Ever since William the Conqueror became king of England in 1066, France and England have had a rather pungent loathing of each other. However, while often diluted, such malodour has exploded into putrid abhorrence after a major French gas leak projected a rotten egg smell onto the chip-loving nation, tainting thousands and causing a major football cancellation.
The unbelievably despicable stench stemmed from a chemical plant leak last Monday in Rouen, Normandy. Here the offending gas was methyl mercaptan, which is used on municipal gas to alert people, ironically, to gas leaks.
The gas was then carried by a breeze down the Seine Valley to Paris, over the English Channel and all the way to south London, raising both eyebrows of the deep-fried loving monarchy.
Such fetid action prompted a swift response from the Kent Fire and Rescue Service, who announced “South Kent residents are being asked to keep doors and windows closed due to a gas cloud that is believed to have come across from France”.
Despite both nations flinging into noxious turmoil, France’s Ecology Minister, Delphine Batho, claimed “there was no risk to health”.
However, Britain’s National Grid was flooded with over 10,000 moans, which emanated from headache and nausea ridden francophiles who’s homes were rife with rotten egg smell.
In a bid to play down neighbourly tension, London’s Metropolitan Police tweeted: “We are aware of reports of a strong, noxious, gas-like smell in some South East London boroughs. No risks to public.”
While swords were purportedly drawn on the Eurostar, and a few Frenchman were pinned down and allegedly gang-farted upon by severely disgruntled Englishman, all seems to have quietened down.
The rotten egg smell has dissipated, and general English francophilia has returned to its relatively innocuous corner of sidewalk sneers.