      Tom, try *Aussie* brand shampoo, any of their shampoos. You won’t need conditioner, and it’s the only shampoo that makes hair look full volumed and feel great. Dunno about using it all over your body, though, but hey it’s worth a shot.

    • Jessica Anya Blau says:

      Damaged all over–horrors! I have found that lotions and creams and oils of all sorts can make any part of the body feel better. I love hanging out in the lotion aisle of the drugstore. (So much more fun than the cough syrup aisle.)

      Yes, let’s make a legend from the detritus of your life. Although, I think with your TNB posts you’ve already created that legend.

  13. Judy Prince says:

    “The last person who hung up on me was Rita Gore in ninth grade who believed a false rumor that I had made out with her boyfriend” …. and “I’m now walking around with silky, creamy Audrey Braun breasts”. Jessica, you are funny! Loved this piece!

    Audrey’s witty, bright, and fascinating. She promises to be as good with one-liners as Mae West, especially with her: “Two things: I have beautiful breasts”.

    You and Audrey have compelled me to purchase _A Small Fortune_—–which I hope doesn’t cost a small fortune!

    • Jessica Anya Blau says:

      Oh, and, I changed the names in the Rita Gore comment. I was tempted to pick up the phone, call her and ask if I could use her real name in the post, but just didn’t. It’s hard to predict how people feel about showing up in posts. I often use my family with their real names and everything–but they’re used to being outed by me.

      • Judy Prince says:

        Basically, Jessica, we don’t care about Rita Gore’s real name. Apparently, TNB women just want to know if Denny Garcia is still rootworthy. I’m translating from Australian to American here, so let’s see how Zara and Simon respond. hee hee

        • You know, the word ROOTWORTHY, makes me shiver. Sounds so good. I had been told that he did pack a good root. But I’m not sure how worthy it is these days. There was a rumor about meth addiction or oxycontin or one of those other sad, awful things that can de-root even the greatest of men.

        • Judy Prince says:

          So much for pore de-rooted Denny. Did you change his name, too, Jessica?

        • Yes, yes, did change his name. But it was a Y ending first name and an Hispanic last name. You know, doesn’t everyone do things like that? Change the name but keep the essence of it the same?
          Love your ROOT term, BTW. Never heard it before. Am I understanding it correctly?!

        • Judy Prince says:

          Jessica, I bow to my lexical superiors in Aussie slang: Zara and Simon. I just added “worthy” to adjectivise their word “root”. They are veritable treasure troves of terms and contexts, as follows with “root”:

          Comment by Zara Potts:

          Maybe it is. We use it in quite imaginative ways:

          ‘She’s a good/slack root.”

          “Crikey! he’s rootable.”

          “Oh my god. I am rooted (tired)”

          “My radio is rooted (broken)”

          “Hey you! Want a root?”

          “My wife/husband used to be a superooter. Now he/she doesn’t root at all.”

          Comment by Simon Smithson:

          “Cop a root last night?”

          “He/she’d be good for a root.”

          “He’s a bloody red-headed rat rooter!” (not common usage)

          Heh.

          I was very pleased with myself last time we were in LA:

          Zara: Hey look at that van! It says Thrifty Rooter!
          Me: Yeah, that’s someone who doesn’t pay for dinner.

        • God I love those Aussies!
          I think they need to do an audio-post on TNB.

        • Judy Prince says:

          OMG, Jessica! You’re totally on to something! Z & S LIVE on TNB!

        • Can you talk them into it? THey’re both so dang cute, too, we’d need to see them as well!

        • Judy Prince says:

          Right now, Jessica? I’m way too busy reading about Sandra Bullock’s divorce!

          How about you post a TNB thingie asking: “What do you want Zara and Simon to do on their first-ever co-cohort TNB docu?” And if that’s too provocative (!), well………

        • REad on! Enjoy!
          I have to go teach so must get off line soon.

          Here’s my dream Simon/Zara TNB docu-something: they discuss the word root, giving full-story examples from their lives. Surely the two of them have rooted around enough interesting roots to fill a good hour or so!

