Spanish Immigration officials are congregating in the tiny Spanish town of Tarifa at the country’s most southerly point holding blankets.
Why are they standing on the beach holding blankets?
They’re catching illegal immigrants.
However, the blankets are not to warm up brave swimmers who have managed to paddle their way across the treacherous Straits of Gibraltar.
No, they’re catching men, women, children and pets that have been catapulted across the 7 mile wide stretch of ocean that separates Africa from Europe, catapulted by giant medieval siege engines.
These huge contraptions known as Trebuchets were brought here by the Knights Templar some 800 years ago and locked in a garage.
Unfortunately the knights (with the exception of Dan Brown) were all hacked to death by Leonardo Da Vinci or Newton or a painting…and so never returned to claim their weapons.
Having bought the garage (from Dan Brown) Abdul Mustafa Hamid (an unscrupulous man who once drowned a mule in hummus) seized upon a cunning plan to sell cheap tickets to Europe.
Desperate for a better life, poor people with no working knowledge of medieval siege engines and their true purpose snapped up the tickets and a promise of a new life in Spain.
‘It’s amazing what people will buy these days’ says Pedro (obviously a Spaniard) who works for the customs office. ‘Anyone who has studied the crusades, as I have’ (for ‘studied the crusades read; Watched a badly dubbed version of Kingdom of Heaven) ‘knows that no rock fired out of one of these things ever lived to tell the tale’ (unlike other rocks which never shut up…smug bastards).
We spent a morning at Tarifa during which immigrants rained down upon us like untrained sky-divers.
The customs officials managed to catch a few but most simply bounced off the cliffs or knocked down houses and convenience stores.
Considering the risks they have taken the survivors will be given asylum.
‘They’re the lucky ones’ said Pablo. ‘The coast guard have just reported that the catapult has been replaced by a cannon!’