British consular officials are completely fed up with fielding stupid requests for assistance from Britons abroad. Or, at the very least, that’s the clear subtext of a ridiculous press release by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that lists the most bizarre requests British diplomatic posts have received in 2012 and 2013 (it also makes the U.S. State Department’s press releases look incredibly boring).
The release describes the requests as "often good natured" but notes that they "can take valuable time away from helping those in genuine distress." To put it less politely: "Dear Britons, we are far too busy dealing with real problems to help you pick out a perfect tattoo during your debauched romp through the Mediterranean."
Here, in all its glory, is the full list:
- A man who required hospital treatment in Cambodia when a monkey dislodged a stone that hit him demanded help getting compensation and wanted assurance that it would not happen again
- A man asked FCO staff in Rome to translate a phrase for a tattoo that he wanted
- Consular staff in Beijing were asked to help a woman who had bought a pair of football boots that were ‘Made in China’ but were poor quality
- A woman requested that consular staff in Tel Aviv order her husband to get fit and eat healthily so that they could have children
- Consular staff in Kuala Lumpur were asked if the FCO could help pay to send their children to an International School
- A man asked consular staff in Stockholm to check the credentials of a woman whom he had met online
- A man asked the Consulate in Montreal for information to settle a £1,000 wager on the colour of the British passport
- A number of British Consulates have been asked to book hotels or to advise on where to watch the football
So, Britain, please stop bothering your country’s harried diplomats with your inane requests. They don’t care about your tattoo.