        • Judy Prince says:

          You bad, Jessica! Go teach those unruly critters!

        • Zara Potts says:

          Okay.. okay. Simon and I will bring the rooting to the US.
          Wait. That doesn’t sound at all right…

        • Matt says:

          Just so you know, while you’re here, I plan to slip the word “root” into casual conversation whenever possible.

        • Zara, bring your ROOTS to the states! Root around here, root with us, root for us, root against us, root in us. We all like it any way you root!

        • Zara Potts says:

          You have no idea how funny that sounds Jessica! I am laughing out loud.
          It is Simon and my plan to introduce the word to the US. It’s going to catch on.. I just know it!

        • Well if Nervous Breakdown is really getting 60,000 hits a month, the trend may have started already. I think you need to get out here quick to make sure we’re using the right accent when we say it. We all want to be you!

        • Zara Potts says:

          Ha! We’ll be there to coach you very very soon!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Good God. Every time my kid starts singing, “Root, root, root for the home team”, I’m going to get all flustered. That would be one dedicated sports fan.

        • What about when I say it: ROOT ROOT ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Actually, I’m feeling a little something else. Hubba-hubba, you little minx! 🙂

        • Simon Smithson says:

          BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

          I just found my way to this comment thread then…

          You’re all so depraved.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          The next time I hear “root cause analysis” at work, I’m going to giggle like a fool.

        • Oh Simon, we’re all ROOTING for you to get your Aussie hiney out here to the states so you and Zara can teach us a thing or two about root work, root canal, roto-rootering (that last one might be strictly American), you know the drill.

  14. Judy Prince says:

    Jessica, I just bought _A Small Fortune_ , new, for $12.12 from amazon.com.

    Here’s a link to the rave reviews by amazon.com customers: http://www.amazon.com/Small-Fortune-Audrey-Braun/product-reviews/145153891X/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&qid=1272442358&sr=1-1

    • Jessica Anya Blau says:

      Oh, so glad it wasn’t too expensive! Thanks for reading Judy!

      I like the Aussie hair products tip. I’m always one to follow a product tip. Lately what I’ve been doing is ringing out my hair after shampooing, putting in gobs and gobs and gobs of conditioner, then putting on a shower cap so the heat makes the conditioner go deep (deep, deep, deeper!), then I wash all my bits and parts, sand down my heels, and only when all that is over and done with do I remove the cap and rinse my hair. I swear this will make your hair feel as luxurious as breasts that are slathered with No. 7 breast cream.

      • Judy Prince says:

        Here’s the thing, Jessica, just to save you a lot of time, energy, and the expense of No.7 breast cream:
        Get in the shower, slather any Aussie brand shampoo on your hair and body; rinse; towel yourself down—-and the hair, body and breasts will all be perky as hell, not to mention silky-smooth. U go, gurl!

  15. Simon Smithson says:

    Heh. I like the age answer.

    Zsa Zsa Gabor, when asked which of the Gabor women was the oldest, pouted and said ‘Well, she’ll never admit it… but I think it’s mother.’

    Great piece, Jessica! This sounds like quite a find. Books upon books… A Small Fortune, Reality Hunger…

    Do you think that maybe Audrey Braun had heard you had made out with her boyfriend and that was really why she hung up?

    • Judy Prince says:

      Simon, that Zsa Zsa quote’s marvelous!

    • Jessica Anya Blau says:

      You know, if I could figure out WHO Audrey Braun’s latest boyfriend was, I probably would make out with him! (I’d definitely need a first class night flight to Monaco to get to him.) She seems to make out with some pretty interesting characters.

  16. Irene Zion says:

    Jessica Anya,

    She sounds like so much fun! It must have been a blast to do that interview once you finally got through to her.
    Do you recommend the book to someone who has too many books to read already?
    (I’m definitely getting No. 7 Breast Cream.)

    • Jessica Anya Blau says:

      Irene,

      Look at your cute new picture! You look like you’re twelve! Are you wearing a plaid skirt below those schoolgirl glasses?

