Some people are just great – are just total one offs who should be remembered and publicised at every single opportunity. Meet our new friend, the acrobat and carnival fire eater Otto Witte.
Because this day in 1913 he conned his way into Albanian high society and managed to get himself crowned as the king of Albania. During this time he claimed to have had an harem AND to have declared war on Montenegro. (It’s hard to know which one would bring greater pleasure.)
Some people claimed he made it all up but, hey – what does it matter if he did!(It matters even less now than it did then – the internet, after all, is no place for the truth.) And whilst being made a king in some random country is cool so too is making up preposterous claims that simply pass the time of day. I do it all the time and would recommend it to anyone as a fantastic way to level the playing field between the wankers that run the world. Gossip – it’s my favourite currency.)
Anyway back to Otto, The Times reported his story as true so let’s just assume it probably was. (This, remember, was long time before Trump and his fake news kingdom populated by a harem of Kellyanne Conway dolls. These days who knows what early morning tweets it would inspire.)
And Otto lived the story to the hilt arranging with the Berlin police to have the words “Former King of Albania” on his identity card and ensuring that the title was also put on his gravestone – pictured above.
So Otto was clearly one of us – a cool and interesting individual who’d have been fun around the table getting drunk and telling fantastic tales of life, love, lies and everything else that matters. And because he was one of us he deserves to be remembered.Wikipedia declares him ‘a fantasist’ as if this is some bad thing – my favourite people are fantasists. They have a spark lacking in dull fuckwits, water drinkers and Kellyanne Conway.
And – because of this and my self appointed position as The King Of All Wine Drinkers – I therefore declare today as International Otto Witt Day – Patron saint of acrobats, talented liars, accidental kings and all purveyors of entertaining fake news. Just what the world needs. This day is celebrated by getting absolutely sloshed on fine wine, making up an interesting story about yourself and spreading a bit of entertaining gossip about someone you don’t like. Oh and maybe listen to this song by Colin Hay HERE which must surely be the soundtrack that Otto would enter the room to, breathing fire, performing flips as we prepared for tales of his brilliant feat. Unless you have a better suggestion?
Cheers. To Otto.
And a quote: “I like on the table,
when we’re speaking,
the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine.” Pablo Neruda.