This is about how the Internet lies to us, often unknowingly. It is about how a person can gain their fifteen minutes of fame even if they do not exist, or if they are dead, and most importantly… how to greet an Australian. It is vital if at all possible to do the voice.
A while back a story went viral about an unnamed South African man who had posed as a KFC executive. This individual with titanium balls and confidence to spare strolled authoritatively into KFC restaurants for a whole year, performing random spot-checks for quality assurance purposes. After inspecting kitchens and making notes, he requested various menu items, to evaluate standards of quality and consistency. This was just one of the responsibilities assigned to him as a head office executive.
The man was well-known to KFC management and staff all over Durban, who maintained best behaviour whenever the well-dressed executive marched in, often having stepped out of a limousine. Naturally, It simply never occurred to anyone to have the audacity to ask whether he might actually just be, say… a local university student (which he was). Just as naturally, nobody would have thought to enquire whether he just happened to have a friend with a part-time job driving a limousine (which he did).
Unfortunately, if not unsurprisingly, after 24 hours of virality, it appears (according to a statement from South African KFC headquarters) that the whole ‘chicken man’ story was fake.
In these uncertain times it indeed appears that even a fake person can have their fifteen minutes.
How to get Arrested like a Boss!
It does take something truly special however to become an immortal hero of the internet, especially for something that happened before the Internet did. Ladies and gentlemen, and those of every pronoun… meet Paul Charles Dozsa.
In the late ’80’s, before fake news, or the Internet a man terrorised the 5-star restaurants of Sydney. Far from content with fast food, Dozsa had a somewhat more refined palate, and a wicked sense of the absurd. Finally in 1988, after his 54th court appearance as Sydney’s most infamous diner and dasher, he was arrested (he was also wanted for cheque fraud among other things).
Fittingly, Dozsa’a back story was perhaps even more colourful than the minute of video that would immortalise him decades later. Born into Hungarian nobility he had emigrated to Australia in the ’60’s. He had been a chef (therefore knowledgeable of the restaurant industry) and also a chess grand-master (thereby not without considerable intelligence); well-spoken with an unforgettable voice any Shakespearian actor would kill for.
Eventually the Australian police did finally catch up with him of course, and the greatest arrest ever was captured on film.
And so, I give you…
It wasn’t him.
Dammit… the Interwebs lied again. Although numerous international newspapers and bloggers had reported the wonderful arrest of Baron Paul Charles Dozsa, this wasn’t the guy. Dozsa (1940-2003) was a criminal reportedly arrested in Sydney, but this guy… well, years went by and the legend grew, and nobody seemed to know who he was.
The famous video of the arrest finally was attributed to Cecil George Edwards, who wasn’t arrested in Sydney, but rather Brisbane, Queensland.
BUT WAIT AGAIN!
Okay, so here he is, the inimitable Cecil Edwards, alive and well in 2021 being interviewed by 7 News Australia. Now however he is Jack Karlson, a small-time stage actor and artist.
You sir, are a true legend.