      I have SO many books to read and SO much stuff in my house that I HATE bringing in new stuff. I’m continually trying to haul shit out of the house. So, I have a hard time telling anyone to get one more thing and bring one more thing into a life already full of things.

      That said, if you read it, it will be one I’m sure you’ll enjoy. I think you can read the first chapter on Amazon, so you could always start there and see if you’re hooked. The book does speed up as it moves along–gains momentum with the story. The book is as much fun as the woman who wrote it!

  17. Elroy James says:

    Milan Kundera has some nerve calling anyone “temperamental”. The pouty little bitch. I get pissed off all over again thinking about that episode. And Day-Lewis and his poofy shoemaker/toe tugger phase. Pleeeaaase. Finally, Audrey Braun topless on a fricking fraternity bathtub regatta entry will pack the rails of every Italiian-built luxo-tub in the port of Monaco. I’m going outside for a smoke.

  18. Judy,

    I think you’re going to have to take this up with Audrey!

    I will buy some Aussie. I already bought the No. 7 Breast Cream. Then I’ll do a day by day test. One day Aussie, one day No. 7. Will report back as soon as I’ve figured it all out! (THANK YOU for the great tip!)

    I love body/lotion/beauty tips. OH, here’s one I discovered: ANY skin ailment, seriously, anything (eczema, zits, rashes, bug bites, rosacea) can be cured by rubbing a soaked green tea bag over it. Just boil some water, drop in a green tea bag for a minute. Take it out and swing it around like a lasso to cool it, then dab it all over the affected area. It’s miraculous.

    • Judy Prince says:

      Jessica, no prob; Audrey doesn’t need the cash.

      Thanks for the tip about the green tea bag! Might help Denny Garcia’s rootworthiness, as well. 😉

      • Dame Dorsey says:

        Wait. “Audrey doesn’t need the cash” ? Judy, she NEEDS the cash. Especially after that whole Madoff thing. Or was it Smirnoff?

        • Madoff, Smirnoff, Chekov (off), it’s all the same!

        • Judy Prince says:

          Me being contrite, Dame Dorsey (love your name); I don’t discriminate against wealthy persons, even when they’ve been de-wealthied.

          BTW, have you seen Jamie Johnson’s 2003 film, BORN RICH? I’m about to watch the DVD, after a viewing a fascinating YouTube trailer. Johnson’s in his late 20’s, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical empire, and he interviews himself and a few of his friends such as Ivanka Trump, Georgianna Bloomberg, S.I. Newhouse IV, Josiah Hornblower (Vanderbilt/Whitney heir), Christina Floyd (professional sports heiress), Luke Weill (gaming industry heir), and Juliet Hartford (A&P supermarket heiress).

        • Heard about that film. Am going to put it on my netflix account right now. Thanks for bringing it up!

  19. Well it is an ANTI-inflammatory, so might make the root shrink. No?

    • Judy Prince says:

      Um, Jessica, I think we need to invoke the higher (medico) gods on this one. I mean, you’re implying that inflamed roots are healthy roots. Or, p’raps Viagra is an inflammatory. Next, we’ll be encouraging our menfolk to drink lotsa water and imbibe lotsa salt. Might kill them, but . . . . .

      • Well, yes. I’m thinking tumescence when I think inflammatory. You know, praying to Priapos, one of the greatest of mythological gods.

      • Andrew Nonadetti says:

        We’re men. If told we’re about to die, our reactions range wildly from stoicism to rage to blubbering weakness. If we’re told we’re about to die but will do so with a raging hardon while having sex, we tend to be pretty consistent in our reactions although, if we’re gentlemen, we’ll pause long enough to take off our socks.

        Jessica, I’ve been wanting to reply but have no time to read new books, have neither hair nor moobs (though I do have a hairy chest) and speak without an Australian accent. I just didn’t feel I could contribute much. Besides, having only recently un-pissed off my wife, I didn’t think it wise to join in on commenting over the suppleness of another woman’s breasts, no matter who she is.

        Nice piece, though. The interview, that is.

