There is a long history of a love/hate relationship between the English and the French. Some say the French hate the English because of their language and food and the English hate the French because they eat snails and smell of garlic!
Of course these aren’t really the reasons and never were. Mostly the two have fought over land or throne issues for example back in the 14th and 15th centuries during the Hundred Years war.
Whatever the reasons for going to war over the years, a lasting legacy has been that both sides of the channel (the English Channel or La Manche – depending on your point of view!) taunts the other with petty jibes. However, yesterday the French assaulted the English in a way which adds fuel to the belief that the French really do smell!
Two English counties which border the English Channel, Sussex and Kent, were both greeted with a foul smell as they woke early on Tuesday morning. Some people immediately contacted the emergency services believing there was a gas leak in or around their house. People, believing the leak was in their house, were throwing open their windows to let in fresh air until they realised the smell was in the fresh air!
The offending odour came from a gas called mercaptan, which, among other uses, is added to natural gas because its sulphurous smell alerts people to gas leaks. The leak originated from a chemical plant in the city of Rouen in the Normandy region of France. It slowly wafted over northern France and drifted over the channel into southern England.
At least, that is where the French say the pong originated! Maybe they are developing a new scent in one of their world renowned perfumeries – Eau de Garlic? Or perhaps they are cultivating an enormous smelly cheese?
Some people have been quoted as saying it was like living in a gigantic fart!
I think the French, although it has taken many years, are just getting the English back for the great Monty Python film “Monty Python And The Holy Grail”. In it, the French told the English to go away or they will taunt them a second time. That is just after the line “I fart in your general direction”!
Well, yesterday, they certainly did fart in our general direction and we were taunted all day long! It was extremely unpleasant setting foot outside the house causing nausea in many people. If you have ever experienced a stink bomb just imagine the size of the one the French let off yesterday.
If you have never seen the film, take a look at this clip on YouTube – http://youtu.be/FWBUl7oT9sA
This is the dialog:
French Soldier: I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
Sir Galahad: Is there someone else up there we can talk to?
French Soldier: No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.
Right, I’m shutting all the windows and watching the DVD of “Holy Grail” then I’ll be listening to the musical version “Spamalot” until it is safe to go outside again!