Tag Archives: con artist

29. My name is Billy Wilder

My name is Billy Wilder. Because that’s what it says on the ID-card in my pocket. Sure, I’m 30 years younger than the guy on the picture and I don’t sport glasses either, nor was I born in Vienna. Hell, my German is spotty at best. But I am indeed the famed director of countless Hollywood classics like Some Like It Hot and Double Indemnity.

That deluded statement has of late gotten me into business class seats on many a flight. At first, I did it for a joke. A let’s see how far I can push this thing. Turns out: pretty far. It helped that the spotty guy on the budget liner’s front desk turned out to be a movie freak, despite not knowing Billy Wilder has been dead for over a decade now. He upgraded me in a heartbeat and I signed him my autograph. It looked nothing like the real one.

After a couple of similar experiences I was contemplating permanently condemning the ID-card I bought at an auction to my small but glorious movie memorabilia collection. It took a perky, cute stewardess to change my mind. The way she referred to me as Mr. Wilder while fluffing my pillow (not a euphemism) made my heart skip a beat, so I asked her out under my ‘nom the plume’ and one thing led to another. We embarked on a globetrotting whirlwind romance as she was turned on by my ‘movie director’ occupation.

When the time came for me to fess up – an inevitability alas – I was fully expecting a bourbon on the rocks in my face, spiked with industrial language. The bourbon stayed in the glass. Instead I got a cheeky reply.

“My name’s not Fran Kubelik either. If you’d been Billy Wilder, you’d have known that.”



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