        • Thanks for reading Andrew. I’m glad you have un-pissed off your wife recently. Good to hang on to that. Your instincts on not commenting on other women’s breast suppleness are dead on. You could always buy your wife some No. 7 and say that you “read about it somewhere on the internet,” or something like that!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          True enough, although isn’t that a bit like the whole “Homer Simpson buys a bowling ball for his wife’s birthday present”? I mean, if I get more enjoyment out of something than the recipient, is it fair to call it a gift for someone else? 🙂

        • Judy Prince says:

          Despite your defending Andrew, Jessica, we’re wiring up the doghouse again (his last sentence, so to speak, suggests that his teeth will stay bright white on Tuna ‘n Cheddar kibble for a couple days).

          Enjoyed your explication about males, Andrew. 😉

        • Judy Prince says:

          “Do the squelchy”? Simon, Zara, Jessica—-I think we’ve got a serious contender for the root word.

        • Yes, yes. Can someone explain THE SQUELCHY to me? It sounds like it might have too many fluids for my tastes. Is it dry? Is it noisy? What does the squelchy smell like?!

        • Simon Smithson says:

          The character of Jeff has a certain number of phrases possibly best left undefined.

          The Sock Gap, however, is something that every man should be aware of.

        • There must be something deeply wrong with me. I don’t mind a naked man who’s only wearing his socks. Am I the only one here?!

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Yes. There is something deeply wrong with you. It’s just so… untoward.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          I don’t mind being a naked man wearing only socks but it’s just so half-assed (no pun intended). I mean, if you’re so overwhelmed with passion that you can’t take that last three seconds to be completely naked, just have at it before you’ve both finished dropping trou. Nice and raunchy. However, if you’re not that en fuego, be thorough in every way and free those damned flippers!

        • You know, I really don’t want to be untoward. My whole life, all I’ve ever wanted to be was toward. I always thought, as a little girl, when I grow up I want to be toward. But here I am, fully developed now, I don’t mind a naked man in socks, and gosh-darnnit I’m UNTOWARD! Someone help me! (Aussies to the rescue–Simon, Zara, Judy?!)

          Andrew, I also don’t mind being a naked person in socks. My feet get cold. I like to keep socks on sometimes.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Even in the heat of the moment, the socks come off. It’s something I’ve been instilling in myself since I was a teenager. I will happily lay claim to the fact that I have developed high-level skills in getting my socks off in the blink of an eye without losing hustle OR flow.

        • Prehensile toes?
          Can you post a youtube vid. of this skill?

        • Matt says:

          YES.

          The socks must come off. This is imperative. There are few things as un-sexy looking as a naked person wearing only a pair of socks. Bare feet are way more sensual.

          Not a big fan of the whole “naked ladies in high heels” thing, either.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Naked women in socks is entirely different. The naked part pretty much trumps damned-near anything else, truth be told. You can be a naked woman in a clown nose, lederhosen, pink bunny slippers – whatever you want, as long as you’re naked. Besides, it seems to me that, as a species, you women are equipped with a small container of liquid nitrogen located somewhere in your ankles, guaranteeing that your feet are always hovering just barely above freezing. Keeping those things off of us during intimate moments is appreciated almost as much as the whole naked thing.

        • So, what you’re saying Matt, is if a beautiful naked woman with No. 7 Breast Cream slathered all over herself walks in wearing nothing but socks, you are turning around and walking away from her?

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Rookie mistake, Blau!

          See, I know what you’re thinking. All you need to do is catch the toe of one sock with the toes on the other foot, apply pressure, and pull. The sock will remain stationary while the foot moves?

          Nope. That shit can occasionally get stuck coming over the ankle, especially if it’s a tight-fitting sock, or a sport sock (business socks are the easiest to remove). Then you’re left with a loose half-on/half-off sock flapping around, so you have to try to re-catch it with your other toes without looking or try to leave it while you re-assess the situation… Jesus. It’s the Scylla and Charybdis of footwear sexuality.

