There was a major controversy in South London on Saturday afternoon, when French football supporters travelling to a game in Leytonstone were confronted by a problem they could not, in their wildest dreams, ever have imagined - a merde on the Orient Express.
The match in question was the National League fixture between Leyton Orient and Barrow at the Breyer Group Stadium, formerly Brisbane Road, kick-off 3pm.
The fans, exchange students from a school in Paris, were passengers on the number 69 bus which runs from the British Library to the Leyton Orient FC superstore. As they neared the stadium on Brisbane Road, the bus - known locally as 'the Orient Express' - turned onto Buckingham Road, and the French party rose to get off at the next stop.
It was then that they saw it.
Sat steaming in the aisle, at the foot of the stairs, was a heap of merde, humming. Nobody saw who did it. Nobody knew how it got there. But there it was, as large as life. It fucking stunk.
One of the group said:
Another, no less shocked, spoke up:
"Oh, maman! C'est horrifique!"
A big man who looked more astute than the rest, summed it up perfectly when he said, incredulous:
"Mon Dieu! C'est une merde!"
The group shuffled past the shit, and disembarked, pale-faced. A local chav, sat at the very back of the vehicle with his feet up on the seats in front, proudly displayed his Union Jack T-shirt, and bellowed helpfully out of the window:
"C'est une merde anglais!"