There’s one thing I have learnt – however Walter Mittyish your real life is, if you really want, you can make a lot of interesting things happen to you all the time. A guy named David Daniel Kaminsky taught me this. Well, he didn’t actually sit down and tutor me, silly. I read his biography.

Of course you know David Daniel Kaminsky. He was otherwise famous as the hilarious 1940s comedian, Danny Kaye.

Somehow, Kaye was well liked in the iron curtain countries (the way the Indian film maker, Raj Kapoor, was appreciated in Soviet Russia). But Kaye hated going to those countries on promotional tours because he found them boring. There was no night life and no female groupies he could have fun with.

So the story goes that once when he got off his plane at Kiev, where his Jewish parents had fled from before he was born, he made as if he was deformed, with his mouth twisted funnily and his fingers curled like claws. That’s how the adoring crowds in the arrivals lounge found him as he staggered up to them with a faked hobble.

When one pretty girl came up with a notepad for an autograph, he asked her to steady his hand by clasping his fingers while he signed her autograph book. He wouldn’t let go after he was done, pretending that his fingers were stuck due to some muscular condition. Of course it was all faked and he ended up getting several nice little kisses on the cheek from the fan and howls of laughter from the crowd.


Christmas eve I was at the shopping cart stand at Maxi, having just finished stowing the bags in the boot of my Toyota. (Never leave the turkey for the last minute).

Doing the groceries is a pain in the ass. Juggling flyers from ten different chains and picking out the stuff on promotion so you can avail of the price matching that Maxi guarantees – I hate the stress.

Just as I was turning away, I saw a new arrival – comely fortyish woman with empty bags, advancing toward the cart I was about to leave. She was striking, with a short skirt and great legs that ended in a pair of red high heels with ribbons round her ankles. She wasn’t adequately covered up and to me she looked like she had just left a party to pick up some stuff she had forgotten.

The cart I had just left had been a dreadful cart, with a hobble on one of the wheels that had jarred the crap out of me the whole time.

She was about to dump her bags in that cart when I said to her, “Il pas marsh,” ***it doesn’t work***

She stopped. “Oh, mèrci,” she said and smiled and she made to turn toward another cart that was standing right next, a few feet away.

As she was turning, I called after her, “Il est clopinant. Il est un vieil homme. Comme moi.” ***It hobbles, like an old man – me***

By then another man had reached the other cart and whisked it away and when she found she was stuck with the hobbling cart, she gave me a wink and said with a smile,” Sais quoi? Je aime vieillards.” ***You know what? I love old men***

Before I could process the new information, the woman was gone.

Hey, it was fun while it lasted, okay?