By Jean Le Bidon, Chief Investigative Reporter, ‘Le Quotidien de Faire-le-Dodo (87)’
A number of residents have recently contacted Le Quotidien, reporting increasingly strange behaviour by members of the English expatriate community.
“it’s very odd” said Jean-Claude Gazole, cashier at the Trop-Cher-Essence petrol station on the old Limoges road, “but lately I’ve seen a lot of the rosbif flying little red and white flags from the back of their cars. And they’ve started to wear white shirts that, sorry to say, just do not seem to fit very well.”
Gaston Le Timbre, village postman, has also observed unusual goings-on at expats’ residences. “Even way out of town, as far as Cul-de-Nullepart, some of these English, they’ve draped big flags across their gable-ends. That M Crabtree – you know, the retired policeman, the one who bought old Rene’s barn the week before it fell down? – he’s even painted an English flag on his postbox. Fou.”
Mme Elise Tricot, owner of La Petite Superette et Salon de Thé in Place de la Republique, was so shocked that she had to be comforted by relatives and a small absinthe when, in her own words, “that Monsieur ‘Arrison came into the magasin with a red cross painted on his face. I thought he was going to rob me, but he paid full price for his usual baguette and 48 bottles of Kronenbourg, so apart from the face-painting it was just like any other day really. But I definitely needed that absinthe. And a couple of religieuses.”
In Cheveux Aujourd’hui, Parti Demain – the village’s third-newest hair salon – coiffeuse Mlle Yvette Bigoudi confirmed Mme Tricot’s story: “Mais oui. He came in here looking like that. I thought he just wanted his regular numéro un all over, but he wanted me to shave three lions into the back of his head. I had to tell him that we only did short back and sides and blue rinses. He was pas contente.”
Eager to respond to the concerns of our readership, I sought out M ‘Arrison to seek an explanation for this outbreak of bizarre behaviour. My search led me to well-known expat meeting-place The Surrender Monkey Bar & Bistro on Avenue de la Liberation, where I found M ‘Arrison lunching with his business partner, fellow odd job man and tattoo model, M Degsy Ryan.
“World Cup, innit mate?” said M ‘Arrison, as he tucked into his all-day full English. “Yerss, Ingerland Ingerland” interjected M Ryan, “need yer drive doin’? Only we got a bit of tarmac left over from another job, know what I mean?”
Still somewhat mystified, I returned to the office to carry out some further research.
By googling the L’Equipe website I discovered that this so-called ‘World Cup’ is an international football tournament that occurs every four years in various unlikely and ill-prepared locations.
This year’s competition, which is due to begin on Thursday this week, will be taking place in Brazil and features many of the globe’s leading football nations, including Honduras. England will also be represented and those stuck-up Parisians are believed to be sending a group of representatives, under the collective title of ‘Les Bleues’.
Historically, this outbreak of collective insanity by English people is of comparatively short duration and comes to an abrupt end when the national team can either manage only an agonisingly inadequate goalless draw against the weakest side in their group (believed to be Costa Rica on this occasion) or, less commonly, lose to Germany in a penalty shoot-out in the Round of 16.
Once this happens, which is likely to be by the end of the month, the English will make bonfires of their flags and Wayne Rooney posters and then return to their usual activities of drinking heavily and trying to sell their merde to each other at vides-greniers across the departément.
We can therefore reassure residents that this phenomenon, while sans doute unsettling, is largely harmless and likely to prove only temporary. Accordingly, we suggest that our readers just tenir calme et continuer.
Elsewhere in this edition:
- Gendarmes arrest local man for animal husbandry (p.6)
- Preservation society claims mains sewerage ‘over-rated’ (p.9)
- Latest livestock prices (pp.28-110)
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The latest of ‘365 Days of Writing Prompts’ suggested “Write about something that happened over the weekend as though it’s the top story in your local paper.”