Entente Cordiale

Game - that's this week's Sunday Scribbling prompt. And ever since signing the Entente Cordiale over 100 years ago, France and England have met regularly for a gaming spree of unparalleled reputation. Luckily, I was one of those asked to cover last year's event for your favourite blog. So read all about it right here.

"Good evening, Prime-Minister, I hope your visit to our magnificent capital has persuaded you that the IOC never makes a mistake?" (15 - 0)

"Well, indeed it has. But to be quite honest I was perfectly well aware of that fact before today. You just have to look at the committee chairman to realise he has enough reserves to survive for three weeks on an English diet." (15 - 15)

"Ah, yes I concede our gastronomy was the weak point of our bid (service fault). That's why we have hired the services of our best French cook for tonight's banquet." (weak second service)

"And what mouthwatering delights are in store for us then?" (poor service return)

"Well, you know we English are game for almost anything. So that's what we're having tonight. Give your ministers a chance to bypass your import embargo on our meat products." (Scintillating volley for 30-15)

"Would you like a glass of wine? (Seeing opponent still reeling from that previous blow below the belt goes in for the kill) It's one of our best brews." (but miss-hits badly. 30 - 30)

"Ah, there's the dinner bell. My butler always makes it ring in that Wagnerian manner for a head of state."

"Yes, I hear Chancellor Merkl found it quite narzistic." (double-fisted cross court return sends opponent scrambling back)

"Well, at least we corrected our attempts at appeasement which is more than I can say for... (returns with a high lob which doesn't have enough depth)

"Well, at least we gave you an excuse for your hasty retreat." (and so is smashed away to the back of the court 30 - 40)

"Since your charming lady seems more than game enough to spend the ni... evening with me, I thought I'd place you next to one of our ravishing young beauties from the foreign office. That's her over there next to her husband. Better keep an eye on him, though. He beat your David Whatisname to a judo gold medal in Beijing." (straight ace - deuce)

"By the way, is your negotiating team all ready for our negotiations tomorrow?"

"No, not quite. They've invited your translation team for a bit of cordial intente at the Hilton after tonight's banquet. But don't worry, they'll be perfectly ready by the morning." (Advantage Miss Paris)

"To be perfectly honest, that's what was worrying me. This match is so important I felt we should dispense with our translation pawns. Like the French I have learnt to make good use of my hands and can always fall back on good, old-fashioned ignorance, in case of any emergencies."

Well, that's a dis... (stumbles and misses and misses a sitting volley - deuce)

And so the head-froeing went on until players, spectators, umpires and even your humble author himself could no longer keep their eyes down. Finally, the match referee put everyone out of their misery by calling out:

Game, set, match and Pulitzer prize, the author.

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