Paris, France -- Annoyed by criticism of the commitment of only a miniscule amount of French troops to the Middle East peacekeeping force, President Jacques Chirac held a press conference today at the foot of the Eiffel Tower to clarify and defend France's position.
He told the assembled group, "A peacekeeping force does not survive by troops alone." Chirac then spoke of all the other contributions the French would be making to the international force. "We are pleased to donate 20,000 packages of each of the following: pommes frites, croissants, coq au vin, and assorted French pastries. Then for evening entertainment, we'll provide CDs by some French singers -- people such as Bénabar, Vincent Delerm and Sanseverino. Also, assorted DVDs -- something like 'Amélie,' starring French actress Audrey Tautou."
One of the reporters muttered to another, "Entertainment? Good grief! What does he think a peacekeeping mission is? A road show or something?" His friend rolled his eyes and said, "This doesn't seem like a press conference. I think we were summoned here for an infomercial."
"But that's not the WHOLE extent of our involvement," Chirac went on to say. "We'll also provide French after-shave lotion, soaps, and perfumes for the thousands of personnel in the peacekeeping force." The talky reporter was at it again, this time whispering to his friend, "If the worst happens, at least they'll go to their deaths smelling good." The friend agreed. "Right. A smell to die for. Very inviting."
Chirac concluded his remarks by announcing, "All members of the international peacekeeping force will be eligible to win two tickets for an all-expense-paid trip to Paris for a dream vacation. We will raffle off ten sets of these tickets at the conclusion of the mission." He then apologized for not having time for questions and rushed out to his limo.
The reporters mentioned above continued their conversation as they left the press conference. One shook his head from side to side and said, "The whole thing is so bizarre. The BEST is that raffle for the Paris trip. What's that all about?" He snickered and said, "Wanna bet the plane trip is economy class?" His friend responded, "Fuhgedaboudit! That's no bet at all. What else could it be? This doesn't have the 'ring' of a first-class operation."