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Chapter 12: On the Flight Alone

An Englishman and a Frenchman both want to marry the daughter of Sheik Bab-el-Err, one of the richest men in the world. So the sheik decides to hold a competition.

He calls the two men to his palace and says, “Whoever of you two can bring me the most ping-pong balls in one week can have my daughter’s hand in marriage.”

The two men rush off, and within two days the Frenchman’s ping-pong balls begin to arrive. By boat, by plane and by truck, the ping-pong balls keep pouring in, the palace is completely full of them. On the fifth day the Frenchman himself comes back, and the sheik welcomes him.

“Well done, my son!” he says. “I am sure that English guy cannot win, we have not heard a thing from him yet. But I said a week, so we must wait.”

Sure enough on the last day, just before sunset, the door bursts open and the Englishman staggers in. He is covered in blood and his clothes are torn and dirty. In his hand he is holding a brown paper bag which he proudly gives to the sheik.

“What is this filthy mess?” screams the sheik. “Where are the ping-pong balls?”

“Ping-pong balls?” cries the Englishman, in dismay. “My God! I thought you said King Kong balls!”