          Your two best bets are these:

          1. Strip the socks as soon as you lose the shoes.or
          2. Deal with the situation head on. Crunch your obliques and throw a hand down to quickly grab the top of the sock and whip that sucker right off. No messing around, no dilly-dallying, just one quick motion and bam! Back to it, barefoot.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Oh! Yeah.

          Naked women in socks?

          Not a problem.

        • Yes, Andrew, you’ve got that right. Either you act as the human space heater, or you let us keep on the dang socks!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          If a straight man walks away from a beautiful naked woman with No. 7 Breast Cream slathered all over herself wearing nothing but socks it would likely only be because whatever drawer stores his condoms is slightly out of reach.

        • Matt says:

          I absolutely am not walking away from a willing, naked woman just because she’s wearing socks. Or even high heels.

          I will, however, subtly remove said footwear during foreplay.

          And I’ve got a pretty high tolerance for cold feet when nudity is otherwise involved.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          If a straight man walks away from a beautiful naked woman with No. 7 Breast Cream slathered all over herself wearing nothing but socks it would likely only be because whatever drawer stores his condoms is slightly out of reach.

          Hey, come on now. Maybe the straight man’s had a rough day. Maybe he broke his ankle, and he’s really tired, and he just received a call to tell him his twin brother, who is posted with the Foreign Office is Guadalajara, has contracted scurvy and can’t make it back in time for their birthday. I feel we should cut our straight man some slack.

        • Okay guys, I’ve gotta step out of the discussion for now. It’s bedtime. My husband is waiting. And neither of us are currently wearing socks!

          Good night!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          We’ll do our best to have you to 200 comments by morning. G’night!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Simon, you bring up an excellent point. If he’s broken his ankle and his twin has contracted scurvy, the very least that the beautiful, slathered, naked woman can do is have a few condoms ready when he gets home. She can tuck a three-pack in her sock.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Now you’re talking!

        • Judy Prince says:

          Just to get all y’all on the right track, clinically speaking a person wearing socks is not naked. Goofy-looking, yes, but not actually naked.

          Sorry, Jessica, I just had to say it. Only thing that’d persuade me to think men wearing only socks are not just plain goofy-looking is if that whole elaborate routine Simon describes is called “foreplay”. Or if the guy’s grabbing his socks with…….(censored)…..

        • Judy Prince says:

          “It’s the Scylla and Charybdis of footwear sexuality.” Who says TNB’s not a deeply literary group?!
          We can pull it off (yes, pun intended) even in a discussion about — wot the hell IS this discussion about?! Oh, right, Breast Cream No 7 and sox. R we near the 200 comments mark, yet?

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Judy, don’t ruin it for us! I mean, seriously – no conversation involving naked people and/or sex should be besmirched by any variant of the word “clinic”.

          Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to – ahem – adjust my socks and turn in.

        • Judy Prince says:

          Anon—-don’t turn into your soks I mean socks! All you need to do is say one word per message and our gurl Jessica can hit the big two oh oh!!!

          BTW, I’ve been tea-spitting (Matt’s awesome term) at your comments so much that well it’s damned tuff to get the typing right when fingers are slipping over the keys. green tea, natch, because that (thanks to Jessica’s CLINICAL advice) clears up lumbago and leprosy of the hands or of course the sock-wearing foot.

        • I’m awake now, and you sockies above are probably sleeping. But I must respond to Judy’s idea that a man is only sexy if he takes his socks off with his %&#$.
          Simon did mention his prehensile toe and the footloose dance routine he does, but now I’m starting to wonder if TOE isn’t Aussie slang for %$#* and really those hot Aussie guys all have prehensile %$#&s?

          And, yes, glad someone finally brought Scylla and Charybdis into this! Andrew is right that we shouldn’t besmirch discussions of nudity and sex with the word CLINICAL. But Scylla, yes! Charybdis, yes! And, the aforementioned (to which no one responded, I believe) Priapus, Oui Oui!

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Oh, no, if it’s a priapism, a clinical approach is an absolute necessity. This is why there’s no industry for bathtub viagra.

