It was announced on the BBC today that Yorkshire tourist bosses were vying for the right to host the opening stages of the 2016 Tour de France cycle race.
“Well, I niver thought I’d see the day.”
The words were spoken by a Yorkshireman in a flat tweed cap, a slightly bemused Yorkshireman at that, who was scratching his head and managing to shake it at the same time. He looked again at the banner headline on the advertising hoarding.
Yorkshire bid for 2016 Tour de France
“Yer knows what that means, don’t yer, Sam. Means you’ll ‘ave to learn French. And that’s not all, I’ll be bound.”
This from his friend Walter who was busy hitching his trousers nearly up to his armpits leaving a substantial gap and more than a glimpse of hairy white leg at the top of his boots.
“Now we’re in this ‘ere Common Union Europe thingy we’ll have to be continental. Do like the French.”
“Aye, maybe you,” said Harry, “but I was in France in 1945.”
“Well, they’ve changed since then.”
“Should blinking well hope so too. All that smelly cheese and fancy gastronomic food.”
“Anyways, Harry, behave yourself. They just want to ride their bikes round. Won’t be for long, and you can go back to speaking Yorkshire again after.”
“Why can’t they speak Yorkshire, Walter?”
“Cos they’re French and eat snails and garlic and drink wine.”
“Can’t we make them eat black pudding and Yorkshire puddings and down a pint or two, then they can speak our way.”
“Don’t be daft. They’re cyclists, athletes, their bodies in the peak of condition. No, you’ll have to change your diet. Then who knows. You’ve got a bike, Harry. I’ve seen you fall off it on the way back from the “Stuffed Sheep”. Why don’t you train up a bit, give them a run for their money. Home ground, you know the roads. You could win a yellow jersey.”
“What would I do with one of them?”
“Well for a start next time you go to Scarborough, to the seaside, it’ll look better you on the beach in a yellow jersey than an old tweed jacket.”
“Less of the old. It’s not that bad. I got it off Peggy when her Jim died.”
“Aye, and who did he get it off?”
“I suppose you’re right Walter,” sighed Harry cocking a thumb at the headline. “We’ll just have to go intercontinental.”