An Englishman, a German, and a Frenchman had smuggled a crate of booze into Saudi Arabia. Without any warning, Saudi police rushed in and arrested them. The mere possession of alcohol is a severe offense in Saudi Arabia, so for this terrible crime they were each sentenced to 500 lashes with a whip.
On the day of their punishment the Sheikh who was going to whip them announced, “It is my wife’s birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one request before your whipping.”
The German was first in line, he thought for a while and then said, “Please tie a pillow to my back.”
The Sheikh allowed the request, but the pillow barely lasted 50 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 up next. After watching the German in horror he requested, “Please affix two pillows to my back.”
But even two pillows could only take 100 lashes before the whip went through. The Frenchman was soon carried away bleeding and moaning loudly.
The Englishman was the last one up, but before he could say anything, the Sheikh said to him “You are British. I really like British people. For this, you may have two requests!”
“Thank you, your merciful highness,” the Englishman replied. “In recognition of your kindness, my first request is that you give me not 500, but 1000 lashes.”
With an admiring look on his face, the Sheikh declared, “If 1000 lashes is what you desire, then so be it!”
The Englishman smiled and said, “Thank you ol’ chap, and for my second request, I’d very much appreciate it if you’d tie the Frenchman and the German to my back.”