Jacques Chirac, The French President, is sitting in his office when his
"Hallo, Mr. Chirac!" a heavily accented voice said. "This is Paddy Down at
the Harp Pub in County Clare, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we
are officially declaring war on you!"
"Well, Paddy," Chirac replied, "This is indeed important news! How big is
"Right now," says Paddy, after a moment's calculation, "there is myself,
me Cousin Sean, me next door neighbour Seamus, and the entire darts team
from the pub. That makes eight!"
Chirac paused. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100,000 men in my army
waiting to move on my command."
"Begoora!" says Paddy. "I'll have to ring you back."
Sure enough, the next day, Paddy calls again. "Mr. Chirac, the war is
still on. We have managed to get us some infantry equipment!"
"And what equipment would that be Paddy?" Chirac asks.
"Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy's farm tractor."
Chirac sighs amused. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 6,000 tanks and
5,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I have increased my army to
150,000 since we last spoke."
"Saints preserve us!" says Paddy. "I'll have to get back to you."
Sure enough, Paddy rings again the next day. "Mr. Chirac, the war is still
on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We have modified Jackie
McLaughlin's ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the
cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Bar have joined us as well!"
Chirac was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. "I must tell
you, Paddy, that I have 100 bombers and 200 fighter planes. My military
bases are surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And
since we last spoke, I have increased my army to 200,000!"
"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" says Paddy, "I will have to ring you back."
Sure enough, Paddy calls again the next day.
"Top o' the mornin', Mr. Chirac! I am sorry to inform you that we have had
to call off the war."
"Really? I am sorry to hear that," says Chirac. "Why the sudden change of
"Well," says Paddy, "we had a long chat over a few pints of Guinness, and
decided there is no fookin' way we can feed 200,000 prisoners."