France Surrenders to Texas High School
By David Burge
January 31, 2003
Paris (CNSNews.com) - What began as a six-day chaperoned music tour by a group of suburban Houston teenagers ended in an epic conquest in the pre-dawn hours of Friday morning as French military and government officials offered their unconditional surrender to students of the Aldine, Texas Eisenhower High School Music Department.
Accepting the surrender, Eisenhower High School Band and Choral Director Gary Baumer praised the French for avoiding further bloodshed and vowed an immediate postwar rebuilding effort.
"We hope to achieve national recovery by prom," said Baumer. "The seniors have voted for the theme "Springtime in Paris."
In a goodwill gesture, Baumer said the victorious students would soon begin releasing most of the 400,000 French prisoners of war they had captured during the brutal three-day campaign.
"We want the prisoners reunited with their families," said Justin Gonzales, a junior tenor in the Eisenhower Glee Chorus. "Besides, you can't even begin to imagine the smell."
Baumer also granted former government officials and their families safe passage out of the country. Former President Jacques Chirac was last seen boarding his private Airbus jet at Orly Airport, as the Eisenhower Jazz Ensemble taunted him with an off-key rendition of "Na Na Na Na (Hey Hey) Goodbye."
Chirac's plane was reportedly intercepted and escorted away by Royal Air Force fighter jets as it attempted to enter British air space. According to sources familiar with Britain's MI2 intelligence service, Chirac has accepted exile in Iraq.
Details of the Franco-American conflict were still emerging Friday morning, but British and American intelligence sources indicated the confrontation was prompted by the dismissive sneers of French onlookers as the Eisenhower Lady Madrigals performed 'The Greatest Love of All' at a Paris park.
"It may not sound like much, but after three days of smelly French
cigarettes and being called 'cowboys' and 'arrogant' and 'stupid' and stuff, it finally gets to you," said Megan Prosser, a sophomore alto who led the initial charge. "Basically, we just snapped."
Those who have seen the videotapes of the Wednesday charge described it as "disturbing."
"It is said the French oppose war because they know first hand its horror," said Edward Krohn of the Naval War College. "When I see hundreds of grown French men being beaten senseless by Texas schoolgirls, I completely see their point."
By the time the Eisenhower Boys Barbershop Chorale learned of the melee, the Lady Madrigals had already captured Paris' Second, Third and Fifth Arrondisments.
"It became sort of like a game," explained senior baritone Kevin Wilkes. "Like Ghost Recon , except the other guy just wets himself and runs away. We just wanted to win more ground than the girls and I guess it got out of hand."
When dawn broke Friday, the students had swept north to Calais, blocking the English Channel for would-be French escapees.
Plagued by massive desertions and too-firm brie rations, the French army and Legion Etranger were ready to collapse by Thursday morning, but held out another 12 hours after receiving reinforcements from a group of 15 volunteer human shields from the United States.
Led by filmmaker Michael Moore, the group vowed to "use our own bodies to block American high school imperialism and colonialism," and asked the French to "show us your solidarity with pastry, and some good butter."
Moore was later taken into custody after an Eisenhower PsyOps agent mesmerized him with a box of the band's fundraising chocolate bars.
Amid panic and widespread wine shortages, President Chirac called Washington Thursday evening to request emergency U.S. military support for the crumbling nation.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said President Bush vowed to "immediately send Secretary of State Powell to the United Nations to request the scheduling of a vote for the formulation of a committee to create an investigative team, at the earliest possible convenience."
The assault continued into the night Thursday as various forces of the school's performing arts department formed sweeping attack columns: Glee Club to the Pyrennes, Swing Band and Wind Ensemble to the Mediterranean, Symphonic Band to the Rhein. By early Friday morning, the fighting had largely ended.
"We kept hearing about some French resistance," said Baumer. "Apparently that was a myth."
Despite the furious action, casualties were low with no reported deaths. Some two million French remain hospitalized with minor injuries sustained while bowing, scraping, pleading and running away. Six of the 135 Eisenhower students were treated for injuries related to foot blisters and excessive kissing.
The swift rout of Europe's second largest military force caught many in the international diplomatic community by surprise.
United Nations Secretary General Koffi Annan convened an emergency meeting of the General Assembly late Thursday to consider whether teen-occupied France would retain its seat on the UN Security Council.
A member of the Dutch delegation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the country had sufficient votes to retain council membership because "international stability is paramount when considering American teenagers with nuclear weapons."
By mid-morning Friday, more than 40 countries had contacted Baumer to offer congratulations and request formal diplomatic ties, but as many as 100 world leaders expressed concern over prank phone calls from students. Particularly hard-hit was President Uthai Partasuk Jaat of Thailand.
While normalization continues, there remains widespread confusion of the crisis and its effect on volatile world hotspots such as Iraq, Iran, Israel and North Korea.
On Friday, it remained unclear what the name of the new country would be. Baumer said the victorious band and choir members were evenly split between 'France Junior' and 'Eagle Country,' in honor of the Eisenhower school nickname.
Raucous celebrations followed news of the French surrender, as dozens of Eisenhower students tossed rolls of toilet paper at the barren elms along the Champs Elysses and staged drag races through the Arc de Triomphe, mooning the populace through the windows of commandeered Citroens. Others unfurled a huge banner from the Eiffel Tower declaring "EHS Rulez, EU
The revelry led Baumer to issue a stern reprimand to the students, warning of consequences including "UN sanctions, or even possibly a note home to your parents."
In Aldine, disciplinary notes seemed unlikely to dampen the enthusiasm of parents and families of the triumphant Eisenhower music students. Hundreds of local residents followed the action on television, and the conquest of the Gallic land mass has become a point of civic pride.
"Beating France is the biggest win for Eisenhower since we beat Conroe Judson in the '88 Super-sectionals," says longtime resident Wayne McDaniel, president of the Eisenhower Eagle Booster Club. "We're planning a big wing-ding when they get back."
Activities planned for the commemoration include a parade, as well as what McDaniel called "a very big plaque," at the Aldine Kiwanis hall.
"Although, we might have to wait on that for a while," added McDaniel. "We're having a bake sale and car wash to send the football team to Germany."