C’est L’Amour, C’est La Guerre

History took place a long time ago, so it is no surprise that over time certain facts become slightly mixed up. It is widely believed, for example, that Helen of Troy was kidnapped by Paris…

Helen of Paris sat gloomily in her apartment. She had been kidnapped five years earlier and brought to Paris by Troy, who was now her husband. You might think that she’d have refused his hand, irked by a courtship technique that was basically one step up from a caveman with a club, but, she had admitted blushingly to herself, she had been young and Troy had been French, said to be the world’s greatest lovers.

Over time, though, she had become filled with ennui, since there was so little to do. The Louvre, at that time, had only one painting, a picture of a bowl of fruit. Since it had been painted by a Spartan, the bowl contained a single apple. Perè Lachaise was dead. Notre Dame was there, but she had no interest in American Football.

And she had discovered that while the French are indeed said to be the world’s greatest lovers, it is mostly the French who say this.

She gazed disconsolately out of the apartment window. A small patisserie had opened across the street a few years ago, and had become so successful that it had rapidly become a chain, opening a branch on almost every street corner across the city. Indeed, it was often said there was nowhere in Paris from which you couldn’t see The Trifle Tower.

The Greeks had not taken kindly to her kidnapping and had sent an army to rescue her. They had been routed by the French, who had employed their heaviest weaponry – the shrug, the use of the word “pwwwh”, and the look of utter disdain.

Next they had sent a huge horse. It had men in its belly, because it was a really bad-tempered fecker, and the Greeks had hoped that it would stampede through the city spreading fear and copious amounts of horse-droppings.

The French had eaten it.

Eventually Aristotle had come up with a plan. He gave each member of the army a large map, which would not fold properly, and a confused look, as if they were about to ask directions. Faced with the awful prospect of tourists, the Parisians had fled the city, and the Greeks had poured in to rescue Helen.

To her surprise, Helen had found that she did not want to be rescued. She had become used to chic Parisian robes, and to vin that tasted of, well, grapes. She thought back to the demisroussos, the gown the size of a tent worn by Grecian women, and to ouzo, a drink that tasted of lighted fart. Helen had panicked, and had fled the city along with the others.

She ended up in England, where she is now Helen of Barnsley. She met and married the owner of Joe’s Café, and happily works there running it with him.

She is known to the locals as the face that launched a thousand chips.

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