Princess Steph Fondles Staff? New York Gals Follow Suit!

A deadly new syndrome is poised to strike Manhattan, and no designer surgical mask is dense enough or squishy enough to block this terrifying virus. The rampant, panting British tabloid coverage of this particular epidemic is currently focused on the principality of Monaco, where the most high-profile victim, Princess Stephanie, seems to be going from bad to worse … to fabulous!

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, permit me to explain. Last April, according to the Daily Mail , the voracious 37-year-old princess was chassée du palais by her dad, Prince Rainier, and confined to a local hotel after she apparently had a fling with his butler and then- quelle scandale! -his gardener. She’s said to be suffering from a new disease called LARS, or Lady Chatterley Acute Rogering Syndrome, also known as AOWSTH (An Obsession With Shagging the Help).

It all started, or so recaps the Mail , back in the mid-90′s with Daniel Ducruet, the butch, hairy bodyguard from a family of fishmongers. M. Ducruet fathered the princess’ first two kids, Louis and Pauline, married her, then buggered up his chances to climb above-stairs when he was telephoto-lensed cavorting with Miss Bare Breasts of Belgium, a blond stripper.

Another bodyguard (and ski instructor) named Jean-Raymond Gottlieb followed-I crib here from AP Worldstream-as did another child, Camille, now nearly 5. Next up was Pierre Pinelli, a brawny Corsican bartender. Taking slumming to a new level, Stephanie-the younger daughter of the regal-even-before-she-was-actually-royal Princess Grace-was even spotted bussing tables at his boîte . (Merci, Sunday Mirror .)

Her Royal Horniness has also found oodles of joie de vivre and buckets of folie de grandeur at the local circus. The roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the zebra poo has been a consistent draw to old Steph. In 2001, age 36, she fell into the sawdust and under the spell of Franco Knie, a strapping elephant trainer, or so says The Mirror . She and the kids then ran away with said Monsieur Knie, traveling in his caravan for three months. She returned home and, much to the consternation of the household staff wives, resumed her conquest of the male servants. However, fornicating with her father’s servants has not dimmed her circus fascinations: The Mirror recently caught her flirting with a totally hot Portuguese acrobat named Adans Lopez Peres. J’adore!

Theories abound regarding the causes of this syndrome, which would also appear to have afflicted, with varying degrees of severity, the late Princess Diana, Madonna and Julia Roberts. In his newish book, A Natural History of the Rich (W.W. Norton), sociological essayist Richard Conniff cites similar behavior in chimps, where females conduct clandestine affairs behind the backs of the alpha males. Apparently this behavior is not the result of female lust, but rather the wholesome, caring desire to avoid inbreeding.

Are Steph’s Chatterleyesque couplings indeed an attempt to freshen up the crusty old Grimaldi gene pool? I don’t think so. The fact is, blue-collar dudes are simply hotter. Cheesy Joe Millionaire, bonjour !

Admit it! If you-the ordinary woman on the street-had to choose between shagging an inbred, chinless Euro-aristocrat or your U.P.S. guy, I don’t think it would take you long to decide. So it’s not surprising that a late-spring tornado of LARS is bearing down upon New York. Don’t panic, and don’t resist it. Take a deep breath and a leaf out of Princess Stephanie’s livre . Sassy career chicks like you don’t need a meal ticket-you need a tasty snack! Many of you have already crossed social barriers by fornicating with your yoga instructors and personal trainers. Why stop there?

The Big Apple Circus arrives in West Nyack, N.Y., on June 12; call 800-922-3772 for ticket information. And bonne chasse !