Gene Wilder and other news


  • Search is on: One member of The Comical Hat staff swears someone told him that Gene Wilder — Yes, THE Gene Wilder — lives sporadically in Nha Trang but they can’t remember who. If you’re out there, person who says Gene Wilder lives in Nha Trang, please identify yourself and confirm this rumour. We love Gene Wilder. We love him so very much we’re thinking of hunting him down. Maybe making a film about it. A road trip film. The Searchers meets Easy Rider meets Apocalypse Now meets Desperately Seeking Susan meets Vertical Ray of the Sun Scent of Green Papaya Driving miss Daisy… Bonus Extra: Gene Wilder in action as The Waco Kid
  • Your checklist before heading to airport: Passport, tickets, toothbrush, a kilo of longan for the relatives, and of course, your combustible friend, one hand grenade. Never leave home without one. You don’t have to tell this 34-year old, who checked in at Chu Lai airport in Quang Nam province, with a hand grenade packed up in his suitcase (note to readers: that link is just there to prove this story is true and it is really short and uninteresting so I wouldn’t bother clicking on it. This embellished version is much better — Our motto is after all, The Comical Hat: making local news slightly more readable). After months of suspense he has been handed a fine of VND1 million (not a lot of money you’d have to say), despite his touching explanation that he only had it because of his daughter, who found it while they were attending his mother’s funeral (play that sympathy card you good thing ya!). He said that after his daughter came running up to him with a grenade he first checked it — carefully — to make sure it wouldn’t explode then he let her play with it (“Run along now dear and try not to drop it from a height”). When they were getting ready to go to the airport, he said she had to leave it, but then she cried and she cried and cried some more, so the poor man conceded and said “Okay you little ragamuffin, you can take the grenade home with”. Okay he didn’t say that, but something along those lines, and it was probably in Vietnamese.
  • I am a monk (honest)*: When you’re travelling far from home on a tight budget, sometimes you have to rely on the generosity of others but sometimes, perhaps, these others need a bit of prompting. One way of getting that well-deserved sympathy and attention is by dressing up as a monk and asking for alms. Well, that’s what four Chinese tourists figured anyway, according to the police in Sunny Saigon. One man wearing a monk’s costume was busted on Le Thanh Ton street earlier this summer. The 55-year old confessed that he and his three masquerading accomplices were all earning money by posing as monks — the dirty rascals. Apparently at the same time residents in Tan Binh District also made enquiries about a woman in nun’s outfit who was going from door to door asking for alms. Police finally caught up with her and she was also up to the same dastardly trick. She probably would of got away with it too, if weren’t for those meddling kids…

* Note: The expression “I am a monk” is the intellectual property of the illustrator Paul Oslo Davis and is rewritten here without his permission. Here’s a link to his drawings.


2 Responses to “Gene Wilder and other news”

  1. you have my permission

  2. 2 micky

    I didn’t start this rumor, but yes it’s true, he lives there, well near there. I met him and drank with him.. very funny man. But please respect he is there for a reason. To escape the attention.

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