        • Oh dear lord Simon, the man with the prehensile $#@%, when do you sleep?! We need you to rest up for your trip to America. We need you in good form while you’re here, ready to charm us with snake-charming like sock striptease!

          Priapism, yes, indeed, clinical. But I was speaking of the God, the wonderful fertile Priapus. I’m starting to believe that he wasn’t Greek or even Roman at all, but was AUSTRALIAN! No?

        • Judy Prince says:

          Jessica, I’m just barely (ok, unintended pun but not bad either) awake now, but will muster my feeble energy and brain to respond to your wise comment on nearly-naked males’ attractiveness relative to removing their socks with their prehensile %&#$. Since I don’t have a %&#$, I cannot imagine how removing one’s socks with a %&#$ would work. P’raps one of our %&#$-possessing TNB persons could give us a vivid explanation.

          My appreciation for your enlightened application of Greek myths—-you and Simon, of course—-to this discussion which is deeply rooted in western culture. And other stuff.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Heh. Judy said “deeply rooted”.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Oh, other points (so to speak). I believe adding prehensile abilities crosses the line from “junk” to “trunk”. And am I the only one who thinks those Viagra commercials should carry the voiceover of “If you have an erection lasting longer than four hours, see if she has a sister….”?

        • Deeply rooted Judy–so perfect!

          And Andrew, I LOVE your suggestion for their ad. I say you send it into them. Or make the ad and post it on youtube.

          I’m still waiting for Simon’s youtube post of proper sock removal!

        • Judy Prince says:

          Thank you, Jessica. P’raps we’re putting too much pressure ahem on Simon. But while we’re awaiting the video of his sock removal via his %&#$, I suggest we turn to meatier topics such as how has the twittering amongst BIG publishing types been going? Or is anyone gonna watch the UK debate in a half hour between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg? Or which ingredient in that Breast Cream No 7 really silks up the breasts? I’m thinking it’s coconut oil, or maybe wild ginger root…….(Zara will speak to that, Im sure).

        • Judy Prince says:

          Anon, wouldn’t that situation qualify as erectocest? And is it anything like Legocest? I will withdraw gently from the seamier sides of this conversation, leaving you to hold up your end.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Hm. I suppose, depending on your marital status, it might be considered inlawcest. It’s a shame you need to pull out of the conversation before it’s reached its climax. I can certainly hold my own, if need be, but it isn’t quite as much fun without a partner.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Socks and sex? No No No.

          Oh and good work, you guys on all the rooting! You’re doing very well!

        • Okay, I’m confused. Judy’s talking about Gordon Brown and Simon both removing socks with their $%#&s, Anon is talking about incest, and Zara is rooting for it all, right?

        • Matt says:

          So….just another day at TNB, then.

        • And what a glorious day it is!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          In fairness, I was talking about inlawcest. And certainly not first-hand. Ick!

          I have been spending far too much time reading Dr. Seuss to my kid. I’m now thinking, “No sex with socks ’cause socks can lock unless you have prehensile cocks.” I do not want to see this illustrated. Good Lord….

        • Oh no, Andrew, we must see this illustrated! Very good–maybe you can get Crumb to do the illustrations. Could be very funny and fun. Sold in the same shops that sell those Japanese porn comics.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Jessica, for some reason, this suggestion puts me in mind of The Great “Little Mermaid” Scandal of the early 1990s, when it was rumored that an angry artist had drawn several large penii into the turrets of King Triton’s undersea castle. Yeah, I know Snopes called it a myth but, owning both a penis and the original artwork, I’ve got to say it seems like more than coincidence.

        • They’re everywhere, those penises! Camel cigarette packs, Triton’s castle, fireplugs, salamis, mushrooms, unfurled umbrellas, Hot Tamale candies, Slim Jims . . . the list will go on as long as there are “things” in the world.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Huzzah!! Long may the penis stand! Oh… wait…. Well, certainly not “wave” – that would be creepy. Although, I suppose, less creepy than that whole prehensile thing.

          Yeah, I gotta go now.

