The French Couldn’t Organise a Piss Up in a Vineyard

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

I recently had to send an important document to Paris. It needed to get there quickly.

So I sent it by special, urgent, registered delivery. To be tracked and signed for.

The letter got out of the UK perfectly satisfactorily.

And then it got to France.

Now you would have thought that it would be fairly easy to transport a letter from England to Paris.

Paris is quite a large, well-known city and it’s only 214 miles from London.

But the French postal service likes to enjoy its work; to savour each delivery.

So my special, urgent, registered delivery letter was taken on a tour of France so that it could see the sights.

And as it moved about I kept receiving tracking updates.

My letter had become like one of those gnomes which send postcards from exotic parts of the world.

After a week of travelling, my special, urgent, registered letter had finally reached Villeneuve sur Lot which is in the very south west of France. If you went just a bit further south you’d be able to paddle.

Why did it go there?

Your guess is as good as mine and probably better than any guess the French post office might dare to make.

So I posted two more copies of the important document.

Maybe they will all meet up and have a party in Nice or Marseilles.

I have noted before that the French are incompetent buffoons.

And the French post office is probably the best example of that incompetent buffoonery.

(Remember Jacques Tati’s wonderful film about a chaotic French postman?)

But, if you have your letter tracked you can at least watch their incompetent buffoonery in action.

The moral in all this is simple: if you have an important something which needs to travel to France, you would be well advised to get on a plane or a train and take it yourself.

I could have got out my bicycle, pedalled to Paris and got my document to its destination more speedily than the French postal authorities managed to do it.

And it probably wouldn’t have cost me much more.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2018