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.
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.