…when Saudi police rush in and arrest them.
The mere possession of alcohol is a severe offence in Saudi Arabia, so for consuming the booze they are all sentenced to death. However, after many months and with the help of good lawyers, they are able successfully to 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 benevolent sheikh decided they could be released after receiving just 20 lashes.
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 South African was first. He thought for a while, then said, “Please tie a pillow to my back.”
This was done, but the pillow lasted only 10 lashes before the whip went through. When the punishment was done, the South African had to be carried away bleeding and crying with pain.
The Australian was next up. After watching the South African’s horror, he said smugly, “Please fix two pillows to my back.” But even two pillows could take only 15 lashes before the whip went through and the Australian was soon led away whimpering loudly (as they do).
The New Zealander 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. For this, you may have two wishes!”
“Thank you, your most royal and merciful highness,” the Kiwi replied. “In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not 20 lashes 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”?
“Tie the Australian to my back.”