Archive for August, 2016

Travel Blog I: Paris

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Going abroad has recently become a security minefield of late, or more appropriately, a security suicide vest.

This has meant that instead of going straight through the metal detector with my utility belt full of knives like I used to in the 90s, I have to go through the metal detector wearing only speedos, and I am greeted by a statutory cavity search by Edward Scissorhands afterwards, who, annoyingly, is allowed big knives on his hand in an airport.

So when I heard that none of this was necessary on the Eurostar train from London to Paris, I was elated.

No more will I have to stand in a queue with my slow cooker in my hands along with my belt, causing my trousers to be wrapped around my ankles while I shuffle along with a child staring at me.

I thought I’d put the Eurostar to the ultimate test when my girlfriend and I went away, so I set us a little challenge.

Therefore, I tasked my girlfriend with stashing my chainsaw in our suitcase, while I ensconced ten hand grenades in our hand luggage.

On arriving a St Pancras station, after a couple of beers, we decided that the weaponry in the baggage was literally overkill. In an act of cowardice, we ditched the hardware in a shopping trolley outside a nursery and went back to the station with a new plan.

We bought two bottles of Prosecco and a McDonald’s meal each, and filled our hand luggage with cheese, crisps and bottles of water. We put all of the aforementioned contraband in the plastic tray and pushed it through the scanner before strolling, fully clothed, through the metal detector…not a flicker. We were eating our Big Macs in the departure lounge having bought them over the road from the station. The glory days had returned.

On the train, we quaffed our sparkling wine while everyone else slept through the journey, wasting their time as we watched out of the window enjoying the pitch black inner walls of the tunnel. A feat of French engineering that Britain takes credit for.

On arriving in Paris, we immediately locate our lodgings, checked in and went to our local for a pint of beer each (€17).

On the second morning, we head straight to central Paris to look at things that other people said that we should go and look at that we don’t need to look at, because they’re some of the most photographed landmarks on Earth. Still, you can’t go to Paris without looking at things you’ve seen a million times, so we did just that.

After five hours of walking many miles, we discovered that value for money apparently doesn’t exist in Paris. Beers come in three sizes. The smallest being 25cl which averages at €4.

Armed with this information, we decided that buying cans of beer from shops and drinking on the streets with the locals would be more cost efficient.

On our third day in the city of love, we decided to attend some tunnels of death. We were told about some catacombs which ran underneath the city that were full of bones.

Curious, we decided to pay this subterranean wonder a visit. We arrived at midday to a queue a hundred people long. The temperature was a nice twenty six degrees Celsius in the shade.

Fortunately, we were amply stocked with the water from our smuggling escapade through the Euro Tunnel, so we kept ourselves hydrated while waiting for two hours in the queue.

Great British reserve won the day, as all around us, Canadians, Americans and Japanese people died of exhaustion, boredom and exposure to too much sunlight respectively, whilst I, my fellow Brits and some French people spurred on by hate toward the British easily saw off the challenge and gained access to the underground network.

On entering the catacombs, we were immediately rewarded with cooler temperatures and some historical explanations to what we were about to walk into, then after approximately ten minutes of walking, we then happen upon the pièce de résistance (that’s French for best bit). The bones.

There are bones stacked on top of each other with cement in between. The bones go about ten metres back from the front and are stacked around two metres high.

This begged us all to question, who’s are all the bones and where did they come from?

We continued to ask that question until I took a wrong turn within the catacombs. I found myself being separated from the crowd and ended up in a room where I saw the bodies of my fallen queue comrades piled up. I stumbled into another room where I saw staff speaking to people on the phone asking if they would like their son/daughter immortalised in the catacombs as cleverly named ‘bone structures’, allowing them to save money on funerals for their loved ones.

I hurried back and told my fellow catacomb dwellers and we all ran away quickly before we died and had our bones polished for people to pay €14 a ticket to take photos of.

On reflection later, I pondered what could have been in this for the French. Surely, if they hate the British so much, they should have devised something else masquerading as a tourist attraction if they hoped to kill their people off. 

I’d suggest maybe two hours of being forced to talk about their emotions, or being forced to go two hours without drinking any alcohol. That would soon finish us off.

Perhaps it wasn’t so much about killing us off, more about maybe making themselves stronger. They may be planning an invasion. It’s a good job I visited Paris. I may alert the Queen of their plans.


Arise, Sir Failure

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Outgoing Prime Minister, David Cameron has decided to bring back a tradition of outgoing premiers that has not taken place since 1997.

It has been customary in the past for a former PM to propose an honours list of colleagues that they would like to have recognised by way of knighthoods and other such pointless, yet power inspiring titles that will ensure the holder receives preferential treatment from the service industry.

The list is as follows:

  • Arabella Warburton – Damehood. Remain campaigner during the EU referendum and chief of staff to John Major. 
  • 24 members of staff working at Downing Street, including an OBE for Cameron’s wife’s stylist.
  • George Osborne – Companion of Honor. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • Thea Rogers – OBE. Special adviser to George Osborne. 

A solid list of candidates there. 

  • A failure in two Consevative governments who assisted in lying to the British public in order to save her boss a glut of paperwork. Definitely worth a Damehood.
  • A handful of menial workers including the person responsible for making Mr Cameron’s spouse presentable enough to be seen on camera / allowed into bed with the most powerful man in the country. If that isn’t worthy of an Order of the British Empire award I don’t know what is.
  • A man responsible for disabled people not being able to afford to eat. Fetch that man a badge.
  • An adviser who presumably caused more U-Turns than a Grand Theft Auto mission. Sir Gallahad would be proud.

I’ve obviously been getting it wrong all these years trying to be good at my job. Maybe I should just swear at my customers over the phone and tell them to stick their credit cards up their back passages. Maybe I’ll be sacked, then invited onto the board the next day.

Maybe waiters should burn their restaurant’s kitchens down. Get fired, then installed as the new chef.

Perhaps police officers should rob banks and beat up old ladies. Lose their jobs then become superintendents.

Imagine a world where sex offenders could be released from prison then be given jobs with children.

Even madder still, imagine the England football team being as adored and revered as they are, but playing awful football every tournament. 

The strangest thing surely would be working for the BBC and getting caught interfering with children, then given a promotion.

Impossible to imagine isn’t it. It doesn’t go on in normal life, so it shouldn’t take place in politics.