It’s announced today that Yorkshire will host the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart.
“Well, I niver thought I’d see the day.”
It was spoken by a Yorkshireman in a flat tweed cap, a slightly bemused Yorkshireman, who was both scratching his head and shakingit at the same time. He looked again at the banner headline on the advertising hoarding.
Yorkshire to host 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart
“Yer knows what that means, don’t yer, Walter. Means you’ll ‘ave to learn French. And that’s not all, I’ll be bound.”
Walter was busy hitching his trousers up, almost to his armpits leaving a substantial gap and revealing more than a healthy glimpse of hairy white leg at the top of his boots. He listened as his pal Nimrod continued.
“Now we’re in this ‘ere Common Union Europe thingy we’ll have to be continental. Do like the French.”
“Aye, maybe you can,” he replied, “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 gastro food.”
“Anyways, Walter, behave yersen. They just want to ride their bikes round. Won’t be for long, and after you can go back to speaking Yorkshire again.”
“What! Can’t they speak Yorkshire, Nimrod?”
“Not the way you speak it. Somat to do with them being French and munching snails and garlic and drinking wine.”
“Well, can’t we make them eat black pudding and tuck into plates of Yorkshire puddings and down a pint or two. That’ll get ‘em speaking our way.”
Don’t be daft. They’re cyclists, athletes, their bodies honed to the peak of condition. No, it’s you that’ll have to change your diet. Then who knows. You’ve got a bike, Walter. I’ve seen you fall off it enough times outside 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 the seaside to Scarborough, it’ll look better on the beach with you in a yellow jersey than that old tweed jacket.”
“Less of the old. There’s nowt wrong with it. I got it off Peggy when her Jim died.”
“Aye, and who did he get it off?”
“I suppose you’re right Nimrod,” sighed Walter cocking a thumb at the headline. “We’ll just have to go intercontinental.”