In a week where I have slightly OD’d on having to be pleasant, perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to agree to act as a tour guide to 126 Jehovah Witnesses. But it was one of those ‘friend of a friend in need’ situations. All that was required that myself and the other guides gather at the Marriot, dressed in suitably Jehovah friendly black trousers, white shirt and minimum makeup. There we were simply to meet the group, escort them to a restaurant literally 1 minute down the road, sit them down, collect their vouchers and Bobs your uncle…or your ‘brother’ in this particular case. An easy 25 quid for what should have been less then an hours work.

How ever add Parisian rush hour traffic to the mix, bus drivers with apparently no sense of direction, very hungry ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ arriving at all different times, the odd uncivil French waiter, a pack of lost vouchers, and what should have been a quick in and out job stretched into three of the longest hours of my life. It was like trying to herd a group of religious cats. As I ran up and down stairs in a French bistro balancing green salads I distinctly remember feeling myself to be in one of Married Man’s space time continuum bubbles.

Also because I was the only native English speaker amongst the guides it fell to me to field all the Witnesses questions. And because I was the only non-French speaker I felt like a fecking eejit when trying to deal with the waiters. Hopefully my crap attempts to explain who was allergic to what didn’t result in any fatalities.

However, while it’s a religion I know very little about, I must say they were a nice gang, it was no hardship to be pleasant. I’m pretty sure that had a flock of Catholics been forced to wait so long for their dinner I would have found myself and my fellow guides strung up and crucified. However I’m not sure what Jehovah would have to say about the brothers and sisters who skipped out on their drinks bill.

And who knows, if another bit of work comes up I might do it again. In a weird way, after the solitary existence of an ex-pat writer it was kinda fun. After all it was something a bit different including couple of extra much needed bucks. Also I was forced to speak a bit of French despite myself and I got a free meal without having to date for it.