Tuesday, 5 July 2011

An insult from the French ...

The French like to call us "Les Ros Bifs" . Apparently this is an insult.

Well, I have given this matter a little thought and have to say that I am actually quite flattered at being associated with this dish. I think the French should have really taken a little more time to think this through. You see, if you are too busy retreating in the face of danger, having affairs, blocking Channel ports or setting fire to imported produce at the side of a Motorway this is what happens, you end up having your sarcasm back fire and that is not a pretty situation.

To attempt to explain myself we need to go back to the beginning of man's history in the post glacial British Isles. If we peer between the branches of the birch and oak forests that have established since the retreat of the ice we see a magnificent  beast browsing on the herbs and shoots that cover the wood land floor. It is an Aurochs; the ancestor of all modern domestic cattle. This beast stood 2 metres at the shoulder and weighed in excess of a tonne. Comparisons with modern cattle show it to be much heavier in build and with a larger brain...

... and remember, it had two very sharp points at the front end. We are all aware of the reputation that a modern bull has for short temper. Imagine what one of these beasts was like *.

So there we have it; an ancient British Man stood at the edge of a Forest Glade. He picks up his flint tipped spear, wipes a bead of sweat from his brow and takes aim at this large, dangerous animal. With this first kill the British Nation will become forever associated with cutting a chunk off the hind quarters of this beast and  roasting it.

Well Mr Frenchie, as I have just established, first you have to kill the damned thing because they don't tend to shed rump or topside in the same way that apples and nuts fall from trees.

Now lets, tie a few logs together with vines and take a hazardous Journey across the Channel (La Manche) to see what our French Neighbours are up to...

... The sun is shining as we walk through the woods and we come at last to a marshy area, buzzing with insects and high with reeds and rushes. It is hot and humid and there we see the archaic French Man crouched at the edge of a pool. His furs are soaked and covered with a foul smelling mud. His hair is plastered against his forehead. He is bravely hunting the prey for which his future nation will forever be associated ...

... Yes, while your savage Englishman was taking on a huge and fearsome beast with basically a sharp stick, his contemporaries across the Channel were bravely risking life and limb hunting frogs and snails in the French marshes and ponds.

I'll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions ......

* In the future there may not be a need to imagine. Although the last of these fine creatures was killed in the early 1600s their DNA lives on in modern cattle and there are plans, through selective breeding of archaic stock, to produce something very akin to the Aurochs.

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