  20. Joe Daly says:

    I had never heard of Audrey Braun until reading this interview. What an amazing experience. For you, that is. As you began her background, I envisioned so many of our modern crop of heiresses who have created personal fame from family wealth. Then you describe how well-done her book was, and my perspective changed immediately, expecting a literate, insightful, perhaps self-effacing woman to emerge.

    Nope. Which made it all the more pleasurable to read. Left me with more questions than answers.

    Thanks for not giving up on this (I’m sure I would have after the Target hang up). I hope you enjoyed it!

    >>One day you’re part of Europe sipping an espresso in the sun, the next day you’re living in the Eastern bloc, drinking water from a rubber hose.<>All men are enigmas.<<

    So?

  21. Yeah, it’s hard to keep pestering someone after they’ve hung up on you! Had to resort to my latest mantra: Take Nothing Personally.

    • Joe Daly says:

      TNP- I should get that tattooed on my hand.

      My comments got cut off by the formatting, but I’m just going to leave it as is. Nothing to see here!

      • We all should. It really frees you up in life. If some asshole cuts you off on the road and you think, “THAT ASSHOLE JUST CUT ME OFF,” you’re taking it personally. But if you change it to “THAT ASSHOLE’s CUTTING PEOPLE OFF,” it’s no longer personal and doesn’t really matter that much.

        Same with lovers/husbands/wifes/etc. You come home and your mate is being a real dick. You can think, “HE’S BEING A REAL DICK TO ME!” and walk around pissed off all night. Or you can think, “THIS GUY’S BEING A DICK.” Take yourself out of the equation and it’s all happiness and peace.

        Seriously. It works for everything. Is incredibly liberating.

  22. Everyone who knows me well, knows I really dislike talking on the phone.

    I have to say that after reading this, Jessica, from this day on, I am only answering my phone ( whether I’m in Target or not) with the line: “Can’t talk now, I’m in Target buying No. 7 Breast Cream.”

    You may have just changed my life…..

  23. Oh Robin,

    I’m going to call you right now just so you can hang up on me with that line!

  24. Richard Cox says:

    I think this is my favorite-ever TNB interview! Your intro was great, especially about the No. 7 breast cream at Target, and then her answers were so off-point and offbeat that it made for a great piece. You think you could convince her to write the occasional piece for TNB? I imagine it would be fun to sit down and get drunk and read her interview herself. Hahaha.

    For a long time I worked for Liechtenstein’s largest employer (in the U.S. but I traveled there many times). It is an interesting, wealthy, secretive little country, or rather principality. That she schooled there speaks volumes. It’s like an Alpine Monaco.

  25. You are SO right. Audrey should definitely blog for TNB! I’m going to email her about it now. (Won’t even bother to call.)

    I’ve never been to Liechtenstein. Alpine Monaco–what a perfect description, I can see it so well.

    Who is Liechtenstein’s largest employer??

    • Richard Cox says:

      Haha. Nice. We’ll see if she even answers.

      Hilti is their largest employer. They manufacture tools and other items for construction. It’s privately held and the family is always on the richest people in the world list. You wouldn’t think a tiny glacier valley could pump out so many products recognized around the world, but it does.

  26. Matt says:

    Am I the only one who read this and then immediately ran to Google to do an image search, in hopes of validating that last line?

    Didn’t think so.

    Sadly, the results were….inconclusive.

  27. No naked breasts on line? She’d probably have to marry Sarkozy or someone like that to have the pre-internet breast pics put online. Try Carla Bruni. See if that works.

  28. Irene Zion says:

    Jessica Anya, I said this somewhere in the comments of my last post, but I think it bears repeating here. I have a good male friend who is somewhat of a dandy. A very stylish man. Once he looked at my feet in Birkenstock sandals and told me I should immediately go to a surgeon & have my pinky toes & the fourth toes removed along with all the “knuckles” & such below them & then I would be able to wear beautiful Italian shoes like him. He was serious. He thought my artificially altered three-toed extra-narrowed feet were preferrable to my grotesque wide feet!

