- 4 Sep 07, 11:38 AM
BEN: There is something slightly disturbing about watching a man kissing and stroking a 3G internet card in the back of a darkened motor home in a remote campsite in Normandy…Tommy?
TOM: Desperation can force a man to do many things, Benjamin. Why, there was the time that, naked as the day I was born, I was forced to… but no. That story is perhaps a little racy for the current climate. And I’ve apologised to the Mother Superior in question a thousand times, anyway.
BEN: Talking of racy, when Internet connection was finally achieved after fully three hours of phone calls to BBC support, our line manager and some work experience oik from our internet provider, I came very close to losing control and administering a few kisses of my own. In fact, Tommy, I came very close to sticking you through the wall of the Winnebago. Sorry, the luxury motor home…
TOM: Back yourself on this one - the Monty Panesar-style celebration gallop went down a storm with the open-mouthed French family on the adjacent pitch.
BEN: Yes, Tommy, but the quiet French family on the adjacent pitch hadn’t spent most of their the day wrestling with unfathomable technology – beam benders anyone? Nope, I still haven’t got a clue either. I get the feeling I’m going to spend a lot of time on this trip nodding while Tom talks, pretending that I’ve got some idea what’s going on. So far, I don’t…
TOM: In the van of the mute, the man with GCSE French is king. Personally, I’m getting my kicks from the way we seem to have inadvertently been granted access to some sort of secret motorhome-drivers’ club. Every time we pass a Winnebago, the driver raises the motorhome Hand of Friendship. It almost makes up for all the maniacal car drivers who keep blasting their horns and waving unfriendly fingers at our giant bumpers.
BEN: I suspect those angry horns might have had something to do with The Fureys LP we had blasting out as we bombed down the D224. Being a non-driver, I’m not normally big on motor vehicles, but this thing Tom’s driving really is a thing of beauty. I’ve been getting a little bit aroused every time my thighs make contact with the brushed leather seats. It is, however, listing alarmingly to one side already and I’m thinking that the Camembert was a bit of an impetuous buy. It smells like we’ve got a French tramp living in one of the cubby holes.
TOM: You wait till the seal gets broken on the chemical convenience out the back. Incidentally, you know the Beeb bosses have given you the gig of emptying that hellish contraption for the next seven weeks, seeing that I’m chauffeuring you round the greatest jolly of your life as if you were a rugby-reporting Princess Margaret?
BEN: Shut it Trapalot, have you seen the books I’ve brought with me? The Good, The Bad and The Bubbly by George Best, ‘Arry, by Harry Redknapp and The Guv'nor by Lenny McLean – because of me, you’re basically travelling round France with the Library of Alexandria in the boot.
TOM: I’m more than happy to read them all to you too. Plus those copies of Heat and Grazia you stashed in the cutlery draw.
BEN: Pipe down Parker…where you driving me tomorrow?
TOM: We’re off to Lens. Time to see what’s going on there ahead of England’s opener against the USA. And see if we can be the first ones to use “Life Thru A Lens” as a headline.
BEN: Fifty euros if we get that as a headline on the site. By the way, since Internet connection was achieved, my worries have become rather more mundane, like “how can I let Tom, a man who is trimmer than a butcher’s apron, see me in nothing but my smalls every day?” I was tiptoeing around the van this morning in my t-shirt like a fat man after a one-night stand.
TOM: Relax, my friend – I’ve always been more of a personality man. And those limited edition briefs you were sporting from the Matt Dawson at Primark range made the very most of your stout assets.
Ben Dirs is a BBC Sport journalist travelling around France in a camper van with Tom Fordyce. Click here to search for all of Tom and Ben's blog videos.