Young or old, black or white, French or French... Most people that we meet now receive the sob story of our stolen equipment. I think France is probably getting a bit bored of it. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to come across two canoeists turned cyclists with a tale of woe that was almost comparable with our own...
"We were also canoeing se continent," said jean Pierre. "There were cinq of us: moi, Pierre here..."
(most french people are called Jean Pierre or Pierre)
"...there was also our three friends: monsieur Anglais, monsieur Ecossais et monsieur Irlandaise. Moi et Pierre went to see ze tour de France, leaving ze three others to look after ze canoe. They sat in ze canoe in a nice area slightly out of town and surrounded by woodland.
But, unknown to our friends, ze area was bad. Soon a tribe of young rascals set upon our friends. In short our friends were pussays and were soon begging the rascals to leave them alone. They begged and begged the rascals to leave them, our bags and ze canoe.
Growing tired of ze whinging tourists, ze lead rascal made a deal. If they gave ze rascals something of use they would be left in peace. But, if they failed, each would be stripped of his clothes and thus his dignity. Each of our three friends went to the canoe in search of a useful item.
First to return from the canoe was monsieur Anglais, bringing with him a solar panel. With a malicious smile ze lead rascal told monsieur Anglais that he would still be stripped of his clothes unless he could squeeze ze solar panel up his derriere."
- yeah, I was a bit worried about where the story was going at this point as well -
Jean Pierre continued, "With a reluctant sigh monsieur Anglais attempted to fit ze solar panel up his derriere. Although ze Safari Mobile power pack is small and efficient..."
(let me know if you have a spare, you might have heard that we recently lost one)
"... Try as he might, monsieur Anglais could not fit it up his derriere. Subsequently stripped of his clothes and his dignity, monsieur Anglais wept and made for the nearest airport.
Next came monsieur Ecossais carrying 5 water purification tablets. On hearing of ze additional task he was shocked. However, knowing that life could be worse he put ze first tablet up his derriere. And ze second tablet. Plenty of space for ze third, and ze fourth.
But then suddenly monsieur Ecossais burst out laughing. At once ze derriere released. The pills fell to the floor. Immediately ze rascals stripped him of his clothes and thus his dignity. Having been so humiliated, monsieur Ecossais also made for home and the nearest airport."
At this, Jean Pierre smiled. Jzimmee and I were shocked by the man's lack of sympathy for his former boys. However, he again continued...
"Ze next day monsieur Anglais et monsieur Ecossais were sat in the airport waiting for their respective flights home. As upset as he was, monsieur Anglais managed to ask monsieur Ecossais why he had laughed. Once again monsieur Ecossais chuckled. He told how he had seen monsier Irlandaise dragging the 17ft canoe back to the rascals."
Life could be worse.