An Englishman, a German and a Frenchman are all in Saudi Arabia, sharing some smuggled goods when, all of a sudden, Saudi police rush in and arrest them. The smuggling is a grave crime but by a stroke of luck, it was a Saudi national holiday the day their trial finished, and the extremely benevolent Sheikh decided they could be released after receiving just 20 lashes each of the whip.
As they were preparing for their punishment, the Sheikh announced: “It’s my first wife’s birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping.
The German was first in line, he thought for a while and then said: “Please tie a pillow to my back. This was done, but the pillow only lasted 10 lashes before the whip went through. When the punishment was done the German had to be carried away bleeding and crying with pain.
The Frenchman was next up. After watching the German in horror he said smugly: “Please fix two pillows to my back.” But even two pillows could only take 15 lashes before the whip went through again and the Frenchman was soon led away whimpering loudly.
The Englishman was the last one up, but before he could say anything, the Sheikh turned to him and said: “You are from a most beautiful part of the world and your culture is one of the finest in the world. For this, you may have two wishes!”
“Thank you, your Most Royal and Merciful highness,” the Englishman replied. “In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not 20, but 100 lashes.”
“Not only are you an honorable, handsome and powerful man, you are also very brave,” the Sheikh said with an admiring look on his face. “If 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it. And your second wish, what is it to be?” the Sheikh asked.
The Englishman smiled and said, “Tie the Frenchman to my back.”