16 Facts about France of dubious verity.
Continuing the grand, almost two week old tradition of inventing interesting facts about whichever country is a year older that particular day, to celebrate Bastille Day, here are several interesting facts about France that you will be shocked to find out are all true, providing you agree to do no research on the subject yourself. And be sure to check back in a couple weeks time for our salute to Turkmenistan's Melon Day. __ 1) Inventions: France is the birthplace of the Tour de France. 2) Cooking: French cooking is known for being exceedingly old fashioned, and makes little use of modern super-ingredients like Ms. Dash or Chipotle Mayo. 3) Relations to the English: Across the ages, the French have fought the English, ruled the English, forgot about the English, fought more with the English, and finally ended up as close friends with the English. If you'll allow me to use a neo-neo-neo-classical allegory, they are the Ross and Rachel of Europe. (The English are Ross.) 4) Headwear: The beret was invented in the 1880's by a Frenchman to keep his head warm while he was riding his bicycle and wearing a stripey shirt. For this reason in American culture the beret is regarded warily - it also forever being attached to that one Prince song (I Would Die 4 U) and for those 4 months when Samuel L. Jackson was into them. But also recall that berets are worn in great numbers by military men, which as a rule, are a group that doesn't take much shit from Cracked bloggers. So as I was saying, berets are fine hats.
5) Military History: In popular culture, the French military is widely remembered as getting beaten like a red-headed stepchild in two out of two World Wars. But that's being a little unfair to France, because anyone that spawns that close to the Germans twice in a row is a bit unlucky.
6) Not theirs: Jean Claude Van Damme is not French, and is not their responsibility.
7) Relations to America: As most people understand it, the American Revolution was won when British General Reginald Fancydan was killed on top of Mount Rushmore by Mel Gibson and a Harley motorcycle. However, this ignores the contributions of the French, who supported the Americans during the Revolutionary War. In fact, the final act of the war occurred when the French built the Statue of Liberty, delivered it to the gates of America and tricked the British into taking it inside, at which point the French troops concealed within poured out and won America. If you go to Ellis island today, be sure to find the commemorative plaque reading "To the Lady that had One Hundred and Fifty Frenchmen up in her: Our Nation is Forever Grateful." I'm told it's hard to find.
8 ) Wine: The French didn't invent wine - that probably happened one night thousands of years earlier in a cave when an idiot ate some old stepped on grapes, got into two fist fights, then declared he "could fuck up a leopard." (Karaoke was invented in similar circumstances later that week.) But in present times, the French are definitely known for both the quality of their wine, and their liberal attitudes towards it's consumption, as evidenced by their national motto: "Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité" (loosely: "Let's drink wine right now brothers.")