  29. Oh good lord! What did you say to this?! Is he still your friend.

    I have always loved my feet and thought they were the only part of my body that didn’t need altering. I mentioned this to a boyfriend once and he laughed. He said I had Flintstone feet, that it looked like I operated a running-foot-car with them.

    • Irene Zion says:

      Jessica Anya,

      He’s a good friend. He was honestly trying to help rid me of my grotesque feet and get me into soft Italian leather. You should see his clothes, his shoes, his belts. Everything is the finest. You can treat yourself like that if you don’t have kids to spend money on. His wife is a saint. I adore them both, but I only take advice from the wife, needless to say. He is beauteous, but has a certain loose screw here and there.

  30. Judy Prince says:

    MEEP! Irene and Jessica—-you two are killing me with your three-toed feet and Flintstone feet!

    Have you heard Dylan Moran YouTubing on “Women Have No Feelings”? He nails us in one and a quarter minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUH34iqK7cI

  31. Funny! Who is he? I’ve never heard of him. Why is there so much stuff in the world that I have yet to see/hear/read/understand?! I need to live to 200 just to catch up.

  32. Judy Prince says:

    Someone on TNB mentioned him, Jessica, maybe Simon. Oh you *must* watch his “Arnold Schwarzenegger” video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlLpCh-lE54

    There’s always been too much stuff, my dear. We’re unbelievably fortunate to be able to select what we want from the load!

  33. Okay, off to teach, will watch the Ah-nold thing when I get home later today! Have to change out of my in-house clothes (jeans and tee-shirt) and dress myself like a full-grown human woman-person.

  34. […] JESSICA ANYA BLAU INTERVIEWS AUDREY BRAUN FOR THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN […]

  35. Zara Potts says:

    This was great, Jessica! Loved it!

  36. Dame Dorsey says:

    Just saw this interview running across the twittisphere. Jessica, you and Audrey are hilarious.

  37. Ma Dame, or Dame, or Madame Dame, no matter how I say it, it’s wonderful–best name on the blog here. When you say that you saw it on the twittisphere does that mean that this post has flown off TNB and is showing up elsewhere? Who is tweeting it?

    THanks for reading!

  38. velowhat says:

    I’ve got to read this book.

  39. I wonder what no. 1 breast cream is like…

  40. Oh, that’s beginner cream–for amateurs! No. 7 is for real women. People like Audrey Braun. And now that I’ve bought some, moi aussi!

  41. Jessica, this is spectacular! I cannot believe that by failing to read it immediately, I have denied my breasts an extra few days with #7 cream, which I am buying to-fucking-morrow. (Huh. Will it make them bigger, too? My aunt claims she started using progesterone cream and her boobs grew and got as full and dense as when she was 16. But she had to go into menopause before progesterone cream was prescribed, so I guess I may have a decade to wait for amazing ta-tas. In the meanwhile, at least they will be soft!)

  42. Yes, Gina, run out to Target ASAP!
    It says on the bottle that it will firm them, too.

    You know those European women have been taking care of their breasts for decades–we Americans are so behind on this. I know that French women turn the water to cold the last thirty seconds in the shower in order to ice their breasts for the day. And Borghese, from Italy, used to sell these wonderful breast masks that you wrap on your breasts to revive them after a long, hard day of bouncing around the world.

    Forget the progesterone–we’re going Euro-style now!

  43. […] work at TNB has included interviews with the novelist Steve Yarbrough, the grotesquely-footed Audrey Braun, and her mother, who does not really look all that much like the guy who sings “Hungry […]

  44. […] know the last author I interviewed for TNB was Audrey Braun who hung up on me because she was in the middle of buying No. 7 Breast Cream at Target. You […]

  45. Becca says:

    I love this interveiw. Is it for real? It reads like the beginning of a great novel. I’d like to meet Audrey Braun

  46. Becca says:

    This is your Sis by the way.

  47. […] was weird. You know he had this thing about my small feet way back when, and so not long ago we ran into each other at a party and I could tell he was trying […]

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