Officials at the UK end of the Channel Tunnel are blaming illegal immigrants for the latest holiday craze which is causing serious delays to services. “Ever since those illegals from Calais were reported to have almost entered England by walking through the tunnel, we’ve had hundreds of people trying to do the same thing on a daily basis,” says catering manager Ernie Blowstock. “Except that instead of coming from the French end, the buggers are all British and trying to walk from here to France!” Incredibly, inspired by the example of the Syrian refugees – widely reported in Britain’s tabloids – would be holiday makers seem to have decided to emulate them by walking to France via the Channel Tunnel. “I know it’s a bit of a slog, and you have to keep dodging the trains, but it is by far the cheapest way to take a foreign holiday,” explains Rob Stirruck, who claims to have made the trip – both ways – in order to take a two week break in the south of France. “OK, it takes the better part of a day, but once you get to the other side, the French trains are so much cheaper than ours that you can go anywhere you like on the money you saved by not paying those exorbitant Euro Tunnel fares.” According to Stirruck, entering the tunnel in the UK is surprisingly easy. “They just aren’t expecting anyone to try leaving the country that way, coming back is a bit trickier, as they are on the lookout for illegals, but just flash them a British passport and there’s nothing they can do,” he claims. “At the French end, they just couldn’t give a toss – bung their security people a few Euros and they don’t see a thing!”
Blowstock is less enamoured with the ‘walking to France’ holiday craze. “They’re causing massive delays – every time a driver spots a bunch of them flattened against the tunnel walls as they pass, we have to sop all the bloody trains until the tunnel is cleared,” he says. “When it was only the foreign buggers from that that transit camp in Calais, it didn’t matter, but now that we’ve got these tourists down there, we can’t take any chances. Can you imagine the furore in the press if our trains started running over white, middle class Brits?” Indeed, whilst this bizarre new holiday activity might be assumed to be the preserve of the cash strapped, benefits claiming poor of Britain, seeking free holidays, the vast majority of the tunnel walkers are relatively affluent and predominantly middle class, something confirmed by the French authorities at Calais. “Obviously, if they were poor and unemployed, we’d send the bastards straight back,” says border guard Claude Baiser. “We don’t want your scum coming over here, swilling beer and urinating in the streets. We’ve enough of that sort of our own. However, the English we find emerging from the tunnel are well dressed and clearly well off – flushed with money to spend in France and benefit our tourist industry.”
But why would anyone willingly spend several hours in a tunnel, dodging high speed trains, to get to France, when they could easily afford the fare? “Whilst the monetary savings are always welcome, that isn’t really the point of the exercise,” concedes Stirruck. “It’s more about the thrill, really. Let’s face it, most holidays are, by their nature, pretty dull and uneventful. This way, at least you get some excitement at the beginning and end!” In fact, Stirruck claims that, in many ways, he and his fellow tunnel walkers envy the refugees at Calais. “They just don’t realise how lucky they are to live lives of complete uncertainty, never knowing where they might end up, or when they might next eat,” he opines. “It must be one Hell of an adrenaline rush! So much more exciting than the dull and conventional lives we endure in the well off Western world! The only times we can ever hope to get that kind of rush is in a war – and thank God we don’t have too many of those nowadays, you could get killed! Still, going through those tunnels is a bit like a wartime experience, isn’t it? I’ve always enjoyed the Great Escape, where they tunnelled out of the German PoW camp.”
Bizarrely, channel tunnel walking isn’t the most extreme activities that Britain’s middle class thrill seeking holidaymakers are currently indulging in. Recent reports from Greece have indicated that a significant number of the refugees being rescued in the Mediterranean are, in fact, British citizens, attempting to enter Greece via unorthodox methods. “Only last week we had to go to the aid of this raft made out of bits of polystyrene and plastic barrels lashed together – more than forty people were clinging to it,” claims Greek fisherman Alexei Klakkas. “When we got them aboard, it turned out that more than half of them were bloody British tourists trying to get to the islands! They’d been on that raft for days without food or water and the sun beating down on them, all so that they could avoid the air fare!” According to Greek sources, some British tourists are taking advantage of cheap flights to Turkey, where they pretend to be refugees and pay shady ‘people movers’ for illegal passage on boats and makeshift rafts.
Once again, the motivation of the Britons appears to be thrill-seeking. “Going out to the Greek islands to enjoy the sun, sex and night life is one thing, but doing it this way is just so much more exhilarating,” says twenty five year old Jamie Thripp, who claims to have reached Mykonos last month on an ancient fishing boat which was packed to the rafters with refugees, after being inspired by TV news reports about the refugee crisis. “The voyage was bloody brilliant – the crew abandoned us in the middle of the Med and, two days later, the boat sank! We were picked up by the Greek coastguard after being in the water for twelve hours, clinging to bits of wreckage! You don’t get that kind of experience on the average package tour!” Thripp has nothing but praise for his Greek rescuers. “They were great, they took us ashore, gave us blankets and hot food and a medical check up. After that and a good night’s sleep in a makeshift refugee camp, we were all set to go clubbing!” he says. “I’m telling you, a life and death experience at sea makes you all the more appreciative of the subsequent hedonism in the Mykonos club scene – having cheated death you just feel more invigorated as you shag, drink, puke and get off your face. Although, no matter how off your face you get, it just can’t quite match the rush of being adrift at sea!” However, genuine refugees seeking to enter Southern Europe by sea have taken a dim view of the tourists, claiming that they are being priced out of boats and rafts by the relatively wealthy Britons. The people smugglers have also complained, claiming that they are being put out of business by an influx of British ‘entrepreneurs’ who have been buying all the local boats and rafts in order to sell passage to British tourists.