Nobody likes the French, but most people don't know why. Well, being English, I am bred to hate them. They are vial, and snobby, particularly the Parisites. So last week the Daily Telegraph told me why, and here are the reasons:
1. Because they're losers
Rugby matches played by England against France since 1906: 89. We've won 47; they've won 35. Draws: 7...>..>..>..>
2. Because they're aggressive
Wars fought against France since 1066: 35. We've won 23; they've won 11. Mutual defeats: 1 (American War of Independence).
3. Because of Napoleon
200 French streets, monuments and institutions commemorate the era of Napoleon, the inventor of totalitarian dictatorship.
4. And because of the Napoleon Complex
While Napoleon was actually 5ft 6.5in tall, his aggression may have stemmed from "strikingly small, infantile and undersized genitals", as revealed in his autopsy. The organ in question measured 1.25in.
5. Because they make love more than anyone else
On average, that's 137 times a year; we only manage 119 times.
6. Because everyone believes they're great lovers
But when asked about Napoleon's love-making, French good-time girl Marguerite Josephine Weimer remarked that the Duke of Wellington was "beaucoup le plus fort". Today, just 23 per cent of French people are happy with their sex lives compared to 25 per cent of Brits.
7. Because they love yappy dogs
More than nine per cent of French dog owners have a poodle.
8. But they won't clean up after them
French dog owners refuse to pick up the 5,840 tonnes of dog-doo dropped on their streets each year.
9. Because they're allergic to customer service
In London eateries, it takes an average 3.4 minutes to get a glass of water once a waiter has been alerted; in Paris it takes 17.9 minutes.
10. Because they're rude
The "Paris Syndrome" is a medically recognised type of depression which afflicts foreign visitors, caused by the sustained rudeness of French people to outsiders.
11. Because they can't wait
Many French men still prefer the convenience of a trottoir to the public WC.
12. Because they lack humour
Before the Revolution, the French spoke of l'esprit (wit), or la farce (joke) but the word "humour" had no equivalent. Not until 1932 did the French Academy allow l'humour into the language.
13. Because we've been allowed to believe that French women don't get fat
Current diet books claim that French women are thin because they eat only fresh produce, and slowly. However, French obesity rates are exploding and one in four French women is on some kind of mood-altering medication. Of course they're not hungry – they're stoned.
14. Because they do things the wrong way
The French take more suppositories than the rest of Europe combined. In 2006, they shoved 235 tonnes of pharmaceuticals up themselves. That's equivalent to 1,850 Gérard Depardieus (approx.).
15. That goes for their wildlife, too
In 1998 alone, 25 million geese and ducks were force-fed in battery farms to make foie gras: the €20 hors d'oeuvre.
16. Because they love Jerry
In 1963, Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor was voted "Best Film" in France. Le Roi du Crazy, as Lewis is known over there, holds the Legion of Honour, traditionally awarded only to victorious French generals: pretty rare.
17. And they hate Gerry
In 2005, national treasure Gérard Depardieu announced he was leaving France because: "Only the British understand me… They have a great sense of humour. It is the French who are cretins".
18. Because they think their cooking is the best in the world
They boasted 26 three-starred restaurants in the 2005 Michelin Guide. However, the guide is a French institution. Could that be why the UK had only three? Coincidence, non?
19. Because of their incessant wining
Does France still make the best wine? Not if you go by the infamous Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, when an English wine merchant organised a "blind" tasting before a jury of French experts. To their horror, they rated Californian wines as winners in both the red and white wine categories. The French press first denied any tasting had happened, then claimed the results were fixed.
20. You can't trust their wine labels either
In one 2002 case, a Burgundian vintner got jailed for rebottling 4,000 hectolitres of Algerian plonk as a much more expensive Bordeaux.
21. Because they took the cow pat… and turned it into a hat
Well, that's what the beret is, isn't it?
22. Because their legendary "Va Va Voom" is a lie
They only spend an average 19.2 minutes on foreplay. The British take 22.5 minutes.
23. Because 50 per cent of them don't even associate sex with pleasure
And 23 per cent say they would be "relieved" not to have sex for several months.
24. Because they patented the kiss
In fact, there is no actual word for "French Kiss" in French. It is simply embrasser avec la langue (literally, to kiss with the tongue). Colloquially it is referred to as rouler une pelle (to roll the spade). Only in Quebec is it "frencher".
25. Because they're big bullies
The French shoot, poison, trap, crush, stuff and then eat almost anything smaller than themselves. Box-nets are laid down across the Aquitaine countryside to trap skylarks, while Languedoc hunters blast turtledoves out of the sky.
26. Because the French health service is the best in the world
However, during a 2003 heat wave, the French health services, rated as a "world best" by the WHO, failed to prevent the deaths of 16,300 elderly people.
27. Because their country doesn't work
Employers have to pay social security taxes equal to 48 per cent of each employee's salary, so they take on fewer people, and France's unemployment rate has hovered around 10 per cent for a decade.
28. Because they get up our noses
Forty per cent of French men, and 25 per cent of women, do not change their underwear daily – and only 47 per cent bathe every day (compared to 70 per cent of the British).
29. Because they invented Sadism
France is not only the birthplace of the Marquis de Sade but also of Renault's flirty series of Ben and Sophie "Eiffel Tower v Blackpool Tower" TV ads. Talk about torture…
30. Because it's taken them a thousand years to admit we're better than them
"The standard of life of the British is higher than that of the French," said M. le President Nicolas Sarkozy, in his 2006 autobiography. Finally.