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Coming soon.

The story continues - how did the Idiot Son make it to the Dordogne, what did the Mayor think of him, how is that dog bite, where are his shoes?

All will be revealed.
Despite his trials and tribulations at St Pancras the idiot son did make his later train.
He arrived in Paris where he was astonished to discover that the city has more than one train station.

He has to cross Paris, he does not speak French, he has no shoes.
He messaged me:

"Paris has so many stations and the taxi drivers all refuse to speak English. I know they are doing it on purpose. Also no proper London black cabs here, only Citroen cars, not sure I trust them"
Curious message from his boss when I told him about the tramp incident.

"Yes, tramps. They've always been a problem for him"
When I mentioned losing the shoes,

"Yes well that happens a lot. He struggles with laces"
Seems there was some soft of problem at the Gare Du Nore. He correctly asked to be taken to Montparnasse (I had texted him the name) but it turns out he had got into a private car mistaking it for a taxi but in the end he found a taxi and arrived at the correct station.
He made it onto the train.

As agreed I messaged his father to let him know. Ominous response,
"Was it the right train?"
Miracles upon miracles - he did get on the right train.

While he was on the train I had yet another email from the father. He again was asking (demanding) compensation but seems unable to say who should pay it. I referred him to Nigel Farage for help.
About an hour into the journey I messaged idiot son to ask about the shoes, he said,

"It's ok I did a deal with a bloke here on the train"

He bought a pair of shoes from another passenger on the train. Who sells their shoes ?
I updated his boss because I had told him about the shoes loss and he said it was the second pair he had lost that month.
Later that night he did eventually make it to his parents house. He had got lost on the drive from the station ("bloody French GPS!") and woke us at 2am to drop of the HP sauce, my wife said it could have waited until morning.
Early next morning he was again back at my house and in preparation for the meeting he asked if the Mayor was a "good sort". I said he was a popular Mayor.

"No, will he do a deal on this Brexit stuff, I'm not here to waste time"
I sat him down and made it very clear that if he attempted a bribe he would be arrested. I said he had wasted his time.

He was really shocked and it was only then it all sunk in.

"This Brexit thing has screwed us hasn't it ?" I agreed it had.

"What will I tell Mum?"
He was clearly upset and he went for a small walk in our garden.

He fell in the pool.
He did not go all the way in, our pool had a sloping edge on one side and he slipped in up to his knees.

My wife had to walk away.
We helped him to dry off and indeed later that morning we all met at the office of the Mayor. It was noticeable that the small building was full, I saw the lady who had changed he day off, she had bought a new dress for the occasion. He greeted the Mayor,

"Buenos días"
Our wonderful Mayor took this in his stride.

"Bonjour Monsieur" The lady in the new dress collapsed with laughter and had to be helped to a chair and given a glass of water.
I explained to idiot son that the Mayor does not speak English, he rolled his eyes at me and said,

"Typical French"
Our Mayor displaying heroic levels of self control ignored this insult to the glory of France and smiled at idiot son,

"Parlez-vous français?"

"He wants to know if you speak French" I said
"Of course I bloody don't. That's what Brexit was all about"
I explained to the Mayor what he wanted. An exemption for his family from Brexit.

"Why does he think I can do this"
"Beats me"
"Tell him I can't
"I have, many times"
"I do not have such powers, Is he dangerous?"
"Is he stupid?"
"Almost certainly"
"What's he saying, what's he saying" said idiot son while a crowd of Mayor office employees by now in some cases standing on chairs looked in over the door.
"It's what I told you, he has no power to do this"

There was a crash outside and I later found out one of the staff had fallen off a chair while trying to listen. Idiot son lent forward, the Mayor lent back,

"What will it take to change your mind?"
I grabbed idiot son's arm,

" Do not say another word of you will be going to jail" I jerked my thumb toward the door and there was the formidable sight of a very large Gendarme from the local station.

"Does he want a drink as well?"

I apologised to the Mayor who continued to pretend he spoke no English. I suggested we left but that was not good enough for the idiot son,

"Tell him we can all do well out of this, we will all be winners at the end"
The patience of our Mayor finally broke, he spoke in English,

"It is you and those who voted for Brexit who wanted this"
At this point I happened to glance down and realised he was wearing two odd shoes and only one sock.

He had on one of his own shoes and one of mine.
This it transpired was a result of the earlier 'falling in the pool' incident. So now his shoes are all I can look at

One dirty white Adidas trainer (his)
One brown Berlutti Enzo Scritto loafer (mine)
At this moment a WhatsApp message from his father arrives,

"All sorted out and ok now ?"
By this stage the Mayor and idiot son are shouting at each other and the Gendarme is edging into the room, I am trying to edge out.

