How to accept you'll never leave France

YOU thought you were fancy. You thought you could manage a little jaunt to France. Now you’ll spend the rest of your life there. Here’s how to face up to it: 

The language

Struggling to learn French? Just remember that a little effort goes a long way. Ten minutes of Duolingo a day every day, and you’ll be able to have a generic two-minute conversation with a contemptuous waiter in a bistro within five to ten years.

The people

A lot of people hate the French, and to be honest that’s your best hope. Make an effort to find fellow stranded Brits so you can form a comfortable circle of friends also too lazy to assimilate and spend every night bonding over your loathing.

The landscape

Try to be grateful for the majestic Alps, the beautiful chateaus and the Mediterranean beaches, ignoring the 90 per cent of the country which is stupefyingly flat and dull with one farmer every six miles. Try to forget you’d rather get pissed in Basingstoke instead.

The food

Enjoy the boeuf bourguignon and the patê while hoping that one day this f**king country will open a bloody Pizza Express. Try not to wince every time you’re hit by the stench of one of their cheese-stinking supermarkets.

The culture

French films, French rap music, French remakes of Swedish crime dramas; the heavily subsidised and enforced-by-law French arts industry means there’s always a new Asterix film starring Gerard Depardieu to scowl through.

The booze

The French genuinely drink wine as an accompaniment to meals. They don’t believe drinking is just to get pissed. Get out of this Gallic hellhole however you can.

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Seven classic movie lines f**ked up by coronavirus

THESE movie quotes used to be perfect in any situation. Now they’ve been so royally f**ked by coronavirus that they can never be used again: 

We’ll always have Paris

Now amended to ‘We’ll never be able to go to Paris and nor would we want to because everyone’s wearing masks, the restaurants are hives of Covid and we’ll have to quarantine for a fortnight when we get back.’

I’ll be back

Arnie’s famous line from The Terminator no longer works for your boss, your colleagues or the owners of the sandwich bar next to your office. Or, shortly, your job.

They’ll never take our freedom!

Mel Gibson’s rousing line from Braveheart now feels a tad hollow after a year of willingly handing over every freedom available so as not to die, unless the blue-painted Scot was fighting for the right to get eyelash extensions from a woman wearing a plastic visor.

No-one puts Baby in a corner

OK, but your baby has been in a playpen in the corner since April, because it’s the furthest spot from your ‘home office’, by which you mean the laptop on the bed.

Keep your friends close but your enemies closer

This advice from The Godfather Part Two is contrary to all social distancing. What if your enemies sneeze on you?

You talking to me?

Robert DeNiro’s line from Taxi Driver is now said unironically 5,000 times a day by people holding conversations with other people wearing cheap blue face masks.

There’s no place like home!

If you’ve spent most of 2020 staring at the same four walls you’d advise Dorothy that Oz ain’t that bad. Sure, it’s run by a crazed dictator and thinly-veiled fraud, but where isn’t?