France is famous for its relaxed attitude to affairs of the heart (and loins). Unlike in the Anglo-Saxon world, the existence of extra-marital affairs -- from the fictional Madame Bovary to former President Francois Mitterrand -- is taken for granted there. French men even have a term for their mistresses: Le cinq á sept (the 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.). Now French adulterers are being offered a discreet and tailor-made service to help them indulge in their dalliances without getting caught.
The Alibila Web site offers a service for people "suffocating" in their family situation who need some air, or for those in the throes of a "passing adventure" who don't want to jeopardize their marriage. It offers would-be philanderers a range of services, costing €19 ($27) upwards, including diversionary phone calls, merchandise from fake conferences, and invitations to non-existent weddings.
The service is the brainchild of former private detective Regine Mourizard, who says her service is aimed at protecting couples and families by allowing people to indulge in extra-marital pursuits undetected. "If the alibi is well done and the spouse doesn't suspect anything, this can sometimes save marriages," Mourizard told the Associated Press.
During her long career as a private investigator, Mourizard, a 50-year-old mother of two, was often responsible for tracking down adulterous spouses. "For 20 years, I worked to keep people from doing what they wanted to do," she recalled. "And then I thought, 'What if I help them do it, in a safe way?'"
As part of her subterfuge package, she assesses the client's professional and personal circumstances and draws up fake bills, receipts and other documents tailored to their lifestyles. The company can also take care of arranging the illicit rendezvous, as well as sending gifts and flowers to the bit on the side.
Mourizard insists Alibila is completely above board. It never forges documents, but rather creates fake bills for non-existent restaurants and hotels. And the company makes clients sign a document pledging not to use the bills to swindle employers or the government.