By DAVID PAQUETTE
This week the barber interviews pro-democracy icon John William Yettaw.
Question: Lee Harvey Oswald. John Wilkes Booth. Mark David Chapman. John William Yettaw. Why do all nut-jobs have middle names?
Answer: Not sure. Maybe it’s a Facebook thing. This week, my cousin John Yettaw changed his Hi-5 name to John Paul Yettaw. I don’t know why. I’m just glad somebody has finally taken notice of me.
Q: Talking of Facebook, does Suu Kyi ever email you?
A: Of course she does. We have been in touch for years. She invited me to be her friend AND she invited me to join her cause. Of course she has to use a different name online, but I know it’s her.
Q: Did she invite you to swim across Inya Lake to her house for the weekend?
A: No, I just did that to surprise her. And boy, was she surprised!
Q: I hear you took some nice photos while you were at her house—one of yourself looking in the mirror and one of your flippers. Did you show them to Suu Kyi?
A: I did!
Q: What did she say?
A: She shouted at me to get the hell out of her bedroom. Then she threw one of her slippers at me. Then her maid came running into the room. Then they both started shouting at me. It was a bit of an anti-climax really.
Q: Then what happened?
A: They said they were going to call the police. Then they changed their minds, because they thought they police might arrest them instead, you know, for failing to inform the authorities that they had an overnight guest. I offered them both $100 to let me stay. I even promised to do some of the housework.
Q: So what did you do all weekend?
A: The maid and I played scrabble while Suu played the piano. It was great.
Q: Did you really?
A: No. Sorry. That was a lie. They locked me in a cupboard. But I heard her playing piano.
Q: There was a report that when police caught you they found a pair of pliers and a five-liter plastic jug. Let me guess—you used the plastic bottle as a floating device and the pliers were for cutting through the fence.
A: Not exactly. It was a jug of Chardonnay. Suu Kyi told me online that she loves a glass of white wine on a Saturday night. So I swam across the lake with the jug strapped to my back.
Q: And the pliers?
Q: Okey-cokey. So what about the future? Where do you go from here?
A: After I get back to the States I’ve got a full agenda. I’ve been invited onto some talk shows, I’ve signed a deal to write an autobiography and I’m doing a nationwide tour as an after-dinner speaker.
Q: Any thoughts of returning to Burma?
A: Of course. I’m hoping the UN send me back as an envoy.
Q: Thanks John. Do you want me to cut your hair now?
A: Yes please. And would you mind scratching my nose? I can’t do anything in this straitjacket.