An Englishman, an American and a Frenchman are all in Saudi Arabia,
sharing a smuggled crate of booze when, all of a sudden, Saudi police
rush in and arrest them. The mere possession of alcohol is a severe
offense in Saudi Arabia, so for the terrible crime of actually being
caught consuming the booze, they are all sentenced to death! However,
after many months and with the help of very good lawyers, they are
able to successfully appeal their sentences down to life imprisonment.
By a stroke of luck, it was a Saudi national holiday the day their
trial finished, and the extremely benevolent Sheik decided they could
be released after each receiving just 20 lashes of the whip.
As they were preparing for their punishment, the Sheik 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 Englishman 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 he had to be carried away
bleeding and crying with pain.
The Frenchman was next up. After watching the Engishman in horror he
said smugly: "Please fix deux 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
(as they do).
The American was the last one up, but before he could say anything,
the Sheik turned to him and said: "You are from a most beautiful part
of the world and your people are the kindest and most generous in the
world. For this, you may have two wishes!"
"Thank you, your Most Royal and Merciful highness", The American
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 Sheik 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 Sheik asked.
"Tie the Frenchman to my back."