"You are punishing us for Brexit being a success"

"Success ? Success ? What is a success with Brexit"

"Because we are not pushed around now"
"You voted to leave and now you still want to stay with us"

"I'm not leaving until you agree to let my family stay"
Gendarme puts hand on pepper spray

I continue to ease toward the door (still looking at his shoes)
At this moment the Mayor delivers his finest line ( I assume he had prepared it in advance).

<small cough>

"If you wish to stay, you must become French"
I'm off for a swim. Rest of the story tomorrow.

Good evening.
To continue:

It is important to understand the cataclysmic effect those words had on the idiot son, "You must become French"

He stopped breathing, his hand gripped the arm of the chair, he looked at me, he looked at our Mayor, he looked at the Gendarme. The Gendarme smiled.
I should say at this point that the National Gendarmerie are not known for their sense of humour. They take their role seriously and have little time for 'difficult' Brits so the idiot son's next words were not well chosen.

"Who the fuck are you smiling at"
The lady in the new dress heard this, her hand went to her mouth, her eyes opened wide, she said one word,

The Gendarmes carry a variety of weapons. Pepper spray, baton, gun. The pepper spray was chosen, idiot son got the lot straight in the face. I got some, so did our Mayor.

Idiot son fell off his chair and shouted,

"I'm British, you can't do that"
My phone rang, my eyes are streaming from the pepper spray. It's the idiot son's boss on the phone. He can't reach him so he called me.

"Can you ask him where the new Universal Weight Pliers are ?"
By now the Mayor is shouting, idiot son is rolling on the floor rubbing his eyes the lady in the new dress is laughing her head off and I am trying to explain to idiot son's boss that this is not the right time.
Small side comment here. Try to avoid being pepper sprayed if you can, it's really unpleasant.
Now at this point the day really began to get complicated.

My wife arrived and was outside demanding to be let in, the idiot son was arrested and the Mayor was pouring glasses of water over his face to wash away the spray, he had lost my shoe so I was kneeling on the ground ..
... trying to recover it from under the Mayor's desk.

The Gendarme was dragging idiot son away. My phone rang again. It was the father,

"So, how's it all going there?"
My wife had by now forced her way in and seeing my shoe shouted at idiot son,

"All we have done for you and you steal our shoes?" The Gendarme (mentally adding shoe thief to the list of charges) dragged idiot son from the room.
It's worth noting at this point my wife has been less than happy at my trying to help this family. She is famously short tempered and the phrase, "Does not suffer fools gladly" could have been written with her in mind.

As idiot son was dragged away she kicked him.
Now idiot son was clearly somewhat disorientated because he kept shouting,

"You can't force me to be French" as he was dragged out.
Our Mayor, several of his staff, my wife and I sat quietly for several minutes. The shouts of the idiot son drifted away as he was forced into the back of a police van. Our Mayor spoke,

"My friend, it was just as you predicted. He is indeed a man who needs watching"
The lady with the new dress who had changed her day off to be there sat down beside me,

"Merci, this has been the very best of days here"
The story is not over yet. I have yet to tell you about him with the squirrel and the walnut tree but that is for later.
We all sat together for some time until in the finest French tradition our Mayor announced,

"Lunch my friends. We must not let this affair interfere with our digestion"

Near us is a small cafe with outside seating now allowed. I had a croque madame with a Leffe Blonde.
I decided to call the Father back, it seemed only fair to keep him up to speed.

"It's not gone well to be honest, he got into an argument, he was pepper sprayed and then arrested"

<small pause>

He sighed heavily,
"O God, it's Alton Towers all over again"
I had also promised to keep his boss in the loop after I had promised to keep an eye on him. He listened in silence to the tale of the events and said only,

"What a plank, get him to call me"
We finished lunch and in the end it was just my wife and I sitting in the sun and drinking coffee. We have been married for some time and she knows me well.

A message from his father - "Can you help at police station?"

"You're going to go to aren't you?"

I nodded, she left.
When I arrived he was contrite. The desk officer told me they had better things to do and were happy to let him go if he wrote a note of apology to the Mayor. I wrote it, he signed it. He does not read French so I wrote this.
"I apologise unreservedly to you and to France. My actions were those of a fool unable to understand the consequences of something I did until far too late. In addition I believe RS Archer deserves the Légion d'honneur"
Our mayor accepted the apology and I offered to drive him to his parents house near ours.
"I can't believe I don't have any shoes" he said, 'that's always happening"
"I spoke to your dad" I said. "He mentioned something about Alton Towers"

"He's never going to let me forget that day. It was only a small fire and the lady was fine about it, everyone overreacted"

Not sure if I want to press him on this.
He invited me in for a beer and it seemed rude not to accept plus I was not sure that my wife would be welcoming at home. We sat in his garden and I contemplated the day

"You see that walnut tree, there's a squirrel who lives in it called Alan" he said.
"How do you know it's called Alan" I said.

