January 5, 2012

In 1956, while barhopping with Ingmar Bergman in Shanghai, Charles Lane struck up a conversation in a particularly shabby establishment with a defrocked Peruvian shaman. Instantly taking a liking to Lane’s sunny disposition, the shaman asked his age. The puzzled Lane replied, “51.” Thereupon, the shaman produced four twigs from his poncho and arranged them into a lopsided trapezoid on the bar. He spat in the trapezoid’s center and said, “Double, amigo, double.” That’s all there was to it, for Lane at that point had to support Bergman in the general brawl which had recently expanded to reach their end of the bar.

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