"Because the one who lives in the other tree is called Eric"
"I named them after the comedians Morecambe and Wise" he said staring up into the tree.

"But Morecome and Wise were called Eric and Ernie"

"No I don't think so" he said with the absolute confidence of the ignorant.

"Eric and Alan, they were great"
I decided to call it a day. "You need to call your boss back, he called earlier"

"Not yet, I need to think about this becoming French stuff. It's a big decision, I suppose I will need to learn French"

"Almost certainly" I said

"Bloody French, always with the stupid rules"
Later that day I had a talk with his father. He has written to his MP to demand that Brexit is reversed and also to PM Johnson saying he wants compensation for Brexit (this is a common theme of his). I reminded him that he voted for Brexit,
"Because of the immigrants" he said
"People were just walking into England and buying a house where they liked"

"Like you did in France" I said.

"That was different, we're expats"
I should add he's also written to the EU asking why they are "punishing" British people. In a moment of exquisite pleasure I suggested he should, if needed get his son to drop into Brussels on the way back home.

He thinks this is a good idea.
I must draw this to a close now as my wife wants us to go shopping.

Tomorrow the final instalment, how the idiot son electrocuted himself before he caught the train back to Paris.

Good evening.
Quick update.

By chance we saw at the supermarket the lady who changed her working day and bought a new dress.

She said that day was the absolute best day of her nine years working in the Mayor's office. They were all still talking about it today it seems.
So to follow up on how the idiot son got electrocuted it's worth setting the scene.
The railways here in France are very much open and little if any is fenced off, there is an assumption of intelligence on behalf of SNCF toward passengers.

That was their first mistake.
SNCF also assumes that if people see an area with a sign reading "Danger d'électrocution" nearby most people will understand this is an section to avoid.

Idiot son knew better. He was not going to be "pushed around" by either SNCF or electricity in general.
I had dropped him off at the station for his trip back to Paris but with the events of the previous 48 hours fresh in my mind I thought it prudent to wait with him and ensure he got on the right train ( I understand from his father this is not always a given).
He had still not grasped the concept of French citizenship and was still worried they would make him French "behind my back" I assured him that this was impossible but he was not convinced,

"Never trust the French, remember they own the EU"

I was confused.
"They don't own it, they are simply a major member like Germany, Italy and the UK used to be" I said

"Yeah but it's run from Brussels" he said.

".. and Brussels is in France"
I thought perhaps he was confusing Brussels with Strasbourg but no. I later found out he had never even heard of Strasbourg. He was and is 100% convinced that Brussels is a French city "up in the north" as he put it.
I gently mentioned Belgium as perhaps being where Brussels was located. He looked at me and with a raise of his eyebrows said,

"You need to learn a bit about Europe mate"
As the train was still a few minutes away I asked him what he meant. What did he know about Europe that he felt I should know ?

I stopped myself laughing as he tapped the side of his nose and said,
"I've done a lot of reading on it"
I asked him what books and at this point I must admit I did crack and laugh.

"Well not so much books but I have watched a lot of You Tube videos since this all started. Nigel Farage and that lot, they showed me how it works. Everyone has limos and the like. He exposed them"
I thought at this point I could try and swing him toward a more positive view of the EU,

"The EU does a lot of good stuff, take Health & Safety in the workplace, they have bought in rules that protect everyone including you when you are at work"
He snorted in derision,

"Health and Safety ? Don't make me laugh it's all a waste of time mate. You don't need it if you just use common sense. That's what I do and I'm good"
He looked around and focused on a small box near the track that had a warning sign on it. Before I could stop him he stepped toward it and gave it a good kick,

"See, no problem, just use common sense"
"Christ" I said "Don't do that, it's a live box"

"Nah, nothing to worry about"

He kicked it again
There was a loud bang.

A small wisp of smoke appeared

Blue and yellow sparks flew from the box.

He jumped backwards and fell into a flower bed (possibly mixed Dahlias)

He shook his head

"Fuck me, what idiot put that there ,that's dangerous that is?"
That dear reader concludes the tale of the idiot son's trip to France. It is fair to say our small town had never quite seen anything like it and once he was gone the place seemed so much quieter and serene.

We are now back in the present and yet the saga has not finished.
Telling this tale has cost me much time and I have a book to prepare for so I must concentrate on that over the next few days but the major issue for the family remains unresolved.

Next time I shall update you with the attempts by the father to influence both the EU and the UK.
I have had a large number of people suggest I turn this thread into a book, I am sceptical there is really that much interest but I will ask the question. If I did would you buy it ?
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